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Walter Shawn Browne
Number of games in database: 1,347
Years covered: 1963 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2431 (2428 rapid, 2409 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2590
Overall record: +496 -311 =524 (56.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      16 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Indian (96) 
    E12 E15 E17 E18 E19
 Sicilian (91) 
    B47 B90 B42 B43 B46
 King's Indian (67) 
    E97 E94 E81 E62 E66
 Ruy Lopez (56) 
    C94 C95 C69 C78 C72
 Grunfeld (32) 
    D85 D87 D86 D89 D91
 Bogo Indian (31) 
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (232) 
    B99 B92 B90 B22 B98
 Sicilian Najdorf (130) 
    B99 B92 B90 B98 B93
 English, 1 c4 c5 (77) 
    A30 A34 A36 A37 A32
 Queen's Indian (73) 
    E15 E12 E14 E19 E17
 Nimzo Indian (63) 
    E32 E42 E41 E21 E53
 Queen's Pawn Game (49) 
    A46 A45 E00 D01 A41
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Seirawan vs Browne, 1979 0-1
   Browne vs Fischer, 1970 1/2-1/2
   Browne vs Bisguier, 1974 1-0
   O Sarapu vs Browne, 1972 0-1
   Browne vs Quinteros, 1974 1-0
   Browne vs Ljubojevic, 1978 1-0
   Browne vs E Winslow, 1977 1-0
   Van der Wiel vs Browne, 1980 0-1
   Browne vs Wojtkiewicz, 2004 1-0
   Browne vs Shabalov, 1994 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Lone Pine (1974)
   US Championship (1974)
   US Championship (1973)
   Buenos Aires (Konex) (1979)
   Hoogovens (1972)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1978)
   Lone Pine (1975)
   Madrid (1973)
   Lone Pine (1976)
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens (1975)
   Rovinj/Zagreb (1970)
   San Antonio (1972)
   US Championship 2006 (2006)
   Lone Pine (1978)
   Reykjavik Open (2014)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Hoogovens 1972 by Tabanus
   Madrid 1973 by suenteus po 147
   Banja Luka 1979 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1974 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1972 by suenteus po 147
   Las Palmas 1977 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1975 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee 1983 by EmperorAtahualpa
   US Championship 1974 by Phony Benoni
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) 1978 by Tabanus

   Shlightin vs Browne, 1993

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Walter Shawn Browne
Search Google for Walter Shawn Browne
FIDE player card for Walter Shawn Browne

(born Jan-10-1949, 66 years old) Australia (citizen of United States of America)

[what is this?]
Walter Shawn Browne was born in Sydney, Australia. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1970 and played first board for Australia at the Skopje Olympiad in 1972. Browne has forged an impressive career, winning six United States Chess Championships 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981 and 1983*. Only Robert James Fischer and Samuel Reshevsky have won more. Browne has also claimed numerous open tournament wins, including three United States Open crowns, seven firsts at the American Open, and eleven National Open Championships. His international successes include Pan American Champion at Winnipeg 1974, first place at Reykjavik 1978, Wijk aan Zee 1980, Surakarta 1982, and Naestved 1985. A top competitor at blitz chess, in 1988 he formed The World Blitz Association.

Browne was honored in 2003 with his induction to the United States Chess Hall of Fame, and still competes with success in top-level American tournaments.


