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Lemma 38.32.1. Let $S$ be a quasi-compact and quasi-separated scheme. Let $X$ be a compactifyable scheme over $S$.

  1. The category of compactifications of $X$ over $S$ is cofiltered.

  2. The full subcategory consisting of compactifications $j : X \to \overline{X}$ such that $j(X)$ is dense and scheme theoretically dense in $\overline{X}$ is initial (Categories, Definition 4.17.3).

  3. If $f : \overline{X}' \to \overline{X}$ is a morphism of compactifications of $X$ such that $j'(X)$ is dense in $\overline{X}'$, then $f^{-1}(j(X)) = j'(X)$.

Proof. To prove part (a) we have to check conditions (1), (2), (3) of Categories, Definition 4.20.1. Condition (1) holds exactly because we assumed that $X$ is compactifyable. Let $j_ i : X \to \overline{X}_ i$, $i = 1, 2$ be two compactifications. Then we can consider the scheme theoretic image $\overline{X}$ of $(j_1, j_2) : X \to \overline{X}_1 \times _ S \overline{X}_2$. This determines a third compactification $j : X \to \overline{X}$ which dominates both $j_ i$:

\[ \xymatrix{ (X, \overline{X}_1) & (X, \overline{X}) \ar[l] \ar[r] & (X, \overline{X}_2) } \]

Thus (2) holds. Let $f_1, f_2 : \overline{X}_1 \to \overline{X}_2$ be two morphisms between compactifications $j_ i : X \to \overline{X}_ i$, $i = 1, 2$. Let $\overline{X} \subset \overline{X}_1$ be the equalizer of $f_1$ and $f_2$. As $\overline{X}_2 \to S$ is separated, we see that $\overline{X}$ is a closed subscheme of $\overline{X}_1$ and hence proper over $S$. Moreover, we obtain an open immersion $X \to \overline{X}$ because $f_1|_ X = f_2|_ X = \text{id}_ X$. The morphism $(X \to \overline{X}) \to (j_1 : X \to \overline{X}_1)$ given by the closed immersion $\overline{X} \to \overline{X}_1$ equalizes $f_1$ and $f_2$ which proves condition (3).

Proof of (b). Let $j : X \to \overline{X}$ be a compactification. If $\overline{X}'$ denotes the scheme theoretic closure of $X$ in $\overline{X}$, then $X$ is dense and scheme theoretically dense in $\overline{X}'$ by Morphisms, Lemma 29.7.7. This proves the first condition of Categories, Definition 4.17.3. Since we have already shown the category of compactifications of $X$ is cofiltered, the second condition of Categories, Definition 4.17.3 follows from the first (we omit the solution to this categorical exercise).

Proof of (c). After replacing $\overline{X}'$ with the scheme theoretic closure of $j'(X)$ (which doesn't change the underlying topological space) this follows from Morphisms, Lemma 29.6.8. $\square$

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