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Rene Gralla
R Gralla 
René Gralla meets Janet Jackson on the occasion of an interview at Munich.
Photograph copyright © 1997 courtesy of Wolfgang Maria Weber (reproduction courtesy of Christoph Harder)
Number of games in database: 46
Years covered: 1971 to 2015
Overall record: +45 -0 =1 (98.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
C41 Philidor Defense (6 games)
A02 Bird's Opening (5 games)
A07 King's Indian Attack (4 games)
E32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical (2 games)
E17 Queen's Indian (2 games)
C63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense (2 games)

   R Gralla vs S Demel (May-06-15) 1-0
   H Jantzen vs R Gralla (Mar-25-15) 0-1
   R Gralla vs S M Topuz (Jan-23-15) 1-0
   R Gralla vs S Wolff (Jun-02-14) 1-0, blitz
   R Gralla vs F Knauer (May-09-14) 1-0

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(born Aug-28-1954, 62 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Rene Gralla was born in Elmshorn, in the northern state of Schlesvig-Holstein, Germany. He is a lawyer and a free-lance journalist publishing on pop music, travel, and chess. As a chess writer, Rene Gralla advocates the world-wide popularization of the Asian chess variants XiangQi (China), Shogi (Japan) and Makruk (Thailand). On, he is User: Nightsurfer.

During his college years, Rene Gralla competed in regional chess championships, but at the end of the 70s he quit tournament play for the sake of finishing his studies. In 1980, he obtained a legal degree from Hamburg University. In 1987, after doing research as a visiting scholar at the University of Copenhagen, he published a thesis on the protection of fundamental rights in Denmark, Der Grundrechtsschutz in Dänemark. That monograph is the first comprehensive treatise on civil liberties in the Scandinavian Kingdom.

Parallel to his work as a lawyer in Hamburg, Rene Gralla has been a writer for the German TV guide Hoerzu from 1991-2000. During that time he published a series of interviews with rock and pop legends like Rolling Stones frontmen Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, and Janet Jackson. He has also reported on Laos, Vietnam, Japan, India, Peru and Brazil.

