[Retros] Castling in the future...

A J Mestel A.J.Mestel at damtp.cam.ac.uk
Tue Aug 24 10:24:26 EDT 2004

I agree the logical definition of whether castling is possible is whether
or not a legal sequence of moves in which castling appears could occur.

Thus if my only options are to mate in 1 or to forego castling forever I
cannot castle and the positions are the same if I repeat position.

But I'm sure we're not out of the woods yet...there may be complications
involving the 50move rule or how about:

W: Ka5 Ba4 Pc5
B: Ke8 Pb5 Rh8

If Black can castle his last move was b7-b5. But if White plays cxb6+
Black can never castle...so why can I assume castling is legal? No doubt
the codex people have thought of this...

There is a related question for the practical player: If I lose on time
and my opponent has a bare king the game is usually declared a draw,
beacuse I cannot get mated, whereas if I have
K+Q+R and my opponent has K+P I lose, because usually there is a legal
sequence in which I get mated. But what about K+Q+R against K+B? Now there
is no possible mate and "logically" it should be a draw, but I'm not sure
what the rulemakers think of this. And it's easy to construct positions
where both sides have mating material but the game is drawn in "dead
reckoning" terms. If I could not possibly ever lose, do I lose if I
overstep the time limit? I ought to know, but I don't.

Jonathan Mestel

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