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Roberto Grau
R Grau 
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  
Number of games in database: 182
Years covered: 1921 to 1939

Overall record: +83 -48 =51 (59.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (9) 
    D63 D51 D65 D68 D67
 Queen's Pawn Game (9) 
    A45 D00 D02 E10 A46
 Semi-Slav (8) 
    D46 D43 D48 D45
 Slav (7) 
    D19 D13 D12 D11
 Nimzo Indian (5) 
    E20 E34 E24 E33
 Queen's Gambit Declined (5) 
    D37 D31 D30
With the Black pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (15) 
    D02 A45 A46 D00 D05
 Queen's Gambit Declined (14) 
    D30 D37 D31 D06
 Orthodox Defense (12) 
    D51 D50 D55 D63 D56
 French Defense (8) 
    C13 C00 C14 C10 C01
 Caro-Kann (6) 
    B18 B16 B13 B10
 Sicilian (6) 
    B43 B58 B84 B41 B40
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   C Poulsen vs R Grau, 1937 0-1
   R Grau vs Fine, 1935 1-0
   A Nogues Acuna vs R Grau, 1926 0-1
   R Grau vs Euwe, 1924 1-0
   O Garcia Vera vs R Grau, 1929 0-1
   R Grau vs Pilnik, 1938 1-0
   R Grau vs I Pleci, 1930 1-0
   J B Hernandez vs R Grau, 1928 0-1
   Keres vs R Grau, 1939 1/2-1/2
   Graf-Stevenson vs R Grau, 1939 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   3rd South American Championship (1928)
   1st South American Championship (1921)
   Argentine Championship Match (1930)
   Buenos Aires (1939)
   Paris Unofficial Olympiad (1924)
   The Hague Olympiad (1928)
   Stockholm Olympiad (1937)
   Warsaw Olympiad (1935)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Buenos Aires 1939 by Tabanus

GAMES ANNOTATED BY GRAU: [what is this?]
   J Caldas Vianna vs A S Paes de Barros, 1900

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Roberto Grau
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(born Mar-18-1900, died Apr-12-1944, 44 years old) Argentina

[what is this?]
Roberto Gabriel Grau was born in Buenos Aires. He was Argentine champion in 1926, 1927, 1928, 1935, 1936 and 1939. He played for Argentina in five Olympiads (1927, 1928, 1935, 1937, 1939), mainly on first board.

In match play he defeated Luis Roberto Piazzini (+4, =2, -2) in 1935 and Jacobo Bolbochan (+4, =2, -2) in 1936, and lost to Carlos Enrique Guimard (+0, =4, -4) in 1937.

His best tournament results were South American champion Montevideo 1921 [brasilbase-1] and Mar del Plata 1928 [brasilbase-2]. South American Sub-champion Montevideo 1925 [brasilbase-3] Mar del Plata 1934 [brasilbase-4]. Author of Tratado General de Ajedrez, 4 vols., the bible of South American chessplayers. He passed away in Buenos Aires in 1944.

