In general, as White, I prefer to castle queenside and then start attacking with a kingside pawn storm. Every time, I hope that my opponent lets me do it.

For instance, when I play 1. d4 (or 1. c4), I hope my opponent does the King's Indian so that I can go to my Saemisch setup with queenside castling. Similarly, when I play 1 e4, I hope my opponent plays the Sicilian so that I can go for the Yugoslav or English attack.

However, in both instances, Black has to cooperate to let me castle queenside. For instance, with the Slav against 1 d4 or 1...e5 against 1 e4, it becomes difficult for me.

Hence, in general, is there an opening system for White where I can go queenside castling irrespectivly for how Black plays? The closest that comes to this seems to be the London system, but I haven't deployed it much in my games. I am mainly a 1. c4 player (and play 1. e4 occasionally when I know that my opponent might play the Sicilian).

  • 4
    Black can in many cases delay castling after white does and choose to castle the same side. See also answers in this post chess.stackexchange.com/q/19462/7002
    – jf328
    Nov 12, 2018 at 14:55
  • 2
    You might try the Veresov System (1.d4, 2.Nc3)
    – Ywapom
    Nov 14, 2018 at 22:03

5 Answers 5


The London System is unlikely to be your answer, as white almost always castles kingside. If you want to castle queenside, then 1.c4 is really the last way you should be playing, as white rarely castles queenside in openings where the c-pawn is moved early.

On the whole, I'd say 1.e4 is probably your best bet, as the Sicilian is the most common reply, when queenside castling is possible in most variations with Be3/Qd2/f3 setups. It is also usually possible against the caro-kann and scandinavian in the main lines (although black often castles queenside too), and also the pirc/modern. Against the french you can play the classical with 4.e5, which often features opposite side castling, or the Reti Gambit.

Against 1.e4 e5, I think it's better to play main lines, but you can pretty much get a sharp queenside castling position by force in the Centre Game, where the main line is something like 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 0-0 7.0-0-0. Objectively, black is fine, but most opponents will not be prepared for it and you may catch out a few people who think the Centre Game is bad and do not play seriously against it.

Not sure about rarer lines like the Alekhine defence, 1...b6, 1...Nc6, and such, but in my experience you don't face that stuff very often.

Of course, I cannot really recommend such a single-minded approach. It's better for your game if you play all types of positions, and you can often attack with same-side castling.


You can play some sort of Hyppopotamus System, in no particular order Pawns to b3, c3, d3, then Bb2, Qc2, Nd2, and then long castle. You are almost sure of achieving it irrespective for how Black plays, (unless Black foolishly sacrifices some pieces). Then perhaps e4, f4 and maybe even g4 (according to Black's play).

Of course this is a very unorthodox system, so I'd suggest to play it only in blitz and bullet chess.


Well, In the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, players often castle queenside. However, it is, as the name suggests, a gambit. You must be willing to sacrifice a pawn. I'm uncertain how often a pawn storm is recommended, but h3 and g4 are often played by White to my understanding. You could also play the King's Indian Attack. Although it does often castle kingside, it is often a good idea to push your pawns on the kingside and attack with those.

EDIT: I don't know at what level you play and with what time control, but the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is of course not completely sound.


Silly rabbit, attacking king side does not require a queen side castle. Try Bird's opening (1. F4). You will usually castle king side, but you'll usually use a queen side fianchetto. From's Gambit (1... E4) will either transition to King's Gambit or you can accept and likely castle queen side if at all (but black will probably also castle queen side because the king's side is absolutely destroyed for both players).

In any case, Bird's opening is your best bet for an accelerated attack on the king's side. Flip your opponent The Bird now and then, but your best bet overall is to be flexible and adjust to what your opponent actually plays, regardless of how you open. Your king's best safe space is going to depend upon what your opponent is doing. If you castle early, it'll always be king side. Queen side is always a delayed castle.

Please note that although it is also a wing attack, the similarities with 1. C4 are purely cosmetic. It's an entirely different game.


Intermediate player here. I realize you asked this question 2 years ago but I found this post after I googled the same question with the same strategy in mind. Hopefully you'll get this. I've found good success with queenside castles in the London System/Torre Attack (I go with the Torre if I can pin the f6 knight in my third move). Typically white plays: d4, Nf3, Bf4/Bg5, e3, Bd3, Nbd2, c3, Qe2. Move order can fluctuate to suit your needs. If black castles kingside, then white continues with a queenside castle and h+g file pawn storm. If black castles queenside, then white continues with a kingside castle and a+b file pawn storm. If black doesn't castle, then white drives play through the center beginning with an e4 pawn push. Of course not everything goes according to plan but I've had good results with with this system as a jumping-off point and find it to be very adaptable. A similar setup/strategy can work for black against d4 openings.

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