Win More Chess Games Using Prophylaxis

Every chess player improves by applying prophylaxis to their games. You can do it consciously or without knowing you are using it.

Power up Your Chess With Powerful Prophylaxis Featured Image 1

The moment you stop to ask, “What is my opponent’s plan?” and make a move to prevent that plan, you are applying prophylaxis. 

Seeing your opponent’s immediate threats is one thing, but anticipating his plan several moves in advance is more challenging. To reach this point in your chess development, you must make an in-depth study of prophylaxis. 

Make it a vital part of your chess training, no matter your playing level.

Although you are likely to change your opening repertoire, the chess strategy of prophylaxis is one you will use your entire chess career.

World Champion Anatoly Karpov was known for using prophylaxis in many of his chess games. Please take a look at how Karpov used it in his victory over Timman.

Prophylaxis Is Crucial In Chess Openings

Playing chess openings on auto-pilot is never a good idea! Sometimes we become so familiar with our openings we assume our opponent will follow theory.

In light of this danger, it is good to understand the reasons behind the moves in your opening repertoires—especially the chess moves where you apply prophylaxis.

One of the best chess openings that use prophylaxis is the Ruy Lopez. The opening moves are 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6.

Ruy Lopez 3...a6
Ruy Lopez 3…a6

White’s attempt to win a pawn with 4.Bxc6 and 5.Nxe5 fail if Black recaptures with the d-pawn. 4…dxc6 allows Black to meet 5.Nxe5 with 5…Qd4 attacking pawn and knight.

By choosing to play 4…dxc6 in his chess opening, Black uses prophylaxis. He prevents his opponent from winning a pawn.

That’s why the most common response to 3…a6 is 4.Ba4 when play usually continues:

4…Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7

In chess openings like the Ruy Lopez the move h3 is a vital part of your prophylaxis strategy.
Closed Ruy Lopez 9.h3

It is good to consider your plans, how your opponent might react to them, and apply prophylaxis ahead of time in chess. This ensures you can successfully implement your plan.

White played 8.c3 to support the d4 advance. However, if he plays this move instead of 9.h3, Black can apply pressure on the center with …Bg4.

The h3 move in chess openings frequently prevents…Bg4 or …Ng4. Of course, knowing when it is needed and when not to use it is vital.

9.h3 would be a loss of tempo if White intended to play d3 instead of d4 because the pawn on d3 is not under attack. In this instance, White can ignore …Bg4 and continue his development with Nbd2.

What does my opponent want What is his threat? By asking these questions you are applying prophylaxis in chess.

In Conclusion

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and applying prophylaxis in chess will give you much more than an ounce of prevention. In fact, you can play many fine games using prophylaxis as your primary chess strategy.

You can block all of your opponent’s plans and watch as his frustration mounts. The more frustrated you make your opponent, the more likely he will make a mistake.

What can be more satisfying than watching him crumble without being in the slightest danger of losing? Imagine how good it would feel to win a game where your opponent never once placed you in check, never mind threatened a checkmate.

GM Fabien Libiszewski has created a three-hour course packed with practical wisdom that you can apply in your games right away!

The clear explanations behind the moves will not only help you see the value of prophylaxis but also deepen your chess understanding. Most importantly, Fabien will tell you why a move got played.

Don’t hesitate to get your copy of “Prophylaxis=Control” by GM Fabien Libiszewski today! You’ll get instant access and 50% Off!

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One comment on “Win More Chess Games Using Prophylaxis

