I would like to imitate the prophylactic playing style of Aron Nimzowitsch, Tigran Petrosian and/or Anatoly Karpov. May I know if there are any books/video series that you would recommend?

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There are YouTube videos covering these specific areas but I'm not convinced I could recommend them. Nevertheless, here are 3 for you to try and make your own mind up. They are at least free.

Mastering the Middlegame with Atul Dahale : Aaron Nimzowitsch : Prophylaxis! (link at about 15 minutes in because before that it is mostly irrelevant drivel)

Tigran Petrosian - World Chess Champion - Master of Prophylaxis - Kingscrusher Radio Show (not one of Kingcrusher's best IMHO)

Karpov's Prophylaxis with Karpov's Prophylaxis with IM Valeri Lilov (IM Valeri Lilov, who he?)

There are far better books if you are prepared to accept some fine games collections of these players.


Everybody is familiar with "My System" but "My Praxis" is probably better for stronger players. It is a collection of annotated games by Nimzowitsch with the intention of demonstrating "My System" in practice, kind of like the name suggests.


Old school, perhaps, but I like PH Clarke's "Petrosian's Best Games of Chess 1946-63"

More modern (and with much deeper annotation) is Kasparov's "My Great Predecessors Part 3 Petrosian Spassky" roughly half of which is devoted to Petrosian and which includes a specific chapter on Petrosian's prophylaxis - "Miracles of Prophylaxis"

For Karpov there is more choice:

For a simple game collection there is PR Markland's "The Best of Karpov" but for in-depth quality annotations you can't beat the three books Kasparov wrote of the annotated games he played against Karpov:

Kasparov vs Karpov 1975 - 1985
Kasparov vs Karpov 1986 - 1987
Kasparov vs Karpov 1988 - 2009

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