# Does permanent loss of castling rights reset three fold repetition?

Threefold repetition requires that the same "potential for moves". For example, if an en passant move could be played in one position but not another, it does not count as the same position.

With respect to threefold repetition, would the positions be considered the same if:

• In the first position, the king cannot castle because it is in check, pieces are blocking, or for some other reason, but it could castle otherwise.
• In the second position, the king cannot castle because it has already moved.
• Yes, same goes for en passant Sep 30, 2019 at 11:21
• This question has been asked multiple times before, e.g. in chess.stackexchange.com/questions/22910/… . Personally I believe the rules are not 100% clear. Sep 30, 2019 at 12:01

According to the FIDE Laws of Chess:

9.2.2 Positions are considered the same if and only if the same player has the move, pieces of the same kind and colour occupy the same squares and the possible moves of all the pieces of both players are the same. Thus positions are not the same if:

9.2.2.1 at the start of the sequence a pawn could have been captured en passant
9.2.2.2 a king had castling rights with a rook that has not been moved, but forfeited these after moving. The castling rights are lost only after the king or rook is moved.

With respect to threefold repetition, would the positions be considered the same if:

In the first position, the king cannot castle because it is in check, pieces are blocking, or for some other reason, but it could castle otherwise

Although castling is temporarily prevented the king still has castling rights. They are not lost if castling is temporarily prevented by check or blocking pieces. They are only lost if the king or rook moves.

With regard to:

With respect to threefold repetition, would the positions be considered the same if:

In the second position, the king cannot castle because it has already moved.

The rules are clear. If the king has lost castling rights since the the first position then the positions are not the same and a draw cannot be claimed.

Does permanent loss of castling rights reset three fold repetition?

Yes. That's what the rule says.

• The wording of 9.2.2 is a bit confusing. Given 9.2.2.1, my explanation is that when they write "possible moves", they mean "the set of all legal future sequences of moves", not "the set of all legal next plies". But that could have been written better. Sep 30, 2019 at 11:33
• The key is though, what if the position is such that although the king still has castling rights, there is no possible series of legal moves for it to castle? Like if it is immediately forced to move because of the check in the current position. Then all future possible moves are exactly the same. Sep 30, 2019 at 12:04
• @RewanDemontay That was the subject of my question - chess.stackexchange.com/questions/25113/…. Conclusion: you may have the right but you can't actually make the move without the rook involved. Sep 30, 2019 at 13:20
• @RewanDemontay: The "rook has been captured without moving" subtlety cannot be relevant for the threefold-repetition rule, though -- it's trivially impossible for any situation to recur after a capture anyway, because the total number of pieces on the board will have decreased. Sep 30, 2019 at 19:38
• The famous unmoved-rook-capture lacuna is relevant for repetition. Suppose KRR for a player never moved, and both rooks were captured on their home squares. If the castling rights persist, then the king cannot start to participate in the dance of moves to repeat a position. Personally I think this hole in the rules is big enough to be worth fixing. Jul 26, 2023 at 4:23