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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

John Grefe Swindles Himself

     The 10th American Open was held in Santa Monica, California from November 27-30, 1974. The top scores were: 
1-2) Kim Commons and Peter Biyiasas 7.0-1.0 
3-6) John Grefe, Walter Browne, Ross Stoutenborough and Dennis Waterman 6.5-1.5 
     Pre-tournament favorite Walter Browne found it rough going from the very first round when he was held to a draw by a Class A player with a 1966 rating named Bill Abbott. Then in the 5th round Brown was held to a draw by a young master named David Berry. 
     The colorful IM John Grefe (September 6, 1947-December 22, 2013) had his best result when he tied for first with Lubomir Kavalek in the 1973 US Championship. He was awarded the IM title the following year. He died of liver cancer in San Francisco.
     GM Peter Biyiasas (born November 19, 1950) was Canadian champion in 1972 and 1975, represented Canada with success on four Olympiad teams, and played in two Interzonals. He moved to the United States in 1979, settling in California. He has been retired from competitive play since the mid-1980s.. 
     When these two met in the last round Grefe, playing white, needed a win against Biyiasas to tie for first. Grefe did indeed obtain a winning game, but Biyiasas found an ingenious stalemate!

John Grefe - Peter Biyiasas

Result: 1/2-1/2

Site: American Open, Santa Monica

Date: 1974

Ruy Lopez: Worrall Attack

[...] 1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♗b5 a6 4.♗a4 ♘f6 5.O-O ♗e7 6.♕e2 In this, the Worrall Attack, white plays 6.Qe2 and not the usual 6.Re1 to support the e-Pawn with the Q so R can support the advance of the d-Pawn. 6...b5 7.♗b3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.d4 ♗g4 10.♖d1 exd4 11.cxd4 d5 12.exd5 ♘b4
12...♘a5 13.♗c2 ♖e8 14.h3 ♗d6 15.♗e3 ♗h5 is equal. Vovk,Y (2523)-Tarlev,K (2468)/Evpatoria UKR 2007
12...♘xd5 13.♘c3 ♘f6 14.d5 ♘a5 15.♗c2 ♖e8 is equal. Pulkkinen,K (2263)-Enchev,I (2492)/Bregenz AUT 2018
13.h3 ♗h5 This does not work out well as white immediately gets the initiative.
13...♗c8 14.♘c3 ♗b7 15.♘e5 ♘bxd5 White is slightly better. Plaskett,H (2465)-Ferguson,M (2360)/Hastings 1996
14.♘c3 ♖e8 Even if black aims for immediate Q-side counterplay with ...a5 he still has a very difficult position after (14...a5 15.a3 ♘bxd5 16.♘xd5 ♘xd5 17.g4 a4 18.♗xd5 ♕xd5 19.gxh5 ♕xh5) 15.g4 ♗g6 16.♘e5 ♘bxd5 17.♘xd5 ♘xd5 18.♕f3 ♘f6 19.♘xg6 hxg6 20.g5 White already has a strategically won position and this move drives the N out of play and exposes f7. 20...♘h5 21.♗xf7+ ♔h7 22.♗xe8
22.♕d3 Packed an even bigger wallop. 22...♕d6 23.♖e1 ♖ad8 24.♖e6 ♘f4 25.♗xf4 ♕xe6 (25...♕xf4 26.♕xg6+ mates next move) 26.♗xe6 wins easily
22...♕xe8 23.♖e1 ♖d8 24.♕e4 ♖d7 25.♗e3 ♕f7 26.b3 ♗b4 27.♖ed1 ♖e7 28.♕g4 ♕d5 29.♖ac1 ♖e4?30.♕f3 ♗d6 31.♔g2 ♕e6 32.♖c6 a5 33.♖dc1 a4 34.bxa4 bxa4 35.♖6c4 ♕e8 36.♖xc7 ♗xc7 37.♖xc7 ♕e6 38.♖a7 ♖h4 39.♖xa4 ♕d6 40.♖a8 One square too far! Grefe has just swindled himself.
40.♖a7 ♘f4+ 41.♗xf4 ♖xf4 42.♖d7 ♖g4+ 43.♕xg4 ♕g3+ does not work because in this line there is no stalemate because the K can go to g8.
40...♘f4+ 41.♗xf4 ♖xf4 42.♖d8 ♖g4+ 43.♕xg4 ♕g3+
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