It is my understanding that a castling move cannot occur if the king / rook moved. However, in the case where a rook and king move but end up in their original spots, can a castling move occur?

  • No question that similar questions have been asked, but unless someone asked specifically about both peices moving back and then castling, it is a different question. Same answers do not count. If so, do not close. Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 3:06
  • Reopen. Again, the answer is the same, but people have trouble grasping that that question is different. It is not a duplicate. <SMH> Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 10:25
  • 3
    @PhishMaster it's common practice across the Stack Exchange network to close questions as duplicate of 'canonical' questions if the answer can be found there.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 12:34
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    Sorry, common practice, or not, it is wrong. The question is NOT a duplicate. It is a pretty simple matter of reading. On a board that does not get the same number of people as Stack Overlow, we should not be discouraging participation by closing, CLEARLY, different QUESTIONS. Also, I have really come to believe that moderators should not use close votes at all unless it is 100% a duplicate since they override the will of the people with one click. Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 12:40
  • Since people address upvoting that comment, I will go one further: This question is a request to clarify the rules, and if you read the duplicate question, it does not answer this question. It just gives those rules. The answer to this one is a simple "no". Referring someone to that question still leaves them to figure out what the answer is. Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


Sorry, no. Once either has moved, it can no longer be involved in castling. An unmoved king, and the other unmoved rook can still castle.


The answer is NO. Neither the King nor the Rook on the side you want to castle should not had moved previously AND there is one important fact, the Rooks should be on the initial position rank!

There were some lacks in rules of castling in chess history and some people made fun of this by creating funny joke puzzles like this one:

enter image description here

An example was composed by Tim Krabbé and relied on a loophole that existed in the definition of castling. In the diagram, White must mate in three moves. The solution begins 1. e7, then the main variations are:

1... Kd3 2. e8=Q gxf3 (other moves allow Qe2#) 3. 0-0-0#
1... Kxf3 2. e8=R! (an underpromotion), and now:
2... d4 3. 0-0#
2... Kg2 3. 0-0-0-0#!

In the last variation, White castles with his newly promoted rook, moving his king to e3 and the rook to e2. Under the rules of chess at the time, this move was arguably legal because the rook had not moved yet. Afterward, FIDE amended the rules to require that the castling rook must occupy the same rank as the king


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