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John Alan Grefe
Number of games in database: 131
Years covered: 1971 to 1998
Last FIDE rating: 2316
Highest rating achieved in database: 2400
Overall record: +43 -43 =45 (50.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (21) 
    B22 B84 B50 B77 B69
 Ruy Lopez (8) 
    C69 C73 C68 C64 C91
 French Defense (7) 
    C18 C16 C17 C12 C02
 French Winawer (5) 
    C18 C16 C17 C19
 Caro-Kann (5) 
    B10 B11 B19
 Sicilian Najdorf (4) 
    B99 B97 B92 B98
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (16) 
    B85 B46 B58 B54 B52
 King's Indian (11) 
    E92 E97 E81 E99 E87
 Queen's Pawn Game (6) 
    A45 A46 E10 D01
 Modern Benoni (4) 
    A56 A73
 English (4) 
    A15 A10
 Sicilian Scheveningen (4) 
    B85 B82 B81
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   J A Grefe vs Browne, 1973 1-0
   J A Grefe vs A Karklins, 1973 1-0
   J A Grefe vs Tarjan, 1973 1/2-1/2
   J A Grefe vs Denker, 1979 1-0
   J A Grefe vs Najdorf, 1976 1-0
   J A Grefe vs Adianto, 1991 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1973)
   Lone Pine (1971)
   Lone Pine (1973)
   US Championship (1974)
   Lone Pine (1976)
   Lone Pine (1977)
   Lone Pine (1979)
   Lone Pine (1981)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   US Championship 1974 by Phony Benoni
   US Championship 1973 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for John Alan Grefe
Search Google for John Alan Grefe

(born Sep-06-1947, died Dec-22-2013, 66 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
John Grefe was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. He and Lubomir Kavalek were co-winners of the 1973 U.S. Championship. FIDE awarded him the title of International Master in 1975. He died in San Francisco on December 22, 2013.

Wikipedia article: John Grefe

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 131  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. J A Grefe vs Tarjan 1-030 1971 National opC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
2. J A Grefe vs S Rubin 1-028 1971 Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
3. J A Grefe vs A Karklins  1-025 1971 Lone PineA00 Uncommon Opening
4. J Loftsson vs J A Grefe  0-131 1971 Lone PineA56 Benoni Defense
5. G F Kane vs J A Grefe  ½-½40 1973 US ChampionshipA56 Benoni Defense
6. J A Grefe vs A Karklins 1-030 1973 US ChampionshipC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
7. J A Grefe vs L C Gilden  1-025 1973 US ChampionshipB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. W Martz vs J A Grefe  0-155 1973 US ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
9. Bisguier vs J A Grefe  0-136 1973 US ChampionshipA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
10. J A Grefe vs Browne 1-021 1973 US ChampionshipB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. Larry Evans vs J A Grefe 0-135 1973 Lone PineA10 English
12. Kavalek vs J A Grefe 1-040 1973 US ChampionshipD42 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 7.Bd3
13. D Byrne vs J A Grefe 0-133 1973 US ChampionshipA00 Uncommon Opening
14. J A Grefe vs R Ervin  1-046 1973 Lone PineC12 French, McCutcheon
15. J A Grefe vs Larry Evans  ½-½17 1973 US ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
16. J A Grefe vs Mednis 1-089 1973 US ChampionshipC18 French, Winawer
17. J A Grefe vs W Heidenfeld 1-039 1973 London-BA08 King's Indian Attack
18. J A Grefe vs Tarjan ½-½25 1973 US ChampionshipB77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
19. Benko vs J A Grefe 0-158 1973 US ChampionshipA15 English
20. P Brandts vs J A Grefe  0-147 1973 Lone PineA56 Benoni Defense
21. J A Grefe vs Nunn  0-125 1973 London-BB06 Robatsch
22. K Commons vs J A Grefe 0-153 1974 US ChampionshipE97 King's Indian
23. Browne vs J A Grefe  1-038 1974 Lone PineB54 Sicilian
24. J A Grefe vs Benko  ½-½13 1974 US ChampionshipC42 Petrov Defense
25. Larry Evans vs J A Grefe  ½-½29 1974 US ChampionshipE99 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 131  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Grefe wins | Grefe loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-06-06  BIDMONFA: John A Grefe


Sep-05-07  savagerules: I swear that Grefe guy bears a resemblance to some guy who was always in airports selling flowers and chanting Hare Krishna a couple decades ago. I bet the guru he worshipped is living it up in a mansion with the earnings from the beggars who were his followers.
May-06-08  Petrosianic: <I swear that Grefe guy bears a resemblance to some guy who was always in airports selling flowers and chanting Hare Krishna a couple decades ago.>

Yeah, Chessgames has a sense of humor, referring to him as "joint US Champion". (Yuck, yuck).

