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A prophylactic move is a move which anticipates (an) opposing move(s) and prevents it.

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 k d8 r e8 r f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 p d7 e7 n f7 p g7 p h7 p 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 p c5 d5 p e5 f5 b g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 n c4 d4 P e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 P f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 P b2 P c2 P d2 e2 B f2 P g2 P h2 P 2
1 a1 R b1 c1 B d1 e1 K f1 R g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
In this position, black is looking forward to forking white's King and Rook. White should play Bd1 to prevent black's plan.
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