Prophylaxis in chess

Definition: In simple words prophylaxis is stopping opponent’s idea. In the game of Chess one plays according to some strategies. The moves of a player are based on that. One must constantly look for figuring out opponent’s idea of any move played let alone last move.

Illustration:

look at this diagram with Black to move. Here White is threatening a checkmate on h7 in next move. Black must be in some dream so instead of playing h6,he plays a rook move and gets checkmated.

How to develop Prophylactic thinking?

Following methods can be adopted while playing:-

  • Ask yourself what is the threat created by your opponent’s last move. a check mate? or a piece capture? This is beginner’s training of mind to develop prophylactic thinking but pretty effective

  • Next comes the bigger ideas one must look for in opponent’s last move. For example-controlling square, mating Nate etc.

    Example

  • Finally comes the practice factor. One needs to practice a number of positions and there is no short cut to this. It is suggested to have a good book on this. Although there are many good books, Chessophile recommends ‘THE COMPLETE MANNUAL OF POSITIONAL CHESS.’

Test Your Skill:-

Following position is taken from THE COMPLETE MANNUAL OF POSITIONAL CHESS book

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