When I play Bughouse, I see that, every single time after a castling, petty sacrifices can easily be break the wall that surrounds the king,Therefore, is it really worth castling, especially short castling, in Bughouse?

2 Answers 2


Tempo is king in bug house for castling. By definition, unless your castle makes a immediate threat somehow, you have lost 1 tempo. In other words, it is at least one more move until you improve or gain position to attack.
If it takes your op 2 or more moves to make a threat, then you have a +1 tempo gain and it might be worth it. If you are under immediate threats, then this might be good also if it forces a 1 tempo action for op to retarget.

If your partner's board is timelocked, then it may be of long term value to castle. Depends on how many troops are waiting to crash down. Your board becomes more like a normal yet rapid chess game

  • like @bvauughn says, castling wastes tempo, and it weakens your king tremendously in the majority of cases. so, therefore, it is usually not a good idea to castle in bughouse. for a good opening that doesn't involve castling, check this out: chess.stackexchange.com/questions/15718/… Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 12:45
  • You know, I have played with chess masters who castled but I wondered about it nonetheless. What about the argument that it protects the king?
    – Jeff
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 2:36

It is certainly believed by many that castling is a "bad" move in bughouse (and if king side castling is weak, queen side in my experience can be much worse). But I have seen world class (2500+) BH players castle either side, probably more commonly k-side.

One of the chief ways in which a castled king (on the king side) is attacked is via the H pawn and it is clear that defending that pawn is harder than most squares: The king protects it but that is surely not a very good protector because of course if the pawn is taken, the king is now on H2 or H7 and then is subject often to a mating attack. Since the H pawn is at the edge of the board, there are no squares to the left (or right if you are white) of it on which to place protectors. So basically H2/H7 is a very weak square and the poor king is right next to it.

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