USCF Home arrow Chess Life Online arrow 2013 arrow August arrow US Champion John Grefe Dies at 66
US Champion John Grefe Dies at 66 Print E-mail
December 24, 2013
Grefe.jpg
John Grefe, Photo Burt Hochberg
International Master and US Champion, John Alan Grefe, died on Sunday, December 22nd in San Francisco of kidney cancer at the age of 66. Grefe was born on September 6, 1947 in Hoboken, New Jersey. He tied for first in the 1973 US Chess Championship with Lubomir Kavalek.

Grefe is fondly remembered by many prominent members of the American chess community, several of whom shared their thoughts with CLO.

Dr. Anthony Saidy told CLO, “ When Grefe won the US Championship in 1973, he did it before computers. He analyzed deeply the Najdorf Variation, and brilliantly defeated its No. 1 student in the western world, Browne.”



Six-time US Champion GM Walter Browne, a friend of and collaborator with Grefe called him: “A person of rare moral fiber whom I will miss. He was my 2nd at the 1976 Manila Interzonal and we exchanged invaluable analysis over the years. In the 1990's he analyzed dozens of  top level international games in Blitz Chess. His help in the analysis of 19 games in my recent book was a wonderful contribution.”
GrefeMednis.jpg
Grefe & Edmar Mednis, Photo Jerry Bibuild


Dr. Steven Dowd remarked, “With Grefe's passing we have only Stuart Rachels left as an IM that won the US Championship, and it’s interesting that both men also gave up competitive chess at their peaks.” Dowd said he was reminded of Grefe most often through his book, “The Chess Tactician’s Handbook”, where he quoted Grefe on a win vs. Arnold Denker in Lone Pine.



"I had White and the game began 1. e4 c6 (the tactician's nemesis) 2. d3 d5 3 . Nd2 Qc7 I had actually been toying with this line in my pre-tournament preparation and couldn't resist the temptation to play the gambit idea I had come up with. 4. f4?!! It's probably completely unsound, but not totally ridiculous. After the further 4. .. Qxf4 5. Ngf3 Nf6 6. Nb3 Qc7 7. e5 I won rather easily and was awarded the prize for best-played game of Round One."

Feel free to share your memories of Grefe as a comment to this article and check back for updates.
 
Advertisement

August - Chess Life Online 2013

Melinda's Reflections on MadisonLabor Day Chess Madness Begins Early in Iowa US Squad Bags Bevy of Medals & Norms in Toronto 28th Samford Fellowship Announced Summers at the US Chess School: Matan on #22 Lenderman Wins, Prem Impresses at Atlantic Open Mitchell Denker, 1947-2013US Chess League Kicks Off Ninth Season Tuesday Kamsky Eliminated; Caruana Marches on Sevillano, Moradiabadi & Peters Top Latest Metropolitan InvitationalsFIDE Issues Update From Franc Guadalupe Kamsky Heads to Quarterfinals U.S. Shines at 24th NATO Chess ChampsKamsky Crushes in Round Four, Game One The August Check is in the Mail Andrew Ng: On Princeton, Entrepreneurship & Chesscademy Kamsky & Nakamura Among Final 16 in Tromso And Then There Were Two (Americans): GM Rogers on TromsoNakamura Advances, Kamsky to Tiebreak Daniel A. Steininger (1956-2013)Voices From Madison [VIDEO]Perez Wins Washington International Four Players Advance to Round Two; Ramirez Out in Armageddon Thriller The Scoop on the US Blind Championships Americans at the World Cup: Three Advance, Two to Tiebreak World Cup Underway in Norway Jamaal Abdul-Alim Chess Journalist of the Year [FULL AWARDS LIST] Mulyar Crushing in Washington International Razuvaev Memorial Kicks OffThe Scoop on Madison: The Winners Talk [VIDEO] Chess.com to Host 2013 US Chess LeagueWashington International To Feature Star US GMs US Team Bags Eight Medals at Pan Am Youth!The Scoop on the Beverly Hills Chess ClubThe Scoop on Madison: GM Hungaski