How to handle opposite side castling?

Comments: 7

While playing a game, the most important measure to protect your king is castling. There are certain situations where we castle on the opposite side to our opponent’s king.

There are quite a lot of openings that often lead to opposite side castling situations. For instance, the Sicilian Defense, Pirc and French defense.

Now, here is a question for you – have you ever faced opposite side castling situations in your own games? Were you successful at it all the time?


Answering “Yes!” to the above question is not that easy! Because it is difficult to be successful at one thing always, unless you’re very well experienced with it and have 100% knowledge of it.

Playing opposite side castling middlegames is not an easy task. If you don’t play with a proper plan, your opponent may crush you in just a few moves.

This is because the main idea, when players castle on opposite sides, is TO ATTACK THE OPPONENT’S KING. So it’s something like, “If you don’t do it, he/she WILL.” To be more precise, it is a matter of “To kill or be killed!

With the kings on opposite sides, we can often see that each player is trying to open files across to the enemy king. The most common method is to push pawns, because in the given situation it doesn’t weaken your own king.

Control over the centre plays an important role as well, as the side dominating in the centre can more easily increase his attacking chances or stop an opponent`s initiative.

But this is not all – a lot of other things have to be known while playing opposite side castling. So here is the BIG question for youhow to handle opposite side castling?

To answer this question, we’ve invited a TOP Grandmaster – GM Vadim Milov – to join us.


He’s the #1 player in Switzerland, has won a couple of international tournaments and has a top rating of 2705.

This Sunday, 11 January, at 3 p.m. GMT UK time (check timings here: LINK), you can attend GM Milov’s webinar: “How to handle opposite side castling?

You can find all the details and sign up here:



<<Sign up for the webinar now>>


Finally, I’d like to test your tactical skills.

It is White’s turn now. Black has made a mistake in his last move by playing …Qxd4. How can White take advantage of this blunder?

After calculating all variations, you can find the answer here: LINK

P.S. The number of seats for the webinar is limited to 100 only. Hurry up and join the webinar now before all the seats are occupied.
Comments: 7

Comments 7

  1. “With opposite side castling the mecca is to sacrifice anything except time – it’s a race to checkmate the enemy King!”
    White can refute Black’s pawn grabbing strategy by 1.Ng6! (protecting f4 and also threatening the h8-rook) The knight can’t be taken …fxg6 because of Bxg6+ with dual threat on the King and Queen. Now if 1…Rg8 then 2.Rhe1 bringing the least active piece into the attack, 2…Be6 is met by 3.Bf5! and no need to say more.
    I’m also interested to know when is GM’s Smirnov book on chess psychology be completed for publishing?

    1. Hi Day_Dreamer,

      I can not tell the exact date of Igor’s book release, but it should be in the near future. Please follow our blog, we will definitely publish the information about this book when we have an update.

      Best regards,
      Silvestras | Student Support Officer

  2. Hîiii woodpushers! :)))) Happy New Year ! I miss playing chess… GM Igor thanks… =) You’re a very good chess master 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


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