Being a freelance writer since 2001, Gralla has published in German and international media, ranging from Spiegel-Online, Die Zeit, and Die Welt to Tagesspiegel (Switzerland) and Gulf News (Dubai). Several of Gralla's features on Asian chess variants and chess history have been quoted by Wikipedia, for example XiangQi - an Alternative to Western Chess and Kramnik Plays Makruk Thai. In 2008, Gralla returned to tournament chess. He is a member of the team of the club "Schachelschweine" in Hamburg, in addition to competing in tournaments of Chinese XiangQi and Japanese Shogi.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 46  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. B Koester vs R Gralla 0-124 1971 High School Championship (Finals)C10 French
2. R Gralla vs H W Stark 1-030 1972 Youth League of District Schlesvig-HolsteinB15 Caro-Kann
3. R Gralla vs H Seipel 1-024 1972 Blumen Horstmann, Open Air CasualC28 Vienna Game
4. D Steinwender vs R Gralla 0-118 1972 Chess Club of the Bismarck High School Elmshorn, casualC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
5. B Schlueter vs R Gralla 0-144 1972 Schlesvig-Holstein State Youth League -1973A03 Bird's Opening
6. R Gralla vs B Schlueter 1-030 1973 German Youth Championship Schlesvig-Holstein; Master ClassB03 Alekhine's Defense
7. R Gralla vs A Dierks  1-041 1973 German Youth Championship Schlesvig-Holstein; Master ClassC42 Petrov Defense
8. B Koester vs R Gralla 0-131 1973 10-Games-CompetitionE17 Queen's Indian
9. R Gralla vs J Hempel ½-½17 1974 Schlesvig-Holstein State Youth League, SB Elmshorn 1 vs FlenA04 Reti Opening
10. R Gralla vs H P Ollmann 1-028 1975 Daehne-Cup Schlesvig-Holstein Quarter-FinalsC05 French, Tarrasch
11. R Gralla vs D Steinwender 1-034 1975 Championship Elmshorner SC 75/76B40 Sicilian
12. A Janotta vs R Gralla 0-141 1975 Championship Elmshorner SC 75/76,A25 English
13. R Gralla vs H Kroeger 1-017 1975 Championship Elmshorner SC 75/76,C41 Philidor Defense
14. P Doessel vs R Gralla 0-127 1976 Championship Elmshorner SC 75/76, play-offC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
15. J Nikodem vs R Gralla 0-139 1976 Hamburg Team Championship (A-Class): Wedel 1 vs Elmshorn 1E30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
16. R Gralla vs F Magath 1-056 1985 Interview Hamburg daily Hamburger AbendblattC91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
17. T Voigt vs R Gralla 0-122 2004 Cafe-Zumir-Midnight CasualA02 Bird's Opening
18. M Dragicevic vs R Gralla 0-15 2005 Serbian Cultural Center Hamburg-Blitz CasualA02 Bird's Opening
19. R Rajkovic vs R Gralla 0-117 2006 Blitz casualE21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights
20. B Farzamfar vs R Gralla 0-19 2006 Cafe Rosenhof-Blitz CasualA52 Budapest Gambit
21. M Boskan vs R Gralla 0-113 2006 Blitz casualE12 Queen's Indian
22. S Mahendiran vs R Gralla 0-119 2007 Planten un Blomen, open air casualE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
23. R Gralla vs Stevan Stojanovic 1-016 2008 Cafe Hamburg-Midnight CasualC41 Philidor Defense
24. V Lochmann vs R Gralla 0-166 2009 District League Hamburg, Group A, Schachelschweine 2 vs TV FC41 Philidor Defense
25. R Gralla vs J Groetzbach 1-029 2009 District League A, Hamburg, Schachelschweine 2 vs HSK 16A07 King's Indian Attack
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 46  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Gralla wins | Gralla loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-29-10  Autoreparaturwerkbau: When I see a perfect record i always suspect the strength of the opponents. Some nice miniatures though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: Hi <Autoreparaturwerkbau>, I agree, these are miniatures, nothing more - but maybe they are a little bit entertaining, hopefully!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Autoreparaturwerkbau> Judging by his record, he is probably the greatest player since Louis Eichborn and Prince Andrey Dadian of Mingrelia.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <FSR> No, I am worse than those two guys that you have just mentioned ... but I simply do not like those games that I lose ... and there are many, of course ... but those games with my goofs are not worth to be mentioned ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <Nightsurfer: <FSR> No, I am worse than those two guys that you have just mentioned ... but I simply do not like those games that I lose ... and there are many, of course ... but those games with my goofs are not worth to be mentioned ...>

I wonder if your opponents feel the same way about games *they* lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <Abdel Irada>: I am damn sure that my opponents are supposed to be not too happy with the publication of those game records ... but what shall I do? Shall I kick in my own ass?! It is up to them to go public with my blunders at the board ... ;-) !
Dec-01-12  Atking: <Nightsurfer> You might be interested to know the Shogi meijin Moriuchi is playing the open of London. If you have time to go there.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: When I see grammatical errors in bios, I tend to take them to editors and ask the errors be fixed. On the chance you wrote the bio (I checked to see if you had a forum), I will mention it here:

<In 1987, after doing research as a visiting scholar at the University of Copenhagen, he has published a thesis on the protection of fundamental rights in Denmark, Der Grundrechtsschutz in Dänemark.>

"has" is spurious.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <Atking> Thank you very much for the info that <Moriuchi> plays the Open in London! Unfortunately I have no time to go there! :-( <OhioChessFan> Thank you so much for spotting the error - please ask the editors to fix that, thank you very much in advance! :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Nightsurfer: <FSR> No, I am worse than those two guys that you have just mentioned ...>

I think it is generally assumed that Prince Dadian paid famous players to lose brilliantly to him. I don't know what the story is with Eichborn, and AFAIK no one does. Presumably (like you) he actually lost some games too. See

Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <FSR> I have lost - and I will lose, for sure - many many games (and I assume that the percentage of games that I win is probably less than 50 per cent, blitz games including, and the percentage of games that I win in a more or less noteworthy way (by a nice combination or so) is probably less than one per cent or so ... :-( ... ;-) ...!

