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Walter Shawn Browne
Number of games in database: 1,345
Years covered: 1963 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2433 (2428 rapid, 2409 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2590
Overall record: +496 -310 =523 (57.0%)*
   * 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 B45
 King's Indian (67) 
    E97 E94 E81 E62 E80
 Ruy Lopez (56) 
    C94 C95 C78 C72 C69
 Grunfeld (32) 
    D85 D87 D86 D89 D91
 Bogo Indian (31) 
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (231) 
    B99 B92 B90 B22 B98
 Sicilian Najdorf (130) 
    B99 B92 B90 B98 B93
 English, 1 c4 c5 (76) 
    A30 A34 A36 A37 A32
 Queen's Indian (74) 
    E15 E12 E14 E17 E19
 Nimzo Indian (63) 
    E32 E42 E41 E21 E53
 Queen's Pawn Game (49) 
    A46 A45 E00 A41 D01
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 Ljubojevic, 1978 1-0
   Van der Wiel vs Browne, 1980 0-1
   Browne vs Quinteros, 1974 1-0
   Browne vs E Winslow, 1977 1-0
   Browne vs Wojtkiewicz, 2004 1-0
   Browne vs Wojtkiewicz, 2004 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 (1976)
   Lone Pine (1975)
   Madrid (1973)
   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
   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
   Banja Luka 1979 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1974 by Phony Benoni
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) 1978 by Tabanus
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1980 by suenteus po 147
   Buenos Aires (Konex) 1979 by Tabanus

   Shlightin vs Browne, 1993

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Walter Shawn Browne
Search Google for Walter Shawn Browne

(born Jan-10-1949, died Jun-24-2015, 66 years old) Australia (citizen of United States of America)

[what is this?]
Walter Shawn Browne was born in Sydney, Australia to an Australian mother and an American father. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1970 and played first board for Australia at the Skopje Olympiad in 1972. Browne had an impressive career, most notably winning the United States Championship six times: in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981 and 1983*, a record exceeded only by Robert James Fischer and Samuel Reshevsky. He also won numerous open tournaments, including two U.S. Opens, seven American Opens, and eleven National Opens, and the 1991 Canadian Open.

Browne's international successes include first-place finishes at Venice 1971, Wijk aan Zee 1974, Winnipeg 1974 (Pan American Championship), Lone Pine 1974, Mannheim 1975, Reykjavík 1978, Wijk aan Zee 1980, Chile 1981, Indonesia 1982 (shared with Ron Henley in a 26-player round-robin tournament), the 1983 New York Open, Gjovik 1983, and Naestved 1985. A top competitor at blitz chess, in 1988 he formed the World Blitz Association.

Browne was inducted into the United States Chess Hall of Fame in 2003. Up until the time of his death, he still competed with success in top-level American tournaments. He died suddenly in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 24, 2015, having just tied for 9th-15th in the National Open.


Wikipedia article: Walter Browne

 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,345  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. F Wilson vs Browne ½-½51 1963 Marshall Chess Club Weekend Tournament, New City,C21 Center Game
2. Browne vs I Zalys  0-157 1963 CorrespondenceB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
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. J Davies vs Browne 0-146 1967 US OpenB34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
7. P Brandts vs Browne 0-153 1967 US OpenA67 Benoni, Taimanov Variation
8. A Karklins vs Browne 1-052 1967 US OpenB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
9. Browne vs D Wade 1-041 1967 US OpenB75 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
10. S Sloan vs Browne 1-049 1967 American OpenB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
11. Browne vs J F Shaw 1-022 1967 US OpenC00 French Defense
12. T Weinberger vs Browne  0-141 1967 Santa Monica Masters InvitationalB89 Sicilian
13. E Formanek vs Browne 1-037 1967 US OpenB66 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6
14. Browne vs J T Westbrock  1-048 1967 US OpenC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
15. Browne vs W A Scott 1-025 1967 US OpenB86 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
16. B Sperling vs Browne 0-128 1967 US OpenA48 King's Indian
17. Browne vs Saidy ½-½47 1967 US OpenB87 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin with ...a6 and ...b5
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. Browne vs Robert E Byrne  ½-½18 1969 San Juan (Puerto Rico)B44 Sicilian
21. Browne vs Tarjan  ½-½32 1969 USA-ch U18 playoffC70 Ruy Lopez
22. Browne vs K Lawless 1-018 1969 San Francisco,MechanC78 Ruy Lopez
23. Browne vs Tarjan 0-138 1969 USA-ch U18 playoffC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
24. A Colon vs Browne 0-141 1969 San JuanB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
25. Tarjan vs Browne 0-130 1969 USA-ch U18 playoffB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,345  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Browne wins | Browne loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 13 OF 13 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-27-15  Olavi: Yes, great page. My Dutch isn't perfect, but also Sosonko, writing in schaakbulletin 173, says that Henley scored a GM result (not title). Which isn't conclusive, of course.
Jun-27-15  zanzibar: <Olavi> <RE: GM norm or qual>

I'm speculating, but there's a possibility that FIDE was lobbied to allow the direct qualification after the tournament finished (but say, before the FIDE Congress).