Wikipedia article: Roberto Grau

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 183  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. R Grau vs A Guerra Boneo 1-0301921Argentine National TournamentC26 Vienna
2. J De Freitas vs R Grau  0-14119211st South American Championship 1921/22C01 French, Exchange
3. R Grau vs J Loedel 1-02519211st South American Championship 1921/22D40 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
4. R Werneck de Castro vs R Grau  0-13919211st South American Championship 1921/22E16 Queen's Indian
5. R Grau vs R Illa  ½-½1719211st South American Championship 1921/22D12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
6. J Berasain vs R Grau  ½-½4019221st South American Championship 1921/22C13 French
7. S Rivas Costa vs R Grau  0-14719221st South American Championship 1921/22E12 Queen's Indian
8. R Grau vs J Lynch  ½-½2519221st South American Championship 1921/22C14 French, Classical
9. B H Villegas vs R Grau  1-03619221st South American Championship 1921/22D63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
10. R Grau vs A Ellerman  1-02019221st South American Championship 1921/22D12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
11. D Reca vs R Grau 0-11719221st South American Championship 1921/22C30 King's Gambit Declined
12. R Grau vs J de Souza Mendes  1-04719221st South American Championship 1921/22D63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
13. H A Carlos vs R Grau  0-13319221st South American Championship 1921/22C13 French
14. R Grau vs H Anaya Oger  1-04719221st South American Championship 1921/22C50 Giuoco Piano
15. J Montalban vs R Grau  0-13919221st South American Championship 1921/22D60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
16. R Grau vs A A Barbosa de Oliveira  1-01819221st South American Championship 1921/22D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
17. R Grau vs L Palau  1-04119221st South American Championship 1921/22C49 Four Knights
18. R Grau vs V Fernandez Coria 0-1271924Buenos AiresC26 Vienna
19. R Grau vs A Guerra Boneo  1-0311924ARG-ch4 MayorA57 Benko Gambit
20. R Grau vs Reti  0-1551924ARG-ch4 MayorA48 King's Indian
21. L Belgrano Rawson vs R Grau  0-1391924ARG-ch4 MayorD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. V Fernandez Coria vs R Grau  0-1211924ARG-ch4 MayorD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. R Grau vs R Illa  1-0361924ARG-ch4 MayorD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
24. R Grau vs B H Villegas  1-0291924ARG-ch4 MayorD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
25. R Illa vs R Grau  0-1301924ARG-ch4 MayorD00 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 183  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Grau wins | Grau loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-18-08  brankat: It is a pity that, apparently, the Treatise has not been translated to English.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Such young age to pass away, and leave us with half-empty glass...

I wish to see more of Roberto's game in the database, such that, his record is not so bad.

Premium Chessgames Member <I wish to see more of Roberto's game in the database, such that, his record is not so bad.> Your wish is our command.
Mar-18-08  pawnofdoom: Wasn't there some "Grau Variation" of the Queen's Pawn Opening? It was either <1. d4 d5 2. c4 ♗f5> or <1. d4 d5 2. ♗f4> or maybe neither
Mar-18-08  Knight to f6: <pawnofdoom: Wasn't there some "Grau Variation" of the Queen's Pawn Opening?> There certainly is, I believe it was 2. Bf4.

So these years would make Grau the #1 player in Argentina before Najdorf. Wonder if they ever played each other, Najdorf was stranded in Argentina in 1939 with the Polish Olympiad team when WW2 began.

Mar-18-08  Knight to f6: Grau vs Najdorf--the one and only game:

R Grau vs Najdorf, 1939

Mar-18-08  Komapsimnita: <Karpova> posted a picture on the 14th of December. You should check it out, I'm 100% sure that whoever took the photo must have shouted CHEESE!
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Pawnofdoom>The Grau Variation is 1. d4 d5 2. c4 ♗f5.

According to Hooper and Whyld, 1. d4 d5 2.♗f4 is the Mason Variation of the Queen's Pawn Opening.

Source: David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld "Oxford Companion to Chess", OUP, 1992

May-01-09  Augalv:
Oct-18-11  vonKrolock: <Mar del Plata 1928> The so called 'Third South-American Tournament', with players from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. 1st Grau 13,5, 2nd Luis Argentino Palau (ARG) 12,5. 3-rd João de Souza Mendes (BRA) 11,5 etc - Complete with crosstable and games in the Brasilbase site

<<!?>: "The game Vianna - Hernandez was played with the black King in 'd8' and the black Queen in 'e8' " > (It seems that they were trying some Chess-Variant back then...)

Mar-18-12  brankat: Senor Grau certainly did a lot for the advancement of Chess in Argentina, and South America in general.
Mar-18-14  Gejewe: "Tratado General de Ajedrez" has been reprinted in Spain, fairly recently. I found the new set in 2001 (the books are also interesting for non Spanish speaking chess players interested in chess treatises..), foreword by Miguel Illescas. Four books as mentioned :

- I Rudimentos (234 p.)
- II Táctica y estrategia (240 p.)
- III Conformaciones de peones (271 p.)
- IV Estrategia superior (265 p.)
But I was a bit surprised that no one mentions Luis Palau's biography "Partidas magistrales de Roberto Grau" I have the third edition from 1958, 136 pages, 40 annotated games (1921-1938) and some articles.

