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In chess, "compensation" is a positional or other advantage that a player receives in exchange for sacrificing material.

Various types of compensation can include gaining space; gaining faster development; gaining more piece activity; opening up or gaining control over important files, ranks or diagonals; exposing the opponent's king to future attacks (i.e. "busting open the position"); winning the bishop pair; creating one or more passed pawns; or neutralizing an enemy's attack.