Vertical Castling: A Chess Problem

Vertical Castling A Chess Problem

Vertical castling in chess is not allowed these days. But previously, the rules were slightly different. They didn’t forbid this very unexpected unwrapping of the maneuver. Now a joke, it was a real thing some decades ago. Let’s have a look at the example to see how it worked.

The Origin Of The Issue

In 1907, C. Staugaard presented the world with a puzzle. This Danish chess player offered a match that featured legal castling. It didn’t break any rules at that time. Just analyze the situation below:

The Origin Of The Issue

The white king has not moved. Ignore the h1-rook: we are not interested in it. Better watch a white pawn that is rushing to the other end of the field. It will soon transform into any piece the player wants.

But what if you summon a rook? This piece has not moved either: it’s freshly placed there. Which means it can participate in castling. At least it was possible at that time.

The Origin Of The Issue 2

The queen jumps over one square, and the rook comes all the way to it. It lands on e2, putting the opponent in check and creating a dangerous situation! Isn’t it impressive?

Vertical Castling Chess Now

Vertical Castling Chess Now

Unfortunately, the rules needed to be changed because of this problem. So now it won’t count as a move if you do something like that. The rook and the king need to be on the same rank (horizontal line). Only then can you launch the maneuver. And there are only 2 ways it can happen: on the right or left sides.

Learn More About The Game

Vertical castling in chess is an interesting loophole found in the previous version of the rules. It’s a pity it’s not possible to do something like that in modern matches. But at least you can enjoy the clever maneuver developed by a talented player! It allows you to dive deeper into the challenge. As well as to set up your mind for the right type of board perception. Try to find other curious and unexpected tricks to be smarter than your opponent!

Check out this video summary to see a slightly different version of the move.