Mikhail Mikhailovich Yudovich (Senior) and Sergey Belavenets, known as the "Smolensk twins", had been close friends since meeting in a school match in 1925. Over the next few years they studied with Belavenets's uncle, Konstantin Vygodchikov.
In 1930, Yudovich tied for 5–9th in the Moscow Championship. In 1931, he took 4th in the same event, and shared 3rd in the 7th USSR Championship in Moscow (Mikhail Botvinnik won). He was the Soviet Correspondence Champion in 1966.
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