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John Alan Grefe
Number of games in database: 141
Years covered: 1969 to 1998
Last FIDE rating: 2316
Highest rating achieved in database: 2400
Overall record: +48 -46 =47 (50.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (24) 
    B77 B22 B84 B42 B50
 Ruy Lopez (9) 
    C73 C69 C80 C60 C64
 French Defense (7) 
    C18 C12 C19 C02 C16
 Sicilian Najdorf (5) 
    B98 B94 B97 B99 B92
 Caro-Kann (5) 
    B11 B10 B19
 French Winawer (5) 
    C18 C16 C19 C17
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (16) 
    B85 B46 B53 B82 B93
 King's Indian (11) 
    E99 E81 E97 E92 E73
 Queen's Pawn Game (6) 
    A45 A46 A41 D01
 Modern Benoni (5) 
    A56 A73 A70
 English (4) 
    A15 A10
 Sicilian Scheveningen (4) 
    B85 B81 B82
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
   L Christiansen vs J A Grefe, 1977 1/2-1/2

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 (1981)
   Lone Pine (1979)

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 141  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. L Williams vs J A Grefe  0-123 1969 70th US OpenA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
2. J A Grefe vs David Presser  1-059 1969 70th US OpenB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
3. K Fitzgerald vs J A Grefe  0-125 1969 70th US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
4. J A Grefe vs Popovych  0-132 1969 70th US OpenB94 Sicilian, Najdorf
5. J A Grefe vs E Pruner  ½-½23 1969 70th US OpenB42 Sicilian, Kan
6. J Dunning vs J A Grefe  0-126 1969 70th US OpenA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
7. Matera vs J A Grefe  ½-½30 1969 70th US OpenB06 Robatsch
8. J A Grefe vs W Shipman  0-152 1969 70th US OpenC60 Ruy Lopez
9. J L Watson vs J A Grefe  0-140 1969 70th US OpenB06 Robatsch
10. J A Grefe vs Tarjan 1-030 1971 National opC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
11. J A Grefe vs S Rubin 1-028 1971 Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
12. J Loftsson vs J A Grefe  0-131 1971 Lone PineA56 Benoni Defense
13. J A Grefe vs A Karklins  1-025 1971 Lone PineA00 Uncommon Opening
14. J A Grefe vs Nunn  0-125 1973 London-BB06 Robatsch
15. J A Grefe vs W Heidenfeld 1-039 1973 London-BA08 King's Indian Attack
16. P Brandts vs J A Grefe  0-147 1973 Lone PineA56 Benoni Defense
17. J A Grefe vs R Ervin  1-046 1973 Lone PineC12 French, McCutcheon
18. Larry Evans vs J A Grefe 0-135 1973 Lone PineA10 English
19. J A Grefe vs A Karklins 1-030 1973 US ChampionshipC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
20. G F Kane vs J A Grefe  ½-½40 1973 US ChampionshipA56 Benoni Defense
21. J A Grefe vs L C Gilden  1-025 1973 US ChampionshipB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
22. Bisguier vs J A Grefe  0-136 1973 US ChampionshipA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
23. J A Grefe vs Mednis 1-089 1973 US ChampionshipC18 French, Winawer
24. W Martz vs J A Grefe  0-155 1973 US ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
25. J A Grefe vs Browne 1-021 1973 US ChampionshipB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 141  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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