I am a rookie in chess. I can't understand why castling is needed.
In what scenarios is castling useful?
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Castling is extremely useful in almost all games. It lets you do two things at once. First, it moves your king from the center to the side of the board, where it is much more difficult to attack for the opponent. Second, it brings one of your rooks towards the center of the board, and it crucial in bringing both of your rook into the game.
There may be a number of potential reasons why these points might not make sense to you. Here is an (incomplete) list:
a) you do not feel that the king is in danger in the center
b) you feel that the danger on the side of the board is the same
c) you feel that activating the rook is not too useful
For a) you should probably have a look at how to attack if the king stays in the center; develop, try to rip open the center e.g., by advancing (even at the cost of sacrificing) some pawns in the center. Once you find out how to do this and also experience how it feels being torn apart by such an attack, you will appreciate being able to quickly move the king out of the center.
For b) it is important to understand that, generally, the initial pawn positions on the 2nd/7th rank are the most resistant. It might be that you unnecessarily weaken the protection of your king by pawn moves here. Also you should have a look at some standard motifs, such as the classic bishop sacrifice (google the keyword). Avoid such configurations and do not push the pawns in front of your king too much and you will soon realize that the side of the board is a much safer place to be.
Finally, concerning c), it is a sad truth that many players do not use all or even most of their pieces. Having a rook stuck in a corner essentially amounts to having a piece less; for attack and for defense. You should strive to activate all your pieces and also to connect the rooks, possibly even double them on an open file. For this, castling is the single most effective means. All other ways to activating and connecting the rooks likely take both more moves and require additional, potentially weakening, pawn moves.
Castling is a way of strengthening your King for its' defensive position and Rook's position for its' attacking position(Coming to the game)
Types of Castling
King Side denoted by
O-O since the King is moving two squares towards the King-side Rook.
Queen Side denoted by
O-O-O since the King is moving two squares towards the Queen-side Rook.
When not to castle
Why to castle
attacking mindset, wait for the enemy's end to castle and do the castling on the alternative end of your side. Push the pieces and target his weak squares protecting the King i.e. The three pawns protecting the king.
defensive mindset, cover all your pawn structure ahead of king with Knights and Bishop.
General tip: Move the a-file or h-file pawn in case of a
waiting move for the King to escape back rank mate at the later stage.
I castle in most games, but I'll be a contrarian and mention when/why I don't like to castle...
To answer the actual question...
I'll add inline games when I figure out how to do so
Castling is good and very effective tool.
Use it at proper time. Don't go by default (starting point). You have to plan your game accordingly.
It will close the door and put king in very secure place. But remember most secure place is also most dangerous, as now king moving block is less.
And you should keep it in habit of playing with castling. And you'll soon learn its advantage.
Just for practice my brother and I would take turns opening with a castling as soon as possible. While the other practiced attacking the position. This was an effective challenge to developing both of our skills in defending and defeating the move.
I do think too often many players use castling as an escape from attack. IMHO this is only a prolonging of the inevitable. It may prolong the game and a good player can easily continue an attack when castling is used to escape.
Castling should be planned as an element of defense in the overall game. The most obvious factor is to which side to castle. Often based on the attack approach of the opponent.
Just FYI, for some damn reason I prefer the King's side. Would be nice to see a vote on this. And tie it to right handed and left handed persons.
It's also important to note that castling is not always required. Once you reach about 1800-2000 level, you'll start to see that in certain (closed) positions, like in some variations of the French, moving the king up and manually connecting your rooks may be required/favored. However, even in those positions, castling is generally a good idea.
The only reason you wouldn't castle is if the position is very closed and you have a specific role for the king that wouldn't cause it unnecessary danger and/or if your pieces are on the other side of the board and you can defend your king better if it manually shifted over by a square or two.
However, this requires deep positional understanding and tactical sacrificial understanding (your opponents potential sacs), so as a general rule, I'd advise for castling.
However, develop your pieces to take key squares away from your opponent first, then castle. Don't castle just because you can, but because you should. However, in the opening, sometimes other priorities are more important, like a crucial square, winning a piece, forcing your opponent to play other moves to gain tempo, etc.