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Posted by rich_sposato


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Subject: Can you castle onto an occupied square?

Can you legally castle if your king's target square is occupied by an enemy piece?

I looked up the castling rules on Wikipedia and FIDE, and found nothing to prohibit the king from castling onto an occupied square. I assume the king would capture the enemy piece on the target square just as it would capture a piece on any square during normal moves.

Wikipedia says: (
Castling is permissible only if all of the following conditions hold:
1 The king must never have moved.
2 The chosen rook must never have moved.
3 There must be no pieces between the king and the chosen rook.
4 The king must not currently be in check.
5 The king must not pass through squares that are under attack by enemy pieces.
6 The king must not end up in check (true of any legal move).
7 The king and the chosen rook must be on the same rank.

FIDE says: (
The right for castling has been lost:
1. if the king has already moved, or
2. with a rook that has already moved
Castling is prevented temporarily if:
1. the square on which the king stands, or the square which it must cross, or the square which it is to occupy, is attacked by one or more of the opponent`s pieces.
2. there is any piece between the king and the rook with which castling is to be effected.

Has this situation ever occurred in official games?

If the king may capture while castling, this would be the only situation in which 3 pieces are touched in a single move.
1. the king
2. the rook
3. an enemy piece

Posted by premium_steve


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i think condition 3 in the wikipedia entry is the answer to the question, though i am not completely sure.

since there is a piece between the king and rook (an enemy piece), i don't think castling would be possible.

did this come up in one of your games, rich?
it would be a fun move to make, all the same. :)

Posted by rich_sposato


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Hi Steve,

Yeah, I see. When I first read that, I was thinking only of the square which the king would cross as between. Now that I think about this again, I see that of course the king will land on a square between the king's and rook's starting positions, so any enemy piece there will prevent that.

No, it did not come up in any game I played.



Posted by chessnovice


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The rules specific to castling are designed only to express the rules unique to the move. This idea of yours falls under a more fundamental rule, which is applied to castling under the umbrella of any move.

If you check the FIDE link you provided, and you'll see that it says:
"Article 3.1: It is not permitted to move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour. If a piece moves to a square occupied by an opponent`s piece the latter is captured and removed from the chessboard as part of the same move. A piece is said to attack an opponent's piece if the piece could make a capture on that square according to Articles 3.2 to 3.8. A piece is considered to attack a square, even if such a piece is constrained from moving to that square because it would then leave or place the king of its own colour under attack."

Posted by cyberknight999


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It would be a cool move but...

It is clearly not legal based on:

FIDE Article

Posted by kinderboy


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ITS NOT LEGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thhe rook would have to pass over another piece to make the move in question.

Posted by throneseeker


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Pure logic suggests that if the King's target square is occupied by an opposing piece then there must be a piece between the King and chosen Rook. i.e that piece is either on g1 (in which instance it is between the King's Rook and the King) or on c1 (in which instance it is between the Queen's Rook and the King). If a piece is on the target square, castling to that square would not be legal. One could, however, castle to the opposite side provided no other circumstance exists which prohibits such a move.

The short answer to the question is NO as has been stated in a variety of fashions.

Posted by tugger


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Posted by ccmcacollister


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... about this matter, you CAN capture a piece by o-o-o, but only if you are on a GK Analysis
Board! Or at least it used-to-be possible. It may have changed, but I was surprised to actually
have personally seen it work in the past.
Other than that, as they say, #3 Wiki and #2 FIDE pretty much cover the matter. Tho that would
be a fun game alteration for skittles play, to be able to o-o or o-o-o and capture anything the
King or Rook land on (or sweep across, on b1 or b8 for eg.!?). Also "Uncastles" can add an
interesting twist as a Chess variant. A bit harder to pin that king down ...

Does the GK bit still work? Well I don't know offhand.

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