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In chess, Prophylaxis means guarding or preventing a move before it is made. A prophylactic move usually haults the opponent from taking action in an area. One example of prophylaxis is, when the king is buried behind a wall of pawns, moving a pawn to the 3 or 4 rank in order avoid back rank mate when playing as White. Or, say if White is planning to do the Greek Gift Sacrifice, Black can play g6 to prevent it. Prophylaxis leads to a positional game often frustrating players with strong tactical orientation. Famous practitioners include:


  • Aron Nimzowitsch


  • Anatoly Karpov


  • Tigran Petrosian




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