But I saw a recent picture of him a few years ago and he seemed to have ditched the hippy look. (Not sure about his devotion to Prem Wawat, formerly Maharajah Ji, who's still in the Transcendental Dissertation business).

<cantdropwontstop> <'Can a cherry picker win the U.S. Championship?' (John Grefe - C.L. -'73 or '74).>

Actually, that's the article he wrote about the 1977 Championship, his last one. But I think it was apple picker (picky, picky... pun intended).

Apr-25-09  Dredge Rivers: Good Grefe!
May-22-09  Agent Bouncy: I played Grefe in a 4 round Swiss in Berkeley the year before he won the US championship. I still remember the game very clearly. At the time I was a low A, but improving rapidly. This tournament was my best to that date. I beat my first master in round 2 and a very high expert in round 3, and sat down to play Grefe, with naively high hopes, in the final round. I had white, and he played a Benoni. Altho material was even, my position was in shambles after about 30 moves, and Grefe finished me off with a simple but very artistic mating combination.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a Grefe victory that I have just uploaded to the database:

[Event "?"]
[Site "Berkeley, California"]
[Date "1988.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "John A Grefe"]
[Black "Alan Pollard"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e4 b5 6. e5 Nd5 7. Ng5 e6 8. Qh5 Qc7 9. Be2 h6 10. O-O g6 11. Qh3 Nd7 12. a4 N7b6 13. Nge4 a6 14. b3 Nxc3 15. Nf6+ Kd8 16. Qxc3 b4 17. Qf3 c3 18. a5 Nd5 19. Nxd5 1-0

Source: Nick DeFirmian, Modern Chess Openings, 13th Edition, David McKay Company, New York, 1990, p. 434

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: In a preview of coming attractions, here is the finish of Evans - Grefe, Lone Pine 1973.

click for larger view

White has just blundered with <34.Be7>. Prove it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Phony Benoni> From the diagram, 34....Nh3 is a killing shot, exploiting the undefended heavy pieces in conjunction with White's exposed king. Impossible to hold onto everything.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Here's J Grefe vs A Pollard, 1988.
Premium Chessgames Member
  naisortep: Sadly, he has passed away. RIP John Grefe.

Dec-24-13  DoctorD:
Dec-24-13  Murky: Good Grief! The passing of my friend John Grefe is rather distressing. I could never win games from John, as he was just too strong. But I always enjoyed his company in and around the cafes of Berkeley, California. He preferred modern set-ups, keeping his pawns and pieces fluid, and excelled at exploiting static weaknesses. He had great results in the mid to late 70's, but he seems to have phased out of chess after that. Rest in peace John Grefe; a disturbance in the 'force' is felt with your departure.
Dec-24-13  andrewjsacks: I am saddened to hear of the passing of a very fine player, very gentle guy, and very unusual character.
Dec-25-13  abcpokerboy: John was a friend of mine. Very gentle, very kind. I haven't seen him in a month or so and wondered what had happened. I hope he is at rest.
Premium Chessgames Member
Dec-31-13  JohnBoy:
Jan-01-14  gregory2188: I just phoned his best buddy... So sad to hear that...Few months ago I played a couple of blitz games with him, no indication that he'll be leaving us so soon... To a wonderful person and a great chess mind. May you rest in peace.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: oh ohhh, just learned IM Grefe's passing from Chess Life.

RIP IM Grefe.

Premium Chessgames Member
  docbenway: For a more intimate portrait of IM Grefe check out Silman's article at The problem like position that FSR gave the right move to above is there along with the "sockdollager" follow up when white "saves" his queen.
Jul-24-14  TheBish: Why are there no Guess-the-Move games for Grefe? Can this be corrected soon?
Sep-06-14  gars: Were he still alive IM John Grefe would be sixty-seven years old today. In 1983 I bought a copy of his "Progressing through Chess" (Players Press, Los Angeles) and this book have helped me to improve my chess understanding. If a were a bit more strongwilled this book would have helped me much much more.

It is a sad thing that only today I was told about his death. RIP, IM Grefe.

Feb-20-15  Oliveira: This guy dressed smart!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Nice POTD from one of his games today.

J Grefe vs A Karklins, 1973

Aug-24-15  OneBadDog: Does anyone know what are the 35 best books listed in Grefe's Progressing Through Chess?
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, John Grefe.
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