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Jesse Kraai
J Kraai 
Photo courtesy of  

Number of games in database: 248
Years covered: 1990 to 2023
Last FIDE rating: 2429
Highest rating achieved in database: 2527
Overall record: +69 -68 =70 (50.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 41 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (23) 
    E94 E92 E91 E97 E93
 English (18) 
    A15 A13 A16 A14
 Reti System (16) 
 Sicilian (9) 
    B46 B48 B81 B31 B84
 Slav (9) 
    D11 D12 D13 D14 D17
 Nimzo-Larsen Attack (6) 
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (41) 
    C11 C05 C00 C02 C12
 French (22) 
    C11 C00 C12
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    A40 E00 D05 A46
 French Tarrasch (12) 
    C05 C07
 English (12) 
    A10 A14
 Sicilian (11) 
    B40 B31 B80 B44 B81
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   J Kraai vs Nakamura, 2007 1-0
   R Burnett vs J Kraai, 2004 0-1
   J Kraai vs Yermolinsky, 2005 1-0
   J Kraai vs C R Harmon, 2003 1-0
   A Florean vs J Kraai, 2006 0-1
   J Kraai vs E Schiller, 2002 1/2-1/2
   J Kraai vs A Kobernat, 2001 1-0
   J Kraai vs Seirawan, 2002 1/2-1/2
   J Kraai vs S Owen, 2004 1-0
   J Bloomer vs J Kraai, 2005 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Saint Louis Invitational (2011)
   Edmonton International (2009)
   32nd World Open (2004)
   37th World Open (2009)
   United States Championship (2010)
   Foxwoods Open (2007)
   United States Championship (2002)
   13th Unive Tournament (Open) (2009)
   World Open: Open Section (2003)
   US Championship 2006 (2006)
   United States Championship (2003)
   HB Global Chess Challenge (2005)
   Groningen Open (1997)
   Chessmaster US Championship 2005 (2004)
   Berkeley International (2011)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   2011 Saint Louis invitational by gauer
   Kraai's e6 Defenses by fredthebear

   🏆 US Senior Open
   J Kraai vs M Sana (Jul-23-23) 1-0
   J Kraai vs L Bregadze (Feb-01-15) 0-1
   J Kraai vs S Taylor (Jun-02-14) 1-0, exhibition

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Jesse Kraai
Search Google for Jesse Kraai
FIDE player card for Jesse Kraai

(born May-06-1972, 51 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Jessie Kraai, 1987 National Junior HS champion and 1988 National High School co-champion, received a B.A from Shimer College in 1994, an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Jena, Germany in 1996, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Heidelberg in 2001. He was awarded the GM title in 2007. In 2013, Kraai published Lisa: A Chess Novel.

References / Sources

(1) ; (2) (2017 podcast interview with Ben Johnson of Perpetual Chess)

Wikipedia article: Jesse Kraai

Last updated: 2022-07-21 12:35:55

 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 249  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J Bonin vs J Kraai 1-027199018th World OpenA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
2. D Gurevich vs J Kraai  1-0611990Illinois ClassE00 Queen's Pawn Game
3. D Gurevich vs J Kraai  0-1671990Master Challenge XIIA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
4. R Torregrossa vs J Kraai 1-0341990Twin City OpenA22 English
5. J Kraai vs K Bachler  0-1311990Ken Wallach Make My Salad OpenE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
6. D Gurevich vs J Kraai  1-0411991Chicago Chess CenterA30 English, Symmetrical
7. J Kraai vs I Ivanov  0-160199192nd US OpenE91 King's Indian
8. T Shaked vs J Kraai  1-050199192nd US OpenB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
9. J Kraai vs L Pettersson  1-0561991New York OpenD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
10. Waitzkin vs J Kraai  0-1291991New York OpenB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
11. J Kraai vs D Gurevich 0-1261991New York OpenE10 Queen's Pawn Game
12. J Kraai vs A Sherzer  0-1291991New York OpenE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
13. A Bauza vs J Kraai  ½-½281991New York OpenB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
14. J Kraai vs S Ivanov  0-1301995Berliner SommerD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
15. A Deev vs J Kraai  0-1401995Berliner SommerB40 Sicilian
16. J Kraai vs F Doettling  ½-½201997BL2-S 9697E93 King's Indian, Petrosian System
17. G Gauglitz vs J Kraai  0-1391997BL2-S 9697A43 Old Benoni
18. O Sick vs J Kraai  0-1251997BL2-S 9798B40 Sicilian
19. P Schlosser vs J Kraai  0-1441997Groningen OpenA04 Reti Opening
20. J Kraai vs G Schebler  0-1411997Groningen OpenE92 King's Indian
21. M Krakops vs J Kraai  1-0261997Groningen OpenB40 Sicilian
22. J Kraai vs P Lurje  1-0221997Groningen OpenE92 King's Indian
23. J Kraai vs S Conquest  0-1361997Groningen OpenD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. A Clemens vs J Kraai  0-1411997Groningen OpenA61 Benoni
25. H Grund vs J Kraai  ½-½61998Budapest FS11 IM-AC02 French, Advance
 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 249  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kraai wins | Kraai loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-17-08  sneaky pete: Wilhelm Müller: Die Krähe

Eine Krähe war mit mir
Aus der Stadt gezogen,
Ist bis heute für und für
Um mein Haupt geflogen.

Krähe, wunderliches Tier,
Willst mich nicht verlassen?
Meinst wohl, bald als Beute hier
Meinen Leib zu fassen?

