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Ernst Gruenfeld
Number of games in database: 570
Years covered: 1913 to 1961
Overall record: +194 -85 =291 (59.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (60) 
    D52 D64 D67 D63 D68
 Queen's Indian (30) 
    E16 E15 E17 E12 E14
 Queen's Pawn Game (25) 
    A40 A50 A46 A41 E10
 King's Indian (25) 
    E60 E67 E62 E64 E90
 Queen's Gambit Declined (23) 
    D30 D37 D31 D06 D38
 Semi-Slav (20) 
    D46 D45 D48 D43 D47
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (41) 
    C77 C88 C78 C84 C90
 Alekhine's Defense (29) 
    B02 B03 B05 B04
 Queen's Pawn Game (28) 
    D04 A46 A50 D02 A45
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (23) 
    C88 C84 C90 C86 C99
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (17) 
    D28 D27 D26 D20 D21
 Nimzo Indian (16) 
    E32 E24 E34 E38 E21
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Janowski vs Gruenfeld, 1925 1/2-1/2
   Alekhine vs Gruenfeld, 1922 0-1
   Gruenfeld vs J Schenkein, 1915 1-0
   Gruenfeld vs G Nagy, 1924 1-0
   O Chajes vs Gruenfeld, 1923 0-1
   B Kostic vs Gruenfeld, 1922 0-1
   Gruenfeld vs Bogoljubov, 1922 1-0
   Gruenfeld vs Tartakower, 1923 1-0
   H Wolf vs Gruenfeld, 1922 0-1
   Gruenfeld vs Maroczy, 1922 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Budapest (1921)
   Berlin (1926)
   Maehrisch-Ostrau (1923)
   Vienna (1923)
   Debrecen (1925)
   Bad Pistyan (1922)
   Karlsbad (1923)
   Breslau (1925)
   Vienna (1922)
   Marienbad (1925)
   Baden-Baden (1925)
   Kecskemet (1927)
   Moscow (1925)
   Semmering (1926)
   Karlsbad (1929)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Gothenburg B 1920 by Tabanus
   Marienbad 1925 by suenteus po 147
   Vienna 1922 by Archives
   Teplitz-Schönau 1922 by suenteus po 147
   Mährisch-Ostrau 1923 by suenteus po 147
   Debrecen 1925 by Phony Benoni
   Vienna 1923 by suenteus po 147
   Budapest 1921 by suenteus po 147
   99_Scarborough 1930 by whiteshark
   1925 Breslau by TheFocus
   Zandvoort 1936 by suenteus po 147
   99_Berlin 1926 by whiteshark

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(born Nov-21-1893, died Apr-03-1962, 68 years old) Austria

[what is this?]
Ernst Franz Grünfeld was born in Vienna. His early childhood was beset by poverty. At the age of 5, his left leg had to be amputated after an accident. However, he discovered chess, studied intensely, and quickly earned a reputation as a skilled player at the local chess club, the Wiener Schach-Klub.

He was German champion in 1923 and awarded the GM title in 1950. For a short period after the First World War he was among the World's best eight or nine players. His best tournament results were Meran 1924 1st ahead of Rudolf Spielmann and Akiba Rubinstein, Budapest 1926 1st with Mario Monticelli ahead of Rubinstein, Richard Reti and Savielly Tartakower, Vienna 1928 1st with Sandor Takacs and 1st at Mahrisch-Ostrau 1933. He played for Austria in four Olympiads from 1927 to 1935 but is best known as an openings theoretician and published a book on the Queen's Gambit in 1924. The Grunfeld (D80) Defense, one of the hypermodern openings, is named after him. He introduced this opening to the world by defeating Alexander Alekhine with it in 1922. See Alekhine vs Gruenfeld, 1922.

He passed away in Vienna in 1962.

Wikipedia article: Ernst Grünfeld

 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 570  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. S Wolf vs Gruenfeld  0-155 1913 corresp.C83 Ruy Lopez, Open
2. A Ritzen vs Gruenfeld  0-146 1914 Match corrC27 Vienna Game
3. A Ritzen vs Gruenfeld  0-148 1914 corrC23 Bishop's Opening
4. Gruenfeld vs J Schenkein 1-023 1915 ViennaD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
5. S Wolf vs Gruenfeld 1-0105 1915 Landtstrasser TtC77 Ruy Lopez
6. Gruenfeld vs A Ritzen  1-026 1916 corrD02 Queen's Pawn Game
7. Gruenfeld vs Z von Balla  1-043 1918 KosiceA46 Queen's Pawn Game
8. Reti vs Gruenfeld  ½-½25 1918 KosiceC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
9. Gruenfeld vs L Asztalos 1-017 1918 KosiceD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
10. Gruenfeld vs L Godal 1-028 1918 WienD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
11. Gruenfeld vs J Mieses  ½-½37 1918 KosiceC10 French
12. Breyer vs Gruenfeld 1-017 1918 KosiceD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. T Gerbec vs Gruenfeld  0-131 1919 Vienna, AustriaC78 Ruy Lopez
14. T Gerbec vs Gruenfeld  0-144 1919 Vienna, AustriaC78 Ruy Lopez
15. V Sjoberg vs Gruenfeld  ½-½38 1920 Gothenburg BD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
16. H Von Hennig vs Gruenfeld  ½-½60 1920 Gothenburg BA03 Bird's Opening
17. A Larsson vs Gruenfeld  0-143 1920 Gothenburg BC47 Four Knights
18. Gruenfeld vs A Nilsson  ½-½82 1920 Gothenburg BD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
19. A Olson vs Gruenfeld  ½-½60 1920 Gothenburg BC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
20. Gruenfeld vs K Kullberg  ½-½27 1920 Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
21. Olland vs Gruenfeld ½-½57 1920 Gothenburg BC77 Ruy Lopez
22. Gruenfeld vs Saemisch  ½-½26 1920 Gothenburg BE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
23. Breyer vs Gruenfeld 1-020 1920 Vienna AUTC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. Hakansson vs Gruenfeld  ½-½23 1920 Gothenburg BD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Euwe vs Gruenfeld ½-½30 1920 Gothenburg BD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 570  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Gruenfeld wins | Gruenfeld loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-03-10  Sydro: <"I never make a mistake on the first move!" -Gruenfeld, who never played 1. e4>