From his Tratado, tomo IV, a fun game :
Irume - Grau,R.G. Vélez Sársfield 1923
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Nb5 Qd8 8.c3 a6 9.Na3 c5 10.f4 Nc6 11.Nf3 f6 12.Qd2 0-0 13.Be2 cxd4 14.cxd4 fxe5 15.fxe5 Rxf3! 16.gxf3 Qh4+ 17.Kd1 Nxd4 18.f4 Nxe2 19.Kxe2 Qg4+ 20.Ke3 Nxe5! 21.fxe5 Qe4+ 22.Kf2 Bd7 23.Rhe1 Qg4! 24.Qe2 Rf8+ 25.Ke3 Qe4+ 26.Kd2 Qd4+ 27.Qd3 Rf2+28.Re2 Rxe2+ 29.Kxe2 Qxb2+ 0-1 (30.Nc2 Bb5 and the "bad bishop" rules)

There is also a game-example where he plays 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Bf5 with the black pieces and after 3.c4 e6 points out 4.Qb3 Nc6 in what he calls the "Balogh variation" himself. I have not yet found an example with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Bf5 instead of 2.Nf3 Bf5.

Mar-18-14  paulofx2071: Grau never played 1. d4, d5 2.c4 Bf5. Grau played 1.d4, d5 - 2.Nf3, Bf5 Example versus Petrov
Mar-18-14  paulofx2071: In the game Grau Euwe of 1924 magazine scored a wrong move 17) ... bishop by rook, when in fact juice 17) .... rook by rook. This forced to assume that no other moves were played. After all copied the wrong version of the game and the bug. I commented on that game and I warned Chessgames to correct it. But to date not corrected. Source 1) Grau, 1936 Neoplan magazine, 2) "The Maestro Roberto Grau", 2005
Mar-18-14  paulofx2071: Grau Euwe 1924 Paris

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.e3 e6 5.Nc3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6 9.0-0 c5 10.Qe2 Bb7 11.b3 Be7 12.Bb2 0-0 13.Rac1 Qa5 14.Bb1 Rfd8 15.dxc5 Nxc5 16.Rfd1 b4 17----Rxd8 Rxd8 18.Nd1 Nce4 19----Bd4 Bd6 20.Bxf6 Nxf6 21.e4 Bf4 22.Rc4 Qh5 23.Bd3 a5 24.Nb2 Ba6 25.Rc2 Bxd3 And now 26.Qxd3! attacking the rook of d8, and if 26..... Rxd3, then 27.Rc8#

Hence 26).....Rf8 and 27).... h6

The game finalized 47.... Kh7 48.Qxg7#

Mar-18-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Roberto Grau.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Augalv: The Tratado General de Ajedrez or 'Treatise on General Chess' by Roberto Grau are problably the best books(it's a four-book volume) on chess ever written in Argentina.>

They taught me, and generations of Argentines, to play. I wish I still had them.

Mar-18-17  hemy: <Fusilli> I have many ebooks (PDF format) of Roberto Grau. You (and others) can upload it from public folder of my Dropbox:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Thanks <hemy>! Very kind of you.
Mar-21-17  hemy: <Fusilli> I have more then 1000 pdf chess books in Spanish. If you want I can transfer all of them to you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <hemy> Thank you, but I will pass. I don't feel that comfortable reading on the computer. But the main reason is that I never make the time to go over the books I already have!
Mar-21-17  Keyser Soze: <hemy: <Fusilli> I have many ebooks (PDF format) of Roberto Grau. You (and others) can upload it from public folder of my Dropbox:

Hey, Gracias. Voy ler alguns in my Kindle :p

Feb-02-20  Jean Defuse: ...

<A ingenious ending>

[Event "Simultaneous exhibition"]
[Site "Argentina"]
[White "Grau, Roberto Gabriel"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view


1. Ndxe7+ Kf8 2. Nxg6+ Kg8 3. Qf8+ Rxf8 4. Nge7# 1-0


Oct-05-20  cegaliano: The Grau defense is also known as Baltic Defense. As in most defenses to the QGD, Black has difficulties developing his queen bishop, this opening bring out the queen bishop immediately.
Oct-07-20  cegaliano: Actually, the Grau Gambit is a line in the Baltic defense:1. d4 d5 2. Kf3 Bf5 3. c5 e6 4. Db3 Kc6 (c6 transpose to Eslav Defense). If white moves 4. Dxb7 Kb4 5. Ka3 Rb8 6.Qxa7, Ra8 and the game es draw. For this reason, white moves 6. c5 or Bd2 to avoid ...Kb4 and obligates black to defende b7 pawn.
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