That would allow for the immediate contemporaneous reporting to say one thing, and FIDE to do something else shortly thereafter.

I'm not saying it happened, just pointing out a possibility.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: My friend Adorjan sent this tribute to the great American player


It all happened so suddenly. The good old Walter Browne just finished a tournament. And died in his sleep. He was 66. And he was a great player who won 6 US Championships and many national and international tournaments. He was a fighter who fought not only with his opponents but also his regular time-scrambles. Mostly with success. We had a balance of 3-3 but in a very strange way. First he beat me three times and then I took my revange! He was a really colourful person and the only cowboy I saw in my life. It was very fine to read so many good words about him only after hours of his departure. He really deserved respect and honour.

There is a story about him which is characteristic and even true. I was a witness.

So in some of IBM's tournaments Walter was a bit late and rushed in. He sat down to the table and made his move energeticly. But there were some chuckles from the spectators. That's it was not his board. Never mind, he run to another table made his move and sat down. Same thing happened: sniggering could be heard. Well, it was still not the board he searched for but it took just a little more time for him to find it...

We lost a true lover and an artist of chess. See you there Walter! If you like we can have the decisive game over there! You have White...


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: My friend Sam sends this:

"The chess world has been in shock since the news came yesterday morning that Grandmaster Walter Browne died early yesterday morning. For the last 49 years, I have been holding a small secret which I felt should best not be revealed as long as Browne was alive. I suspect that I am the only person who knows about this or who knows the whole story. However, Browne himself has mentioned this incident in his book "The Stress of Chess: My Life, Career and 101 Best Games". Speaking of the US Open Chess Championship in Seattle in 1966, in the book he says, "As a result of a romantic interlude I missed three of the rounds and still got a reasonable score." Many chess players have asked about this but until now my lips have been sealed. Here is what happened:
Walter Shawn Browne was then 17 years old and had recently discovered girls. His great teacher had been International Master Bernard Zuckerman. Zuckerman's method had been to walk around Manhattan. If he spotted an interesting and attractive girl, he would approach her and say, "Can you tell me how to get to Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street." Zuckerman would always pick out a place where every New Yorker would know how to get there. Then, as the girl would try to answer his questions, Zuckerman would pepper her with more and more questions about how to get to that place. Finally he would say, "You're cute. Can I have your telephone number?" At this point, the girl would realize that all along he had been trying to pick her up. Often the girl would get mad when she realized this. However, Zuckerman did get a lot of girls this way. It was the old story, "If you ask a hundred girls, one of them will say yes." Walter Shawn Browne was a student and follower of Bernard Zuckerman. However, Browne did not bother with asking a fake question about some address. He would just approach the girl directly. So, at the 1966 US Open in Seattle, which was held at the Former Seattle World Fair Grounds, now known as the Seattle Center, Walter Browne was walking around between rounds picking up girls. When he spotted a girl that interested him, he would walk right up to her and say, "I'm Walter Shawn Browne. I am the US Junior Chess Champion. I would like to meet you." This direct approach seemed to work as Browne was getting new girls every day. He tried to avoid the situation where a girl would come to the tournament playing hall looking for him, because of the danger that two girls would come looking for him at the same time and there would be a fight. However, after a few rounds, something fantastic took place. It was announced The Beatles were coming. The Beatles descended on the place. The world famous rock band had decided to give a concert in Seattle Center Coliseum on August 25, 1966 and the concert hall was directly across from where the US Open Chess Championship was taking place. Thousands of girls descended on the place. A sea of girls, an ocean of girls, thousands and thousands of girls, girls as far as the eye could see, all descended on the 1966 US Open Chess Championship in Seattle Washington.


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ...