Wikipedia article: Walter Browne

 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,347  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Browne vs I Zalys  0-157 1963 CorrespondenceB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
2. F Wilson vs Browne ½-½51 1963 Marshall Chess Club Weekend Tournament, New City,C21 Center Game
3. Browne vs John Kelly  1-032 1966 67th US OpenB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
4. Browne vs J Wolfe  1-022 1966 67th US OpenA56 Benoni Defense
5. L Jackson vs Browne 1-047 1966 67th US OpenD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
6. Browne vs J F Shaw 1-022 1967 US OpenC00 French Defense
7. E Formanek vs Browne 1-037 1967 US OpenB66 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6
8. Browne vs J T Westbrock  1-048 1967 US OpenC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
9. Browne vs W A Scott 1-025 1967 US OpenB86 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
10. T Weinberger vs Browne  0-141 1967 Santa Monica Masters InvitationalB89 Sicilian
11. B Sperling vs Browne 0-128 1967 US OpenA48 King's Indian
12. Browne vs Saidy ½-½47 1967 US OpenB87 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin with ...a6 and ...b5
13. J Davies vs Browne 0-146 1967 US OpenB34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
14. P Brandts vs Browne 0-153 1967 US OpenA67 Benoni, Taimanov Variation
15. A Karklins vs Browne 1-052 1967 US OpenB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
16. S Sloan vs Browne 1-049 1967 American OpenB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
17. Browne vs D Wade 1-041 1967 US OpenB75 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
18. Browne vs K Bachmann 0-147 1968 WhitbyB15 Caro-Kann
19. Browne vs S Subramanian 1-048 1968 US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
20. A Colon vs Browne 0-141 1969 San JuanB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
21. Tarjan vs Browne 0-130 1969 USA-ch U18 playoffB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
22. Browne vs Spassky ½-½65 1969 San Juan (Puerto Rico)C94 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer Defense
23. Schmid vs Browne ½-½33 1969 San JuanB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
24. Tarjan vs Browne ½-½41 1969 USA Jch plof mB23 Sicilian, Closed
25. Browne vs Larsen ½-½66 1969 San Juan (Puerto Rico)C41 Philidor Defense
 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,347  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Browne wins | Browne loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: During my morning commute I found myself wondering (as you do) what Browne's peak world ranking was. I guessed Top 15, Top 20 at the most. Turns out it's 27th (Dec '75 - Jan '76).

I guess I should read about Browne's ability from people other than Browne himself.

Nov-05-14  Granny O Doul: But what does it matter if you're 5th or 15th or 27th or 14,532nd?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <Granny O Doul> Well, what does it "matter" if you're World Champion or not? None of this truly matters. Even Jeff Sonas would concede that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Remember that when Browne was at his peak ranking in 75 and 76, the world of chess was not wide open media- technology-wise, and chess news took weeks and even months to get around, unless it involved the World Ch.

There were very few weekly chess magazines in the world, and the monthlies could not put in all of what some thought was the big or almost biggest news.

With that in mind, what one knew best about the chess greats were those in one's own back yard, or at most one's own country if in the U.S. anyway. This is part of what made Browne seem like such a huge superstar in the U.S. though not in the rest of the world by any means.

Winning the U.S. Ch. 6 times helped his status in the U.S. just a wee bit too!

In Chess Life I would see his results against the top Russians back in the 70's and 80's and just sigh, (yearning for Fischer to return). Browne's play against non-Russians outside the top 10 was way more impressive, and his play at home against Americans made him look like a Chess Giant!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <SteinitzLives: Remember that when Browne was at his peak ranking in 75 and 76, the world of chess was not wide open media- technology-wise, and chess news took weeks and even months to get around....>

Even in the 1990s, Jonathan Speelman wrote of this in his collection of best games.

A droll tale on the spread of information comes from Gligoric vs K Langeweg, 1970, a nice win for White.

A while later, Gligoric vs Fischer, 1970 deviated with 17.Kh1, which Gliga played as he feared an improvement after 17.Kh2, as played vs Langeweg. Fischer was asked afterwards how he would have played had White stuck to 17.Kh2, and his interlocutor was astounded to learn that the IBM tourney had been played so recently that Fischer had not yet seen the games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <SteinitzLives> Good point.
Nov-06-14  zanzibar: I consider MCO-13 as really written by Browne - they have so many of his games used in the opening refs.

I don't know if anybody cited this before, but if so, it's worth repeating.

It's Seirawan's foreword from Browne's book <The Stress of Chess>:

<"In the many games that we contested we held a deep post-mortem. Often these lasted for hours and during them it was obvious, time in and time out, that Walter had out-calculated me. We had looked at the same variations, but he had calculated them more deeply than I had. In many instances Walter went far beyond the point where I had stopped, being satisfied with a line.

Walter wanted to be sure. When he felt a win existed he wished to nail it down with calculation and cold-blooded determination. When I asked why he didn't just play an obviously good move, he would often say that while his 'instinct' had told him to play the 'natural' good move it was his calculation that guided him to consider other possibilities, and what ultimately caused him to come to a decision was the calculated line.

In most cases Walter's instinct and calculation were one and the same, producing the same move, which he would then play. But here comes the rub. He would go into deep concentration, using large amounts of time on his clock to confirm his instinct with concrete calculation. The result? Chronic time trouble. The flip side of his greatest strength, calculation, was that it often led to harrowing time-scrambles.

Bingo! Wonderful, you may think. All I'd have to do is present enough problems for Walter early and often enough and he would drift into time-trouble, at which point I might take advantage...

Unfortunately, it was precisely here, when he was in time-trouble, that Walter was at his most dangerous. Cobra fast, he could make 20 moves within one minute, and those 20 moves were like perfect links in a chain leading to victory. It was truly remarkable to see him in action while in time-trouble. He was a demon. Any one caught playing time trouble blitz against him would likely fail as again and again Walter would come through the most harrowing clock pressure in better shape than when he started. How he kept his nerves during these episodes remains a mystery to me."

[ed- slight para edits]>

Here's John Watson's review of the book (with the above quote):

And the amazon link to the book:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <Zanzibar> Thanks for transcribing. Seirawan is always a flattering biographer. I remember Browne himself saying (paraphrasing from memory) "I am one of the best blitz players in the world, but when I get in time trouble in a long game that blitz skill doesn't help me at all."
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Wow! Wanting 50K to play just one game, in 1979? What generosity!>

Karpov was way ahead of Kasparov in his appreciation of the consolations of capitalism. What amazes is the apparent latitude that he had to chart his own career, whether that be negotiating with Fischer for a multi-million dollar match outside the confines of FIDE, agreeing to play an exhibition match in the mecca of Las Vegas, or securing lucrative endorsements with Western companies. Given that so many of his Soviet colleagues of that period were fighting over scraps, a Western invitation was like gold dust, it's little wonder that people like Gulko and Alburt ascribed such power to the man.

It'd be interesting to know which side pulled the plug on the project. Given the announcement had already reached the press, one would have to presume the Americans couldn't raise the money.

Nov-07-14  john barleycorn: <Wow! Wanting 50K to play just one game, in 1979? What generosity!>

Just to make sure about

a.) Browne was serious

b.) Karpov is not wasting his time. Time is precious.

Since it did not happen let us agree Browne was just joking.

Nov-07-14  Strongest Force: My 2 cents worth is that Brown would be more comfortable at the 'flea house' than on the international stage. He was not called 'the Swiss king' for nothing.
Nov-07-14  zanzibar: <SF> Well, I think he did pretty good at Wijk aan Zee in 1980 with TPR of 2743(and in 1976, where his Dutch performance bumped him up to #27):

Other than his time trouble, was there some other weakness in his game, I wonder?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <zanzibar> In <Confessions of a Chess Grandmaster>, my recollection is that Soltis opined that Browne's frequent adventures into the time trouble morass were occasioned by a desire to play the perfect game, which caused him to burn loads of time in even the opening phase.

It is possible that Browne's immense knowledge of the lines he used was offset, at the highest levels, by the rigidity of his opening repertoire; when we sat down to play at the World Open blitz event in 1991, I knew what I was almost certainly going to get, same as if I had been a colleague and not a nameless master.

Nov-08-14  Strongest Force: My point was that Browne rarely played internationals. He was extremely interested in them, considering the amount of data he collected on each and every one of them. From the time he first became a gm at age 20 until the present, I would be surprised if he averaged 1 international per year.
Nov-08-14  Howard: Browne's peak world ranking was actually a bit higher than 27th---in the April, 1984 issue of Chess Life he was listed as having the highest FIDE rating of any U.S. player, and his world ranking was around 20th. I'll make a mental note to look it up later---but he was definitely higher than 27th.

As for Strongest Force's comment about Browne and international events....C'mon ! He definitely averaged more than one per year in, say, the 70's ! In 1975 alone, he played in both Milan and also Wijk ann Zee (sp).

Nov-09-14  Strongest Force: Howard, how about from 1968 until 2014? Would he have averaged 1 per year?
Nov-09-14  zanzibar: Here's the tournament data for Browne from <MillBase>:

(<MillBase> has 1522 Browne games, with ~102 international tournaments over the period 1965-1994, <Enormous> has more games, but I didn't use it)

Here is a couple of years/tournaments:

1972 7
1973 2
1974 3
1975 4
1976 4
1977 3
1978 5
1979 4
1980 6
1981 7
1982 5

Fairly active, considering the general impression expressed on these pages (which I also had before looking at the data).

