Kramnik on no-castling-chess

Apparently Kramnik – after he retired from chess – came back with the intention to spoil my project. In an article on he proposed to eliminate castling from the rules of the game and argues that this would make forced draws less likely or even impossible.

I must protest against this subversive way of thinking! Chess is neither about talent nor creativity over the board. Chess is the equivalent of life! You study hard, you work hard, you pass the test and you achieve exactly the same as everyone else. Chess is all about equality and engines are the tool to create social justice! You study forced draws, you memorize your analysis, you make the draw and everyone is happy. Nobody is better, nobody is worse, nobody is superior, nobody is inferior. There are no gender differences, there is no racism, it is just white pieces vs. black pieces. Ok, black starts a tempo down and must fight for equality, but at least the players will switch colors afterwards. We are living in an age where people study hard and work their asses off all day long to get absolutely nothing. Chess should not provide a loophole to break out of the hamster wheel. This clown world deserves clown grandmasters with Elo 3800 openings and 1900 playing strength.

I even go a step further: If the engine shows 0.00 players should be allowed to claim a theoretical draw to end the game right there!


Ok, let’s get more serious. It would be interesting to make a study of openings that immediately become unplayable for black without castling, or where castling is the only way to keep an advantage for white. Kramniks preferred treatment of the Qc2-Nimzo would be illegal all of a sudden. How good is the Rauzer Sicilian if white cannot castle long anymore? Would the Four-Pawns-Attack refute the KID? The Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez would be gone because white can’t castle at move 5. Engines would find something.