• Titled players appeared to be trotting out game after game in which the same old hoary opening sequences, memorized out to fifteen, twenty, or even more moves, were repeated endlessly. True novelties were becoming scarcer, and sometimes these 'opening' novelties didn't appear until well into the middlegame. (A master-level friend once proudly showed me a novelty he'd discovered at move twenty-seven of a very well-trodden chess opening, and it's said that even as far back as the 1950's Mikhail Botvinnik had some openings memorised past the thirtieth move).

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