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Castling on the e-file with a promoted rook, an idea immortalized by Tim Krabbe and Max Pam, is no longer legal since FIDE amended the wording to state that castling is an actionn on the first/eigth rank. This new wording seemingly did away with castling with a promoted rook, but did it really? Let me explain in yet another rules lawyering question.

Imagine that the below position occurs in a tournament and White promotes.

[FEN "8/4k2P/8/8/8/8/8/R3K3 w - - 0 1"]

1. h8=R

Ater Black moves, White castles kingside using the rook! Naturally, Black pulls in the arbiter. Ignoring the preamble in the FIDE laws, White defends themsevles using the current laws of castling in the 2018 rules, step by meticulous step.

  1. "3.8.2 by ‘castling’. This is a move of the king and either rook of the same colour along the player’s first rank, counting as a single move of the king"

Check-White castled on their first rank on a board with two rooks capable of castling.

  1. "and executed as follows: the king is transferred from its original square two squares towards the rook on its original square, then that rook is transferred to the square the king has just crossed."

Check-The king moves two spaces along the first rank towards the rook on its original square, and the rook goes onto the square the king just passed over.

"3.8.2.1 The right to castle has been lost: 3.8.2.1.1 if the king has already moved, or 3.8.2.1.2 with a rook that has already moved."

Some will argue that the rook, having formly been a pawn, has already "moved," but since FIDE took the time to specify where castling may take place, we may presume that they agreed that the rook is unmoved for the purposes of nitpicking. The rook on a1 is also unmoved, so the stipulation of "either rook" is completed.

"3.8.2.2 Castling is prevented temporarily: 3.8.2.2.1 if the square on which the king stands, or the square which it must cross, or the square which it is to occupy, is attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces, or 3.8.2.2.2 if there is any piece between the king and the rook with which castling is to be effected."

Check-No pieces block the paths of either the king or the rook, and nor will the king moves out, through, or into check.

As far as I can tell, all conditions for castling are in the green, allowing for castling with a promoted rook along a player's first rank. As far as my research goes, this idea goes back to at least 1918, so it seems weird that this loophole hasn't been fixed yet. Then again, it is a really obscure idea

Is there any glaring flaw in this rules lawyer case, or is it solid until FIDE fixes it? An obvious fix would be make so that the wording reads "This is a move of the king and either starting rook of the same colour," since it is simple and unambiguous.

Addednum

As commenters have rightfully pointed out, I was vauge as to what my interpertation of the rules were. The point I meant to make was that it is possbile to interpert 3.8.2 as meaning that castling is a move of the king, and not the king and rook, on a player's first rank. The definition of "towards" is loose, as @Annatar pointed out below @Brian Tower's answer. Do note that the arguement is not meant to be strong, but rather merely exist.

I suppose what is comes down to is that the way 3.8.2 is written can be argued to have a syntactic ambiguity. 3.8.2 can mean either "This is a move of the king, and either rook of the same colour, along the player’s first rank," or "This is a move of the king and either rook of the same colour along the player’s first rank." The first interperation combined with the loose meaning "towards" are what culminate in the weak and absurd, but amusing, arguement that castling can be done on a player's first rank with a promoted rank.

The idea of this rule lawyering question is not to exploit any possible loopholes, but to point out a potential ambiguity in the rules to plug it before it gets abused. If there is no loophole, the idea is also to hopefully point out, in a clear manner, what exactly refutes it.

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    I can't follow this interpretation past the first point. The rules text is constructed as "This is a move of (the subjects) along the player’s first rank, counting as a single move of the king" and your interpretation seems to implicitly take the clause "along the player's first rank" and apply it only to the king - but without addressing this as an aspect of your interpretation, as if it should be a given. – Klaycon Jun 22 at 15:18
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    You miss on the first point, you only have one rook capable of castling as the other rook is not on the first rank, and thus cannot castle along the first rank. – jmarkmurphy Jun 22 at 15:33
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    @RewanDemontay If you are going to pick nits with wording, you are going to have to be precise in your wording. "The argument is whether or not the h8 rook is capable of castling in the first place, so it is irrelevant to say that it can't." makes no sense. If it is indeed your intent to argue whether or not the h8 rook is capable of castling, then it is entirely relevant to say it can't, in fact, that is the other side of the argument. – jmarkmurphy Jun 22 at 18:38
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    Is the argument "assuming we can add a comma to change the meaning of the rule" being made? Even in your addendum, you felt the need to add a comma to turn "... and either rook of the same color" into a parenthetical. – Cort Ammon Jun 22 at 22:36
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I suppose what is comes down to is that the way 3.8.2 is written can be argued to have a syntactic ambiguity. 3.8.2 can mean either "This is a move of the king, and either rook of the same colour, along the player’s first rank," or "This is a move of the king and either rook of the same colour along the player’s first rank."

There's no ambiguity. "And" means "and"—it means that both of the things mentioned participate in the event or state described by the sentence. "Bob and Sarah went to the store" can't mean that Bob went to the store while Sarah went somewhere else; it can only mean that Bob went to the store and Sarah went to the store, too. Likewise, "This is a move of the king, and either rook of the same colour, along the player's first rank" can't mean that it's a move of the king along the first rank while the rook moves in a different way; it can only mean that it's a move of the king along the first rank, and it's simultaneously a move of the rook along the first rank.

So, in order to for a move to be a valid castle, the rook must move along the first rank. The meaning of the word "along" implies that the rook must be on the first rank throughout the duration of the move; in particular, it's impossible to move the rook "along the first rank" if it is not on the first rank to begin with.

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Is there any glaring flaw in this rules lawyer case, or is it solid until FIDE fixes it?

Yes, there is a glaring flaw in your case. The rook and king have to be on the same rank. This is clear from the text of the rule and the diagrams which follow. Here is the text from the latest FIDE Laws of Chess:

3.8.2 by ‘castling’. This is a move of the king and either rook of the same colour along the player’s first rank, counting as a single move of the king and executed as follows: the king is transferred from its original square two squares towards the rook on its original square, then that rook is transferred to the square the king has just crossed.

These are the obvious objections to your attempted interpretation:

  1. The two pieces start on different ranks, hence cannot move along the same rank.
  2. The rook's original square is h8. The king is on e1. There is no square on the board which is exactly two squares away from the king in the direction of the rook.
  3. Consequently there is no "square the king has just crossed".

Furthermore, if you go to the link and find section 3.8.2 you will also find that it ends with four diagrams illustrating how castling may be perfortmed.

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