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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: +49 -46 =46 (51.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (23) 
    B84 B50 B22 B42 B77
 Ruy Lopez (9) 
    C69 C73 C80 C60 C91
 French Defense (7) 
    C18 C16 C12 C17 C02
 Caro-Kann (5) 
    B11 B10 B18
 French Winawer (5) 
    C18 C16 C17
 Sicilian Najdorf (5) 
    B97 B99 B92 B94 B98
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (15) 
    B46 B45 B83 B53 B82
 King's Indian (11) 
    E81 E97 E99 E92 E87
 English (5) 
    A15 A10
 Queen's Pawn Game (5) 
    A46 A45 D01 A41
 Modern Benoni (5) 
    A56 A73 A70
 Sicilian Scheveningen (4) 
    B85 B81 B82 B83
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   J A Grefe vs Browne, 1973 1-0
   J A Grefe vs Denker, 1979 1-0
   J A Grefe vs A Karklins, 1973 1-0
   J A Grefe vs Najdorf, 1976 1-0
   Reshevsky vs J A Grefe, 1977 0-1
   J A Grefe vs Tarjan, 1973 1/2-1/2
   L Christiansen vs J A Grefe, 1977 1/2-1/2
   J A Grefe vs L Gilden, 1974 1-0
   J A Grefe vs S Rubin, 1971 1-0
   J A Grefe vs Tarjan, 1971 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1973)
   Lone Pine (1971)
   Lone Pine (1973)
   US Championship (1974)
   USA-ch / Zonal (1975)
   Lone Pine (1976)
   Pan-Pacific GM Tournament (1991)
   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
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(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 YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. L Williams vs J A Grefe 0-123196970th US OpenA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
2. J A Grefe vs D Presser 1-059196970th US OpenB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
3. K Fitzgerald vs J A Grefe  0-125196970th US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
4. J A Grefe vs Popovych  0-132196970th US OpenB94 Sicilian, Najdorf
5. J A Grefe vs E Pruner  ½-½23196970th US OpenB42 Sicilian, Kan
6. J Dunning vs J A Grefe  0-126196970th US OpenA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
7. S Matera vs J A Grefe  ½-½30196970th US OpenB06 Robatsch
8. J A Grefe vs W Shipman  0-152196970th US OpenC60 Ruy Lopez
9. J L Watson vs J A Grefe  0-140196970th US OpenB06 Robatsch
10. J A Grefe vs Tarjan 1-0301971National opC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
11. J A Grefe vs S Rubin 1-0281971Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
12. J Loftsson vs J A Grefe  0-1311971Lone PineA56 Benoni Defense
13. J A Grefe vs A Karklins  1-0251971Lone PineA00 Uncommon Opening
14. A Kevitz vs J A Grefe  0-14019731st World OpenA04 Reti Opening
15. J A Grefe vs Nunn  0-1251973London-BB06 Robatsch
16. J A Grefe vs W Heidenfeld 1-0391973London-BA07 King's Indian Attack
17. P Brandts vs J A Grefe  0-1471973Lone PineA56 Benoni Defense
18. J A Grefe vs R Ervin  1-0461973Lone PineC12 French, McCutcheon
19. Larry Evans vs J A Grefe 0-1351973Lone PineA10 English
20. J A Grefe vs A Karklins 1-0301973US ChampionshipC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
21. G F Kane vs J A Grefe  ½-½401973US ChampionshipA56 Benoni Defense
22. J A Grefe vs L Gilden  1-0251973US ChampionshipB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
23. Bisguier vs J A Grefe  0-1361973US ChampionshipA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
24. J A Grefe vs Mednis 1-0891973US ChampionshipC18 French, Winawer
25. W Martz vs J A Grefe  0-1551973US ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
 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
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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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Jul-15-14  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?
Dec-22-15  TheFocus: Rest in peace, John Grefe.
Jan-18-17  gars: <OneBadDog>: Here are the thirty-five books John Grefe put in his book:

1) "A Programmed Introduction to the Game of Chess" (Sullivan)

2) "Learn Chess: a new way for all", (Alexander & Beach)

3) "Understanding the Open Games" (Soltis, Mednis, Peters)

4) "The Art of Chess Combinations" (Znosko-Borovsky)

5) "Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge" (Averbakh)

6) "The 1000 Best Short Games of Chess" (Chernev)

7) "The Art of the Checkmate" (Renaud and Kahn)

8) "Logical Chess Move by Move" (Chernev)

9) "1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate" and "1001 Winning Sacrifices and Combinations", both by Reinfeld

10)"An Illustrated Dictionary of Chess" (Brace)

11) "The Ideas Behind the Chess Openings" (Fine)

12) "Better Chess for Average Players" (Harding)

13) "The Tactics of the Endgame" (Ban)

14) "How to Play Chess Endings" (Znosko Borosky)

15) "How to open a Chess Game" (Evans, Gligoric, Hort, Petrosian, Keres, Larsen, Portisch)

16) "Practical Endgame Lessons" (Mednis)

17) "Judgement and Planning in Chess" (Euwe)

18) "A Complete Defense to 1 P-K4"
"A Complete Defense to 1 P-D4" (both by Cafferty and Hooper)

19) "Modern Chess Tactics, two volumes" (Pachman)

20) "Modern Chess Strategy" (Pachman). Here you can choose between Dover short edition or Batsford three-volume edition

21) "The Art of Attack in Chess" (Vukovic)

22) "Pawn Structure Chess" (Soltis)

23) "Grandmaster of Chess: The Complete Games of Paul Keres". Here you can choose between the Arco edition in three volumes (Descriptive Notation) or the two-volume Nunn-Keres, "The Road to the Top" and "The Quest for Perfection", in Algebraic Notation.

24) "500 Master Games of Chess" (Tartakower and Dumont)

25) "Modern Chess Opening Theory" (Suetin)

26) "Chess Informant"

27) "Batsford, RHM opening Series"

28) "Basic Chess Endings" (Fine)

29) "Batsford Endgame Series: Rook Endings"

30) "My Best Games of Chess, 1908-1923, 1924-1937" (Alekhine)

31) "The Best Move" (Hort, Jansa)

32) "Psychology of Chess" (Krogius)

33) "Think like a Grandmaster", "Play like a Grandmaster", "Train like a Grandmaster", all of them by Kotov

34) "Grandmaster Preparation" (Polugayevsky)

35) "Encyclopedia of Chess Openings", Volumes one to five.

Jun-24-17  ColeTrane: At least he got out of Jersey..resting finally in SF no less, great Voyager
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: In 1974, John Grefe was the first American to participate in an international chess tournament in Bulgaria since 1962 (Varna Chess Olympiad). He played at Sunny Beach (Slantchev Brieg), Bulgaria, scoring 8 out of 15 (won 2, lost 1, the rest drawn) and taking 11th place. The event was won by Vlastimil Hort.
Aug-16-18  Howard: And, then, in 1976 Kim Commons took part in no less than three Bulgarian tournaments, and he did quite well in them.

Unfortunately, he's gone too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jingohanson: I saw Grefe playing at a tournament in Mexico in the early 70s. Those games must be lost.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: A fate many games of the pre-computer epoch have shared.
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