In a more strategic sense, prophylaxis leads to a very positional game, often frustrating for players with a strong tactical orientation. Players who play in the prophylactic style prevent the initiation of tactical play by threatening unpleasant consequences. One of the largest advantages of this approach is that it causes an overaggressive player to lose patience and make a mistake while keeping risk to a minimum. The disadvantage is that it frequently fails against an opponent who is content with a draw.
It should be understood, however, that any move which prevents an opponent from threatening something can be called prophylactic, even if this word would not be used to describe the player's style. For example, Mikhail Tal and Garry Kasparov frequently played h3 in the Ruy Lopez—a prophylactic move intended to prevent black from playing Bg4 and creating an irritating pin on the knight at f3. Yet neither player would ever be described as playing in the prophylactic style. All grandmasters make use of prophylaxis in one way or another.
Famous practitioners include: