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Every Russian Schoolboy Knows: Revolution Revisited - Part 24

Opening: A11: English, Caro-Kann Defensive System

Player(s): Yermolinsky, Ubilava, Klovans

Back in the early 1980, I was able to elevate my game over the endless ranks of Soviet Masters (approximately Senior Master level of 2400+ here in the U.S.) to be able to qualify for later stages of the USSR Championship. This success was achieved through my work on the middlegame and, particularly, the endgame, at the expense of studying openings. In 1981 I found myself playing against the likes of Dorfman, Sveshnikov and Timoschenko in the First League USSR Championship. All those big names had one thing in common: their defenses against my usual 1.d4 were sharp and well-analyzed. With no access to databases (personal computers were science fiction back then) I simply stood no chance against them in sharp lines of the Botvinnik Variation. Later the same year they met their match in Garry Kasparov, who scored some crushing wins with White, but at the time no one else know what to do! So, I took my own path and ditched "principled" lines in favor of a home-brewed variation of the Reti Opening. Skeptical looks and disparaging comments aside, I persevered and kept on playing it. Watch my first experiences in this video.

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