Castling on a chess app is just about the same as castling over the board, and even better. In this article, we will explain the steps you should take to successfully castle on chess apps, and discuss the advantages of castling on these apps compared to castling on a physical chess board. Let’s jump in.
How To Castle In Chess App?
Castling on chess apps such as lichess or chess.com is quite simple. Just highlight the king and move it 2 squares closer to the rook in the corner, then the computer will jump the rook over the king to complete castling.
Let’s look at a thorough breakdown:
For kingside castle, click on the king. Then, click on the second square to the right of the king if you are white, or click the second square left of the king if you are black. This should move the king two steps closer to the corner, after which the rook jumps over automatically and lands on the f1 square (f8 square for black).
Before Castling Kingside
Position after castling Kingside
Unlike over the board chess, you don’t need to jump the rook over the king as the computer does it for you. When castling on chess apps or any chess website, all you need to do is move the king two steps closer to the corner and the computer will complete castling for you.
The same method applies for queenside castle. Click the king and move it 2 squares closer to the corner of the board. The app will cause the rook to jump over and land next to the king (d1 square for white, d8 square for black)
Before queenside castling
After queenside castling
The Drag And Drop Method
Apps like chess.com or lichess are designed with a drag and drop interface. Rather than clicking a piece to a desired square, you can simply drag and drop it on that square. This is especially useful when you are playing blitz or bullet matches on your smartphone or computer as “drag and drop” buys you a lot more time than clicking on the pieces.
Why Castling On Chess Apps Is Better Than Over The Board?
When you use chess apps to play chess, their user interface will guide you along the way, even if you don’t know how the pieces move. They usually have dotted indicators that highlights the path to which the piece can legally move.
In the case of castling, the app or website will show you the squares where it’s possible to move your king which are indicated by dots.
In the image below, the black king can move two steps and castle as indicated by the dots.
Chess.com app highlights the path to which the king castles with 2 dots
Note: If you click the square next to the black king, the king will not castle as you intended. It will simply move to the f8 square and you would have lost all castling rights. The right square to click is the second square to the left of the black king (the g8 square).
Black castles kingside
Another reason why castling on chess apps are better than over the board is that you have less room for mistakes if not zero. In over the board game, you can make an illegal move by castling your king out of check which is forbidden. This can result in a loss of the game depending on whether the tournament is playing with handicaps.
However, when you play on chess apps with other players, the computer doesn’t allow you to make an illegal move no matter how hard you try. This makes the learning curve for beginners a lot easier because they get to understand how the pieces move. Speaking of illegal moves, let’s discuss the conditions to which castling is possible on chess apps.
Conditions For Castling On Chess App
When castling on chess apps, you need to be mindful of the following rules. If you are not aware of them, you may run into a lot of difficulties trying to castle. Here is what you should know:
- The app will not allow you to castle if your king or rook has already been moved in the game.
- The app will not allow you to castle if the path to which the king castles is controlled by enemy pieces.
- The app will not allow you to castle if there are pieces on the backrank between the king and rook.
- The app will not allow you to castle out of check. You would need to block the check, remove the piece that is delivering the check or sidestep the king to a safe square.
Lichess Vs Chess.com: Which is the better app?
I’ve played on both lichess and chess.com and the conclusion is that both apps are great. You can play anyone in the world on these apps as long as you have their usernames. Just send them a challenge, which they can either accept or reject. If you don’t want to take that route, you can randomly select a game and their software will pair you with random players across the world with similar ratings.
Both chess.com and lichess have different variants of chess which can help to add more fun and excitement to the game. One of the variants I love the most is “no castling chess”. It lets you appreciate the value of castling even more and it can be used as a trainer to develop your defensive skills in actual standard chess.
Castling in chess app is much easier than castling over the board. And, as a beginner, you don’t have to worry about falling for illegal moves as the computer will not allow you to make those moves anyway.
Most chess apps will use dots to indicate the path to which the pieces can move. It’s strongly recommended that you leave this feature on if you are just starting out. You’ll learn much quicker and enjoy the game even more.