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alice02 20 ( +1 | -1 )
castling same side as opponent? All other things being approximately equal, are there any benefits to castling on either the same side or different side as opponent?. Especially if castling is done within the first ten moves
umpito 21 ( +1 | -1 )
castling same side as opponent? I think that if you castle on the opposite side from your opponent, you have a better opportunity to pawnstorm against the your opponent's king. But then again, your opponent can do the same to you!

paulberg 90 ( +1 | -1 )
Opposite side!? I have not read any books or heard anything to suggest that one is better than another. However, generally speaking the more material you can have attacking your opponents king (generally castled) the better. And, if you can get your opponents material on the other side of the board this would help your cause. Respectively, your opponent now has the same advantage.

My opinion is that perhaps as white (since you have a slight tempo advantage) to castle opposite might (emphasis on MIGHT) lend to an advantage as white has an opportunity to initiate an attack first. As in the English Attack against the Sicilian where white 0-0-0 then thrust a pawn attack on the opponents 0-0. Other than that, I don't know that there should be much thought put towards this issue.

If anyone else has a differing opinion, please comment.
chuckventimiglia 38 ( +1 | -1 )
The opposite side, the same... side or not castling at all depends entirely
on your position. Castling is not always a
good thing especially if the Queens are off the
board. The King becomes a fighting piece and
manuering the King during the middle game can
gain both tempo and control in the end game.
In many games where Black plays the French
castling becomes secondary.

It all depends on position.
paulberg 70 ( +1 | -1 )
chuckventimiglia Excellent point. You're right.. depending on position, sometimes it is necessary to either delay or not caslte at all. However, your comment on not castling to keep your king in play was interesting. I've found that castling in general is good practice. I also make it a practice to connect my rooks as soon as possible after castling. So, my point is that after castling and connecting rooks, usually the king ends up having ample room to move about (and, I agree that the king should be able to contribute). Your comment may probably serve beginners as they tend to castle away their king in hopes of an impenetratable barrier of protection.

God bless.
peppe_l 168 ( +1 | -1 )
Here is one example 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Nd2 e6 9.Ngf3 Bxf3 10.Nxf3 Bd6 11.Bg3 (more common is 10.Bxd6) 11...0-0 12.0-0-0?

Here it was correct to play 12.0-0, 12.0-0-0 is bad!

Why? Because:

- By playing c3 White has given Black a target, after b5-b4 (thematic plan in these type of positions, known as minority attack) files will open (note c-file is already semi-open) against White king. Black pawns in f7-g7-h7 are in their original squares, making opening files vs Black king much more difficult. It takes more moves from White pawns to get in contact with Black pawns.

- White pieces (Nf3, Bg3) are making it more difficult for pawns to advance, whereas Black pawns are free to march forward. Time is crucial in these positions and very often small nuances become important.

- Black pieces are ready to support the attack better. Nc6 can jump to b4, an important square Bd6 is controlling as well. Rooks can move to c8 & b8, where they control semi-open c-file and soon open b-file. White rooks have no open or semi-open files against Black king.

- White Queen is badly placed (especially if Black plays Rab8 followed by aforementioned b5-b4), and relocating it is not as easy as it seems. For example 12...Rfc8 13.Qc2 (13.Bxd6 Qxd6 14.Qxb7 is dangerous because it opens b-file against White king) 13...Nb4!


Of course there can be other factors, too. For example if you imagine similar position where Black has already played a6-b5, White stands even worse.

The Art Of The Middlegame by Kotov & Keres has an excellent chapter on these type of positions (I read it years ago), I recommend it to everyone.