3 times according to

Gruenfeld vs Capablanca, 1929
Gruenfeld vs Mieses, 1918
Gruenfeld vs Taimanov, 1950

Nov-21-11  brankat: All chess players owe You a debt of gratitude!

R.I.P. master Gruenfeld.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Your defense still rocks!!
Apr-21-12  JohnDahl: Must have been a big bloke. Alekhine was about 6'2" but Grunfeld puts him in the shade:

Pic from Alekhine vs Gruenfeld, 1931.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: He was sitting on a booster chair. :-))
Apr-21-12  JohnDahl: Karlis Ozols could be the tallest chess player ever:

He looks about 8 foot tall; that or he's standing on some steps.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This photograph was taken at Meran 1924 with no caption provided in my source:

How many of these players can be identified? There are several obvious ones, but I'm completely stumped on some.

Nov-21-12  brankat: R.I.P. master Gruenfeld.
Aug-04-13  Karpova: <perfidious>

the site has moved and this is the new link:

Oct-31-13  Karpova: Dr. Lasker: <Für Grünfeld empfinde ich eine gewisse Achtung. Er wird sich sehr langsam, aber umso sicherer entwickeln. Er erinnert sehr an Max Weiss und nicht, wie allgemein behauptet wird, an Schlechter.>

(I feel a certain respect for Gruenfeld. He will very slowly, but all the more definitely develop. He reminds me very much of Max Weiss and not, as is commonly claimed, of Schlechter.)

From an interview in 'Schachmaty', reprinted on page 87 of the March 1924 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Nov-10-13  Karpova: Tour through Germany:

26-board Simul in Berlin: +13 -3 =8

Consultation game against E Post in Berlin which he won.

Hamburg Chess Club: +17 -3 =6

Hamburg selected team: +12 -11 =1

Munich: +11 -1 =11

Breslau: +17 -0 =7

Dresden: +25 -2 =3

Ölsnitz: +19 -0 =0

From page 332 of the November 1924 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Nov-21-13  LoveThatJoker: Two awesome posts were posted on this page on November 21st, 2011.

I couldn't say it any better myself.

Thank you, Master Gruenfeld!!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. GM Ernst Gruenfeld.
Dec-05-13  Karpova: Some details from Georg Marco 's short article on Grünfeld on p. 81 of the May 1923 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung':

- Grünfeld only started to occupy himself with chess in 1910

- Siegfried Reginald Wolf could be called his mentor. They played about 300 or 400 games against each other. Thereby, Grünfeld became quite strong quickly. That's also why Grünfeld's play is characterised by correctness.

- In 1912, he came in 2nd at a handicap tournament of the <Landstrasser> Chess Association.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Bio: <He lost a leg in an early childhood which was beset by poverty.>

Wikipedia: <He nearly lost a leg in his early childhood, which was beset by poverty.>

Either he lost a leg, or he didn't. Unless he lost part of a leg.

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: < MissScarlett: Bio: <He lost a leg in an early childhood which was beset by poverty.>

Wikipedia: <He nearly lost a leg in his early childhood, which was beset by poverty.>>

The "nearly" is all what was lost in copy&waste action.

But what is the artist going to tell us with this sentence??? When you are poor watch your leg?

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: The german wikipedia writes that at the age of 5 one leg was amputated due to a calamity. He did not lose it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: What was gained was superior grammar. Wikipedia's description left open the possibility that his leg alone was beset by poverty.
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: A german saying goes:

"Besser arm dran als Bein ab."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Ernst Gruenfeld.

In honour of his 121st birthday, in Game 10 of the 2014 WCC, the game is opening up a Gruenfeld (D97).

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I'm going to honour the man by getting legless this evening.
Nov-21-14  kamagong24: Salute to Gruenfeld! wherever you may be...
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: <Miss Scarlett> <I'm going to honour the man by getting legless this evening.>

You can always use pegs for your legs
to match those driven by your scriven
well into your head,
which is also quite dead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Wikipedia says, bizarrely:
<He died in Ottakring, Vienna, of obesity on April 3, 1962.> I find it hard to visualise that svelte young man in the profile photograph as an obese septagenarian - but in any case how do you die of obesity? Did the crane collapse as they were trolleying him down to the Kino to see A Fridge Too Far?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Here's a document but it doesn't specify the cause of death:

Note that his name is spelled Ernest, not Ernst.

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