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Can You Castle Out Of Check? (Explained With Rules)

Can you castle when in check or after being in check? Can you castle through check? Can you castle after check? Can you get out of check by castling? and so on… If you are also thinking about these questions then you are in the right place because in this article I am going to clear all your doubts.

So, can you castle out of check? No, you can’t castle out of check because it will be considered an illegal move. As per the standard rules, castling can’t be done if the king is in check. However, castling is allowed after the king gets out of the check provided all the rules of castling are followed.

Ahead I am going to discuss with you everything related to castling under check, along with the important castling rules in chess that you must know.

But before that, if you are an absolute beginner and want to know what is castling and how to castle. Then you can watch this video by Chess.com which will help you to understand the concepts of castling easily.

Rules Of Castling

All the rules and regulations related to castling are often complicated for starters. I understand! But if you read the rules properly you will never struggle. 

Here are the important rules about castling under check:

According to the FIDE Laws Of Chess, castling can’t be done:

  1. If the king is in check
  2. If the square the king is going to pass or the square to be occupied is under attack
  3. If either the king or the rook has already moved once
  4. If there is a piece between the king and the rook.

These four rules are also known as the four rules of castling in chess.

Now, I already wrote a post in which I thoroughly explained, when should you castle, when not, should you castle early, the perfect time to castle. I recommend you to also see that post. 

Also, you may think, can you castle when your rook is threatened?. And the answer is yes. There are no rules in FIDE Laws Of Chess that limit you from doing so.

In fact, in that article, I mentioned the two professional chess games in which this happened. Definitely check that article because many of your other doubts will be cleared.

Example To Explain Castling Under Check

Here is an example to demonstrate castling under check. Let’s understand this case by case so all the doubts are cleared. (All the cases numbers are marked in the image for easy reference.)

castling-under-check-example

Case-1: Castling Through Check

As you can see in the image if the white king wants to castle then it will g1 square. And for that, it has to pass through f1 square which is under the control black’s bishop on h3.

So, can you castle through check? No, it is illegal to move your king to a square that is under attack. Hence, you can’t castle through check.

Case-2: Castling Into Check

In this case if the white king wants to castle then as usual it has to move and occupy the g1 square, but wait! Black’s Rook on g3 is already controlling the g1 square. 

So, can you castle into check? As per the standard rules, you can’t make a move that puts your king in check. Therefore, you can’t castle into check.

Read Related: Can You Put Yourself In Check? (Here’s What Happens!)

Case-3: Castling Out Of Check

Now the last case here the white king wants to castle but can it do that? No, because it is already in check by black’s queen on e3.

As we already know that we can’t castle if our king is in check, castling can’t be done to get out of check.

See Related: Can You Kill To Get Out Of Check? (Explained)

So I hope you are getting me! 

Tip 🙂 Do you know what is kingside castling or queenside castling? Do you struggle to determine which side castling should you do? Then check out my detailed article: Is it better to castle kingside or queenside? Reading that all your queries will be cleared.

Why Can’t You Castle Out Of Check?

The major reason for this is if you could castle out of check then the balance in the chess game would be completely lost. Every rule in chess is made with a certain purpose and even a small change could show a major domino effect change on the game.

By this way the essence of the game would be lost. It would be easier for anyone to escape a check by castling if this was allowed. Just imagine! 

Let suppose that a rule was made where you could castle even in check. Now you just checked your opponent and you are in such a situation that your win is very obvious.

But then your opponent still has the option of castling left then what will you do! I hope you are getting me. 

Actually, all the rules in chess are made to create balance and equilibrium. Even rules like stalemate were made for this purpose only.

In A Nutshell

You can’t castle through check, into check or out of check!

Here’s a quick summary of whatever we discussed so far:

  • You can’t castle to get out check because that is against the standard chess rules.
  • But you can castle even if your rook is under attack because there are no rules in chess against it.
  • You can’t castle out of check because then the equilibrium in the game will be disturbed.

FAQs:

Can you castle after being in check?

You can’t castle at the moment when your king is in check because that will be considered an illegal move. As per the standard rules, castling is temporarily prevented if the square on which the king stands is attacked by one or more of the opponent pieces. However, once the king gets out the check, you can castle.

Can you castle if the king is unmoved but checked?

The short answer is No. You can’t castle even if the king is unmoved because for castling the king must not be in check.

Can you castle out of checkmate?

No, you can’t castle out of checkmate. If you are checkmated that means you already lose the game so you can’t castle. In chess, the game ends as soon as your king is checkmated.

Can you castle queenside?

Yes, you can castle queenside as well as kingside but only if the king is not in check or doing so doesn’t put the king in check. Also, the king can’t castle if either the king or the rook has already moved once or there is piece between them.

Why can you not castle in chess?

If the king is in check, if the move of castling puts your king in check, if the king or the rook has already moved or there is a piece between them, then in all these cases you cannot castle.

Also Read: Is Castling with two hands illegal?

Conclusion

That’s it! Hope you understand everything that I discussed with you. I myself struggled a lot with this and thought that you might be also facing the same issue. 

So I tried my level best to simplify things for you using my learnings and research. I hope this post was helpful for you. 

You may also like to check out my chess recommendations page.

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