Nov-09-14  zanzibar: The data follows, cut and paste it into your friendly editor to display it properly. Note that I hand-edited out the USA tournaments, so there might be some inaccuracies - but it's sufficient to give an idea of his activity.

The 1990's:

Date Players Games Elo Site: Event Winner

1994 12 11 2524 Linares: Linares 1994 2 1 2528 Linares MEX: Linares,MEX

1993 4 3 2529 Linares: Linares

1993 4 3 2520 Linares MEX: Linares,MEX

1993 3 2 2473 Continental op: Continental Open

1992 13 12 2486 Linares: Linares

1992 2 1 2505 Juarez: Juarez

1991 5 4 2510 St Martin: St Martin

1991 2 1 2365 St Martin op: St Martin Open

1991 2 1 2520 Windsor: Windsor

1990.04 12 11 2557 Dortmund GER: Dortmund

1990.03 4 5 2551 Reykjavik tt: Reykjavik tt

1990 10 9 2494 Reykjavik ISL: Reykjavik

1990 2 1 2545 Dortmund GER: Dortmund

1990 2 1 2560 Reno op: Reno Open

As can be seen, some over-counting is present since the tournament names haven't been properly normalized. I'll post the rest of the data as well.

Nov-09-14  zanzibar: The 1980's:

Date Players Games Elo Site: Event Winner

1989.12 9 8 2513 Palma de Mallorca open: GMA -

1989.03 10 9 2486 Lugano open: Lugano Open

1989 2 1 2428 World Open: World Open

1989 2 1 2460 San Mateo Action: San Mateo Action

1989 2 1 2535 Compri Hotel: Compri Hotel

1989 2 1 2558 Lugano SUI: Lugano

1988 10 9 2483 Reykjavik ISL: Reykjavik

1988 9 8 2505 St John: St John

1988 2 1 2548 World Open: World Open

1987 2 1 2413 World Open: World Open

1986 8 7 2464 Reykjavik ISL: Reykjavik

1986 3 2 2506 Reykjavik tt: Reykjavik tt

1985.06 16 15 2522 Taxco izt: FIDE (35) 1985-1987

1985 2 1 2545 Boblingen: Boblingen

1985 11 10 2544 Naestved DEN: Naestved

1985 2 1 2530 England: England

1985 2 1 2513 Taxco: Taxco

1984.11 8 7 2530 Thessaloniki olm: Thessaloniki olm

1983 14 15 2552 Wijk aan Zee NED: Hoogovens 35th

1983 7 6 2575 Gjovik: Gjovik

1983 4 6 2554 Bath tv I: Bath tv I

1982.10 11 10 2559 Luzern olm: Luzern olm

1982.09 10 9 2593 Tilburg NED: Interpolis

1982.02 24 23 2523 Surakarta: Surakarta

1982 2 1 2588 Las Palmas ESP: Las Palmas

1982 2 1 2530 Indonesia: Indonesia

1982 13 12 2562 Las Palmas izt: FIDE (32) 1982-1984

1981 13 13 2552 Wijk aan Zee NED: Hoogovens 35th

1981 6 10 2510 Brazil: Brazil

1981 5 8 2584 Mar del Plata ARG: Mar del Plata

1981 5 4 2501 Santiago CHI: Santiago

1981 3 2 2501 TV: TV

1981 7 6 2507 China: China

1981 4 3 2545 Moron: Moron

1980.10 15 14 2540 Buenos Aires ARG: Buenos Aires

1980.04 14 13 2535 Londen: Londen

1980.01 13 12 2521 Wijk aan Zee NED: Hoogovens 35th

1980 2 1 2565 Buenos Aires ARG: Buenos Aires

1980 6 5 2509 Reykjavik ISL: Reykjavik

1980 7 6 2521 Los Polvorines: Los Polvorines

This period looks better normalized. On to the 1970's.