Nun, es wird nicht weit mehr geh'n
An dem Wanderstabe.
Krähe, laß mich endlich seh'n
Treue bis zum Grabe!

Dec-28-08  Phony Benoni: At the 1990 U.S. Open in Jacksonville, Florida, Jesse Kraai got into a rut. Rated 2300 (at age 17), Kraai suddenly started drawing Experts (USCF 2000-2199) round after round.

The morning after draw #5, I noticed him in the lobby, busily scribbling away on some paper. A few minutes later he was gone, but the paper had been left behind. I was nosy enough to take a look at it.

He had written the following sentence no fewer than 87 times:

<I, Jesse Kraai, hereby swear that I will never draw a low-life Expert.>

It didn't work. He drew #6 that night.

Jul-09-09  myschkin: . . .

"His dissertation examined the influence of Georg Joachim Rheticus on the development of Copernican theory."

Rheticus' engagement with Copernicus is discussed in the light of new documents. In particular it is shown that there were strong astrological motivations behind Rheticus' acceptance of the heliocentric theory.


Daaim Shabazz remembers reading a story on Kraai who was reputed to be a neighborhood troublemaker in his youth. When asked why he chose chess, he said it was the most violent game he could find.


Fide Card:



On the roof:


Oct-17-09  wanabe2000: Jesse just won his 2nd round game against Adrian Clemens in the open tournament at Hoogeveen.
May-14-10  BIDMONFA: Jesse Kraai

KRAAI, Jesse

May-18-10  FHBradley: A nice bio.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Peligroso Patzer: <Seeing this picture, though, he's a hell of a lot older than I thought.> According to the chess column in last Sunday's New York Times (featuring Kraai vs. Nakamura, Foxwoods 2007), Kraai is 34 years old.>

The picture does not do him justice at all. It's an awful shot. In person he looks about his actual age. It's like the picture shows how he will look in 10 or 15 years.

He has a PhD, by the way. Is there any other active GM with a doctoral degree?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Answering my own question: Robert Huebner.
Dec-12-10  Eastfrisian: .. and: Helmut Pfleger
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willem Wallekers: and John Nunn
Sep-10-12  Poisonpawns: I felt Jesse Kraai was being somewhat disingenuous and dismissive when he said that the Tarrach (Nd2) against the French wasn`t "A good move at all." In one of his Instructional videos on the French Defense. My first thought was; "Do you know how many strong GM`s above 2700 play it regularly? Michael Adams comes immediately to mind.Now I check his games regularly to see if was smashed in a French Tarrach yet.
Sep-10-12  zoren: <Poisonpawns> Where did you read/hear that? He has a full lecture series on the French and the venom associated even with obscure sidelines. IIRC he has expressed a small dissatisfaction playing against Nd2 because Black can often be playing against someone whose happy with a small but nagging advantage - perhaps you heard him out of context!
Sep-11-12  Poisonpawns: It is a video presentation of his from from a few years ago that he did. A "contributor" asked him to do a video specifically on the Tarrach variation because he "did not know how to play against it" as Black in the French. Kraai then responded by saying that Nd2 "wasn`t really a good move" without too much explanation, except to say that black can play the Guimard??(really) against it and then taught about Nc3 and thus avoided the request.
Oct-03-12  tarek1: <Poisonpawns> I am also a subscriber. It looks like he changed his mind on the matter because in some later videos he announced that the Tarrasch made him abandon the French... Actually now it seems that he abandoned chess because he didn't play a rated game since around may 2011 and didn't record a single new video, so...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < zoren: ....IIRC (Kraai) has expressed a small dissatisfaction playing against Nd2 because Black can often be playing against someone whose happy with a small but nagging advantage....>

An approach which suited Karpov down to the ground, though in the first and second of their top-level matches, Korchnoi held the draw in all nine games, despite playing a somewhat shaky line in both 1978 encounters ( In their final match (1981), Korchnoi did not play the French at all, responding to 1.e4 with 1....e5 (Karpov-Korchnoi World Championship Rematch (1981)).

Jul-11-13  The Last Straw: <Fusili: Is there any other active grandmaster with a doctoral degree?>

I think Yona Kosashvili has one

Jun-09-14  pazzed paun: does anybody know how he is doing after his vehicle accident?
Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: <pazzed paun> He looks better than ever, IMO.

Played him in a simul in Cupertino. He had lots of cuts/scraps on his legs, but other than that he looked good!

Nov-28-14  waustad: He is the author of the novel, "Lisa, a Chess Novel." I for one found it interesting and entertaining. Here is his personal website:
May-24-15  TheFocus: <The beautiful thing about chess is, it's one of the few places in the world where you are just objectively judged for what you have done last week. There is no boss or someone telling you this, that or the other thing. ... I don't need a boss> - Jesse Kraai.
May-06-17  redlance: Happy Birthday!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Fusili: Is there any other active grandmaster with a doctoral degree?>

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: From <OCF>'s link:

<Dr. Beniamin Blumenfeld (1884-1947) was a Russian chess master; PhD. His dissertation was on the nature of blunders in chess.>

Think I was the subject of his study...

Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Kraai me a river! Oh and happy birthday
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Jesse is a Chess Dojo (not all dojos are alike):

Improvement -

Tactical Separation -

Rook Endings -

Carlsbad Structure -

Queenside -

Useful lessons from an experienced teacher! How many grandmasters give out free lessons?

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