Viktor Korchnoi and castling


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Thibault de Vassal    (2009-11-29)
Viktor Korchnoi and castling

Just noticed this funny story in a Wikipedia article :)

"Viktor Korchnoi, in his 1974 Candidates final match with Anatoly Karpov, famously asked the arbiter if castling was legal when the castling rook was under attack. The answer was in the affirmative, and Korchnoi ended up winning the game."

Most probably a psychological attack, like often at this time and particularly during the matches Karpov vs. Korchnoi ;) Everybody knows the yoghourt story...

William Taylor    (2009-11-29 19:52:10)
Yoghurt story?

I don't know it - please tell me!

Philip Roe    (2009-11-29 21:47:19)
Korchnoi and Castling

I read an account by Korchnoi himself (although I dont recall where) that it was a real uncertainty. He said that in all his career he had never encountered the situation.

Nick Burrows    (2009-11-29 21:57:06)
yogurt story$$01.htm I realised recently that i was unsure if castling was prohibited after moving a rook, then returning it to it's original square?
I believe castling is then prohibited - can someone verify this ;-)

William Taylor    (2009-11-29 22:08:59)

Thanks for the link, Nick.

You're right - can't castle after moving the rook, even if it's been returned to its starting square.

Philip Roe    (2009-11-30 04:11:28)
Further Clarification

For further clarification on the catling rules, see Tim Krabbe's contribution in

Daniel Parmet    (2009-12-04 05:27:11)
Re: Korchnoi and castling

I and My opponent had to ask the arbiter if castling was illegal in the same situation was Korchnoi... only the Arbiter didn't know! We had to ask about 7 other chess players before we found someone sure that it was.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-12-04 13:13:05)

Funny story... So we can imagine the problems referees may encounter in OTB tournaments when the question is more complex :)