And now let me please clarify one thing - since there has started to popp up the name <Prince-Dadian-of-Blablabla ...> in this context - ... : I never ever have paid a damn penny (or more ...) to anybody to fake something OTB, that is a question of honour, please ask my friends!

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Nightsurfer> I was not trying to impugn your honor. I understand that you prefer to submit your wins rather than your losses, and don't doubt that yours (unlike Dadian's) are real. I just meant that you should not assume that Dadian was in fact stronger than you are.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <FSR> Oh, thank you ... but in fact I have no clue how strong that Prince Dadian was in REAL play - without any faking it ... ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Nightsurfer> I'm guessing he wasn't too good, but we'll probably never know - unlike Edwin Ziegler Adams (star of the apocryphal game E Z Adams vs Carlos Torre, 1920), who we know was actually weaker than pond scum.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <FSR> Thank you very much for your assessment. And thank you for the interesting information with regard to E Z Adams vs Carlos Torre, 1920 , I did not know that some people disqualify that game as being a fake. But - based on my experience as working as a lawyer parallel to my work as a journalist - I can only conclude that there may be some doubts, but there is no proof that E Z Adams vs Carlos Torre, 1920 is a hoax.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Nightsurfer> Reasonable minds can differ, but IMO there's no way in hell that the combination in Adams-Torre could have been played by someone whose only two known legitimate games were these:

Edwin Ziegler Adams–Andrew Lockett, New Orleans, 1925

1 e4 e6 2 d4 b6 3 f3 Bb7 4 Bd3 Qh4+ 5 g3 Qh5 6 Be3 Bd6 7 e5 Bxe5 8 dxe5 Qxe5 9 Kf2 Qxb2 10 Nd2 Nf6 11 h3 Nh5 12 Ne2 O-O 13 Bd4 Qa3 14 Nc4 Qe7 15 Qd2 d5 16 Ne5 c5 17 Be3 c4 18 Nxc4 dxc4 19 Bxc4 Qf6 20 Ng1 Qxa1 21 White resigns.

Morton–Edwin Ziegler Adams, New Orleans, 1934

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 b4 Bxb4 5 c3 Ba5 6 d4 exd4 7 O-O Bb6 8 cxd4 d6 9 d5 Na5 10 Bb2 Nf6 11 Bd3 O-O 12 Nc3 Bg4 13 Kh1 Bd4 14 Qd2 Bb6 15 Ne2 c5 16 Ng3 c4 17 Bc2 Rc8 18 Nd4 c3 19 Bxc3 Nc4 20 Qc1 Ne5 21 Qb2 Qc7 22 Nb5 Qc5 23 Rac1 Nc4 24 Qb3 a6 25 Nd4 Ba5 26 Ndf5 Bxf5 27 Nxf5 Rc7 28 Bxf6 Qa3 29 Bxg7 Rfc8 30 Bf6 Qxb3 31 Bxb3 b5 32 Bxc4 resigns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <FSR>, thank you very much for those game records, I see, I agree with you!
Feb-13-13  sfm: It's OK to only submit wins.
Nobody with any intelligence thinks the man claim to only be winning games or to be the superior player on the planet. I also don't see many losses included in the masters' publications of "my memorable games".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <sfm> Mange tak for your posting of <Feb-13-13>, mange tak for having made that point! And a big HELLO to DANMARK where I had a very inspiring stay in 1982 when I did my research for my thesis on Danish Fundamental Rights in Det Kongelige Bibliotek of Copenhagen!
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: The Best Player Picture Ever! ;>D
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It is a great picture. Doesn't she look just a little bit like a composite of Janet Jackson and Carrot Top?



Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Yeah, <HMM>, now that you mention it, she does look a little like Janet Jackson.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Nightsurfer: ... but I simply do not like those games that I lose> ... <It is up to them to go public with my blunders at the board ... ;-) !>

Interesting take. Of course I don't like losing either, but I have submitted many losses if I think they are interesting games.

Yet, there is a threshold of embarrassment that I don't want to cross. I would not submit my most embarrassing games.

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