  1. Robert Balaicius says:

    [Sorry, I think I posted on the wrong page, a comment about the history of chess; so I am posting here.]
    Chess is so complex you do not think one person invented it…? Ernő Rubik, Hungarian inventor, architect and professor of architecture was the sole inventor of Rubic’s Cube. It is rather complex, is it not? Have you ever studied geniuses like Sir Issac Newton to see all that he did alone, inventing calculus and part of the foundation of physics, and many other complex sciences…? Study the accomplishes of Newton and others like him; study philosophy, specifically, logic, and see that logic is actually all mathematics, algebra; with intricate, complex data test algorithms. Who invented / discovered all that complexity? Same with chess. Is it merely a game, an invention, or a discovery around which a game was made? The more apropos question would be: Did the “inventor / discoverer” of chess actually understand the depth and complexity of the game (and how many possible move combinations are possible) and was he even good at it? Or did someone stumble upon a “fun game”, not even understanding its complexity, and it was later after him, others who developed the different strategies—like many mathematicians individually, not even knowing each other, working on a complex problem (as Newton and all the mathematicians often did, independently), and once many strategies and understanding of the science were discovered, notes compared, and others began compiling them into books…? Seems we do not know, but that may hold the key. By the way, I may have made chess history last night, without fanfare. I was playing a guy and doing well, it is timed game, 1 minute moves; I got sloppy and got down, significantly. All I had was a king, and he had all the advantage… but got greedy… he had his king, of course, and a rook, and 1, 2, 3, and then got greedy and though he could have checkmated me 20 moves earlier, he had a queen-fetish and wanted one more queen, but where I moved before he went for the last Lady, the game ended in stalemate. A king, versus a king, rook, and 4 queens. That, of course, brings us to the question of whether all the rules were made at one time by the inventor, or if new rules (like if your pawn makes it all the way to the other side of the board it can become any other piece (except a king); and of course, most want a queen, who is most powerful on the board. Was the queen originally the most-powerful piece or the board or was that changed? It would certainly make sense, especially medievally and anciently, that the king was originally the most powerful piece, and the queen, the one who was carefully guarded; especially since anciently kings were the most-powerful warrior and led into battle. Did the knight originally move in an L, N, or Z shape (depending on perspective); it seems a rather odd movement for a horse; maybe the bishop and knight swapped roles / movement. Of course, castles don’t move at all; so we really can’t put too much analogy into theory. Rejecting the word “evolved” in nearly every application, I would suggest that the game was repeated refined and developed, from simple to complex, and depending upon individual preferences (for if you remove the rules, the direction and space of movement, it becomes less complex, like checkers—which itself shares the notion of being “crowned” once you get any piece to the other side of the board, and then that piece can move forward and backward, but still only in the same manner, diagonally; maybe chess developed out of checkers? maybe checkers developed out of chess for a more-simple game…?); thus like basketball, baseball, football, those ideas in greater popularity became established (or someone super-wealthy says, “its my bat, my ball, my ball field, we play by my rules). There is some food for thought. Bon Appetit! Robert

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One comment on “Win More Chess Games Using Prophylaxis

  1. Robert Balaicius says:

    [Sorry, I think I posted on the wrong page, a comment about the history of chess; so I am posting here.]
    Chess is so complex you do not think one person invented it…? Ernő Rubik, Hungarian inventor, architect and professor of architecture was the sole inventor of Rubic’s Cube. It is rather complex, is it not? Have you ever studied geniuses like Sir Issac Newton to see all that he did alone, inventing calculus and part of the foundation of physics, and many other complex sciences…? Study the accomplishes of Newton and others like him; study philosophy, specifically, logic, and see that logic is actually all mathematics, algebra; with intricate, complex data test algorithms. Who invented / discovered all that complexity? Same with chess. Is it merely a game, an invention, or a discovery around which a game was made? The more apropos question would be: Did the “inventor / discoverer” of chess actually understand the depth and complexity of the game (and how many possible move combinations are possible) and was he even good at it? Or did someone stumble upon a “fun game”, not even understanding its complexity, and it was later after him, others who developed the different strategies—like many mathematicians individually, not even knowing each other, working on a complex problem (as Newton and all the mathematicians often did, independently), and once many strategies and understanding of the science were discovered, notes compared, and others began compiling them into books…? Seems we do not know, but that may hold the key. By the way, I may have made chess history last night, without fanfare. I was playing a guy and doing well, it is timed game, 1 minute moves; I got sloppy and got down, significantly. All I had was a king, and he had all the advantage… but got greedy… he had his king, of course, and a rook, and 1, 2, 3, and then got greedy and though he could have checkmated me 20 moves earlier, he had a queen-fetish and wanted one more queen, but where I moved before he went for the last Lady, the game ended in stalemate. A king, versus a king, rook, and 4 queens. That, of course, brings us to the question of whether all the rules were made at one time by the inventor, or if new rules (like if your pawn makes it all the way to the other side of the board it can become any other piece (except a king); and of course, most want a queen, who is most powerful on the board. Was the queen originally the most-powerful piece or the board or was that changed? It would certainly make sense, especially medievally and anciently, that the king was originally the most powerful piece, and the queen, the one who was carefully guarded; especially since anciently kings were the most-powerful warrior and led into battle. Did the knight originally move in an L, N, or Z shape (depending on perspective); it seems a rather odd movement for a horse; maybe the bishop and knight swapped roles / movement. Of course, castles don’t move at all; so we really can’t put too much analogy into theory. Rejecting the word “evolved” in nearly every application, I would suggest that the game was repeated refined and developed, from simple to complex, and depending upon individual preferences (for if you remove the rules, the direction and space of movement, it becomes less complex, like checkers—which itself shares the notion of being “crowned” once you get any piece to the other side of the board, and then that piece can move forward and backward, but still only in the same manner, diagonally; maybe chess developed out of checkers? maybe checkers developed out of chess for a more-simple game…?); thus like basketball, baseball, football, those ideas in greater popularity became established (or someone super-wealthy says, “its my bat, my ball, my ball field, we play by my rules). There is some food for thought. Bon Appetit! Robert

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