In 1924, Capablanca was considered unbeatable in the chess world, winning even the strongest tournaments by big margins with a superbly clear and overwhelmingly strong play.
But along came Round 5 of the New York tournament where he faced Czech legend Richard Reti as Black.
Violating the traditional opening principles of the time, Reti played 1.Nf3 and then 2.c4, fianchettoed both bishops and sought to control the center from a distance…
The crowd smirked and whispered their criticisms until they saw the greatest player in history ―a.k.a. “the chess machine”― being crushed and resigning on just his 31st move.
And thus was born the Reti Opening!
Nowadays, we know that this opening is a deadly weapon for those who HATE theory and LOVE dynamic positional chess without memorization of sharp lines.
Legends like Vladimir Kramnik became world champion playing 1.Nf3 alone for decades.