Walter Browne

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Walter Browne 1976.jpg
Walter Browne, 1976
Surname Walter Shawn Browne
Association AustraliaAustralia Australia (until 1972) United States (from 1973)
United StatesUnited States 
Born January 10, 1949
Sydney , Australia
Died June 24, 2015
Las Vegas
title International Master (1969)
Grand Master (1970)
Best Elo rating 2590 (July 1982)

Walter Shawn Browne (born January 10, 1949 in Sydney , † June 24, 2015 in Las Vegas ) was an Australian - American chess master .


Walter Browne's parents, an American father and Australian mother, relocated from Australia to the New York City area of the United States when Browne was three years old. In 1966 he became the USA youth champion. He dropped out of high school and devoted himself to playing chess. He never had a coach, instead he played countless blitz games for small stakes. In 1969 he represented Australia at the zone tournament in Singapore , where he won together with Renato Naranja and was then named international champion by FIDE . On his success, Browne received an invitation to the Grand Masters tournament in San Juan (Puerto Rico) , which took place in 1969. In this tournament he managed a victory against Lubomir Kavalek and in the final account a shared second place with Bruno Parma and Arthur Bisguier behind world champion Boris Spasski . FIDE then awarded Browne the title of Grand Master .

In 1973 Browne moved to California . After Bobby Fischer's withdrawal from chess, he was considered one of the leading chess players in the USA. He won the USA championship six times, the National Open 11 times, the American Open seven times and the US Open and the World Open three times each. His most significant successes in international tournaments include his victories in Venice 1971, Wijk aan Zee 1974 and 1980, Reykjavík 1978, Chile 1981, Indonesia 1982 (a mammoth tournament with 26 participants and 25 rounds), at the New York Open 1983, Gjøvik 1983 and Næstved 1985. Browne won the International German Championship in Mannheim in 1975 ahead of Ludek Pachmann and Raymond Keene .

However, he never qualified for the candidate fights for the World Chess Championship. At the interzonal tournament in Manila 1976 he came in only 15th, and in the interzonal tournament in 1979 he could not take part because he had not competed in the national championship of the United States in 1978 and was not granted a free place. Browne took part in a total of six Chess Olympiads : 1970 and 1972 each on the top board for Australia and 1974 , 1978 , 1982 and 1984 for the USA. He scored 55.5 points from 86 games. He achieved the third-best individual result on the first board in 1972 and won the team bronze medal in all four appearances with the United States. In 1988 he founded the World Blitz Chess Association , an organization promoting blitz chess, and published Blitz Chess magazine. The US Chess Federation USCF inducted Browne into the US Chess Hall of Fame in 2003 . Most recently, he won the open US senior championship in 2005.

Browne's style was very sharp and attack-oriented. He benefited from his good opening knowledge, among other things, he was considered an expert on the Najdorf variant of the Sicilian Defense . He was also known for being extremely nervous on the board.

Browne had throat cancer in his later years , but it went into remission. He died in his sleep on the night of June 24, 2015, of unspecified cause, while staying with a friend after participating in the Las Vegas Chess Festival and National Open chess tournament . Until recently, he successfully participated in chess tournaments. Browne was married.

Game example

Browne - Bisguier, Chicago 1974
  a b c d e f G H  
8th Chess rdt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess kdt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess rdt45.svg 8th
7th Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess bdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg 7th
6th Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg 6th
5 Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess qdt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess bdt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg 5
4th Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg 4th
3 Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess qlt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess nlt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg 3
2 Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg 2
1 Chess rlt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess blt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess rlt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess klt45.svg Chess --t45.svg 1
  a b c d e f G H  

Position after 13.… c7 – c6

Template: checkerboard / maintenance / new

A strong opening innovation brought Browne with the white pieces in his game against Arthur Bisguier at the US national championship in 1974.

In the position in the diagram, which arose from one of the main variants of the Russian Defense ( ECO code C42), he played the amazing move 14. Bc1 – h6 . The point of this is to gain a speed to connect the rooks, to open the diagonal and to take advantage of the unrocheted position of the black king in the e-line. After accepting the bishop's sacrifice, Browne intended to continue: 14.… g7xh6 15. Re1 – e5 Qd5 – d7 16. Ra1 – e1 Bf5 – e6 17. d4 – d5 c6xd5 18. Re5xe6 f7xe6 19. Qc3xh8 + Be7 – f8 20. Qh8– f6 Bf8 – e7 21. Re5xe6 and wins. After 45 minutes of thought, Bisguier decided on 14.… Rh8 – g8 . This was followed by 15. Re1 – e5 Qd5 – d7 16. Re1 – e1 Bf5 – e6 17. Nf3 – g5 0–0–0 18. Ng5xf7 Be6xf7 19. Re5xe7 Qd7xd4 20. Re7xf7 Qd4xc3 21. b2xc3 g7xh6 22. Re1 – b1 and White won the game after 40 moves.


Browne also played poker since the 1970s . He was, among others, in the 2007 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas Second in a tournament of the variant H.ORSE and won 131,445 US dollars . Overall, he made three money ranks in 2007. In the Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship , which requires a player to be 50 or older, Browne made the money in 2010 , 2011 and 2014 .


  • Walter Browne: The stress of chess ... and its infinite finesse. My life, career and 101 best games . New in Chess, Alkmaar 2012, ISBN 978-90-5691-382-3 .
  • Danny Kopec and Craig Pritchett: Chess world title contenders and their styles . Dover, Mineola 2002. ISBN 0-486-42233-X , pp. 59-87.

Web links

Commons : Walter Browne  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. a b c GM Walter S. Browne 1949 - 2015
  2. Willy Iclicki: FIDE Golden book 1924-2002 . Euroadria, Slovenia, 2002, p. 75.
  3. ^ Jan C. Roosendaal: Browne and Seirawan victorious in Wijk aan Zee . Schach-Echo 1980, No. 4, title page (with cross table).
  4. 56th German individual chess championship 1975 in Mannheim on TeleSchach (cross table and games)
  5. ^ Walter Browne's results at the Chess Olympiads on
  6. a b According to statements by Benjamin Finegold on June 25, 2015 at a lecture at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. Video on Youtube (English) accessed on April 12, 2017.
  7. Walter Browne in the Hendon Mob Poker Database, accessed March 13, 2018 (English)