Nov-09-14  zanzibar: The 1970's and 1960's:

Date Players Games Elo Site: Event Winner 1979.07 14 13 2518 Buenos Aires ARG: KON

1979 5 4 2508 Banja Luka BIH: Banja Luka

1979 4 3 2548 London ENG: London

1979 7 6 2540 Novi Sad SRB: Novi Sad

1978.10 10 9 2511 Buenos Aires olm: Buenos Aires olm

1978.09 12 11 2573 Tilburg NED: Interpolis

1978.07 13 12 2549 Amsterdam NED: IBM

1978 11 10 2534 Buenos Aires ARG: Buenos Aires

1978 4 3 2578 Reykjavik ISL: Reykjavik

1977 15 14 2527 Las Palmas ESP: Las Palmas

1977 2 1 2460 Orense: Orense

1977 2 1 2545 Parmeson Class,CA: Parmeson Class,CA

1976.06 18 17 2563 Manila izt: FIDE (30) 1976-1978

1976.05 4 6 2592 Amsterdam NED: Euwe Memorial

1976.01 9 8 2554 Wijk aan Zee NED: Hoogovens 35th

1976 2 1 2585 Manila PHI: Manila

1975.03 16 15 2480 Mannheim GER: Internationaal

1975.01 15 14 2538 Wijk aan Zee NED: Hoogovens 35th

1975 11 10 2578 Milaan: Milaan

1975 2 1 2558 Vancouver: Vancouver

1974.06 10 9 2511 Nice olm: Nice olm

1974.04 16 15 2523 Las Palmas ESP: Las Palmas

1974.01 13 12 2503 Wijk aan Zee NED: Hoogovens 35th

1974 5 4 2492 Nice FRA: Nice

1973.11 13 12 2534 Madrid ESP: Madrid

1973 2 1 2493 Madrid ESP: Madrid

1972.12 15 14 2506 Hastings ENG: 72/73

1972.10 6 5 2431 Skopje olm: Skopje olm

1972.06 16 15 2512 Amsterdam NED: IBM

1972 5 4 2516 Malaga ESP: Malaga

1972 15 15 2517 Wijk aan Zee NED: Hoogovens 35th

1972 2 1 2530 Statham Masters Open: Statham Masters Open

1972 3 2 2530 Skopje ol fin C: Skopje ol fin C

1971.07 14 13 2508 Amsterdam NED: IBM

1971.03 16 15 2480 Mar del Plata ARG: Mar del Plata

1971 4 3 2452 Stockholm SWE: Stockholm

1971 9 8 2491 Venice ITA: Venice

1971 7 6 2501 Netanya ISR: Netanya

1971 2 1 2510 Adelaide AUS: Adelaide

1970.09 19 19 2516 Siegen olm: Siegen olm

1970.04 17 16 0 Rovinj/Zagreb CRO: Rovinj / Zagreb

1970 5 4 0 Malaga ESP: Malaga

1970 4 3 0 Skopje MKD: Skopje

1970 5 4 0 Sarajevo BIH: Sarajevo

1969 4 3 0 San Juan: San Juan

1969 2 1 0 Singapore SIN: Singapore

1968 2 1 0 Bognor Regis: Bognor Regis

1965 2 1 0 cr.: Corree

This also looks properly normalized, meaning my summary table is fairly reliable.

Jan-10-15  ketchuplover: Happy Birthday young man :)
Jan-10-15  alfiepa: Happy Birthday GM Browne
I remember me , teen ager , 16 years old , moving the pieces on the chessboard fot the spectator in the game Browne - Tal of Milan 1975 Browne very stressed but very happy when , the nex day , Tal resigned a lost ending of Rock and pawn a strong defence of Browne
A great player of tournament , winner in Italy also of Venice 1971 . Very Well also his autobiography !
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <kingfu> You are probably thinking of the American Open, 4-day Swiss over Thanksgiving Weekend.

I played it a few times, but never saw Browne there, the picture above was taken at National Open (Las Vegas) when he was doing a simul.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: I just got done replaying Fotis - Browne 1973, a fine Dutch Leningrad win by Walter. Back then there used to be huge weekend Swiss tourneys at hotels by LAX. I saw Browne there playing on a cheapo cardboard with plastic piece chess set. He didn't care. Opened e4 and won a Sicilian. He had shoulder length hair in 1973. Didn't we all. Happiest and Many More Birthdays.
Jan-10-15  RookFile: He sort of reminds me of the Paul Newman character in the movie, The Sting.
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