" figured Walter Browne would be overjoyed at this stroke of luck. Instead, he was not happy. I found Browne standing in the middle of the Seattle World's Fair Grounds where the US Open was being played. He said, "This is to easy. I do not like this. I want a struggle, something difficult to do. All these thousands of girls are here and I can have any one I want. This is not fun." Nevertheless, when the time came for round four to be played, Walter Browne did have a new girl with him. I spoke to her while Walter was playing his game. One thing I especially remember about her. The players in the tournament were all studying and preparing for their next moves. Then one of the players happened to glance up and look at her. Then, after a brief glance, he looked back at the board again and went back to preparing his next move. "He looked at me!!!", the girl squealed excitedly. She was so excited that a man had looked at her, even though it was only a brief glance and lasted only a second. I could see that this girl was insecure and craved attention. When Walter Browne finished playing his game, which he won, he left the playing hall with the girl. The next day, round five, Walter Browne did not show up to play his game in the tournament. His game was declared forfeited. The tournament was being played at one game a day. The day after that, again Walter Browne did not come to play. I then revealed to the other players what I knew, which was that there was a girl involved. Now the players in the tournament began to realize what might have happened. Walter Browne might be in jail, as this is what often happens to young men when a girl is involved. So, we decided to call the jail. As Browne was 17, we called juvenile hall. Juvenile Hall refused to give us any information. They said they could only give information to the parents. We did not want to notify the parents, who were in Brooklyn in New York, as there was nothing they could do about it anyway, and Browne was no longer living with his parents. Finally, Jerry Hanken decided that as he was a juvenile probation officer in Los Angeles, he would go down to Juvenile Hall and see if he could find out information about what had happened to Walter Browne. When Hanken came back, he reported that after showing his credentials as a Juvenile Probation Officer, the officials there had stated that they knew nothing about Walter Browne. They had said that their laws prohibit them from discussing anything involving a juvenile with anybody other than the parents. Thus they could neither admit nor deny whether a juvenile was in their custody. We had assumed that their unwillingness to admit whether or not they had Browne in their custody must mean that they had Browne. However, it turned out that they could not admit nor deny anything about anything, regardless of whether they had Browne or not. So, where was Browne?
Just as the pairings for the seventh round were being made, the tournament directors received an urgent telephone call from Walter Browne to put him in the pairings, as he was coming to play his game. But he would be arriving late, so let his clock run. He would be arriving just before the one hour was up that required that the game be forfeited. Sure enough, just slightly less than one hour after round seven had officially started, Walter Browne came rushing into the playing hall, sat down at his board, and played the game, winning easily. After the game was over, I accompanied Browne back to his hotel room. His hotel room had been provided by the USCF as one of his prizes for winning the US Junior Championship. In his hotel room, Browne said he would tell me the story as to what had happened, provided that I promise not to tell anybody. This is a promise I have kept ever since until now. After the game in round four had been over, Browne had taken the girl back to his hotel room. He had spent the night in bed with the girl. They had slept in the same bed together, but they had not had intercourse, Browne insisted. When morning came, they had decided to go to New York where Browne lived. At this time, there was an airline strike going on. There were no flights from New York to the West Coast. There were a lot of New York chess players in the US Open Chess Championship in Seattle. To get to Seattle, they had all taken a bus from New York to Toronto or Montreal. There, they had flown by Air Canada to Vancouver and then had taken a bus from Vancouver to Seattle. So, after Browne and the girl had decided to go to New York and live together, Browne had naturally decided that they should go back the way he had came, so naturally they took a bus to the Canadian border intending to cross into Canada and fly from Vancouver to Toronto."


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ...
"...Being still a kid, Walter Browne had not realized that crossing an international border with a 14-year-old girl might create legal difficulties. They had taken a bus to Bellingham, Washington and from there to the Canadian border. There, they had tried to cross into Canada, but the girl had been stopped at the border because she did not have legal documents. So, they had walked away from the boarder and were standing there trying to decide what to do when a police car drove up and a policeman got out and started asking them questions. The result was that both Walter Browne and the girl were thrown into a juvenile detention facility in Bellingham, Washington...


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ...

"As it turned out, Walter Browne had been lucky. The juvenile officials told him that had he been just a few weeks older than he actually was, he would have been in jail for a long time. This was because under the law of Washington State, "A person is guilty of rape of a child in the third degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim." So, apparently Walter Browne was less than 48 months older than the girl and for that reason he had escaped a jail sentence. Both Walter Browne and the girl had to spend two nights in the juvenile detention facility. Turned out the girl was from Los Angeles. Her parents had driven her up from Los Angeles to watch the Beatles play. However, when informed that their daughter had been arrested and was in jail, they had decided not to go pick her up immediately. They had let her spend two nights in jail "to teach her a lesson". This indicated something about why the girl would want to leave her home. After two days, the parents had driven up to Bellingham, Washington and gotten the girl released and taken her back. Then Walter Browne had been released from jail too and that was why he had called anxiously from Bellingham, Washington asking to have his name placed back in the pairings so he could play his games. As I was sitting in his hotel room and he was telling this story, I asked him if he was staying in touch with the girl and was planning to resume their relationship. Browne replied, "Oh I have her name, address and telephone number right here and I will look her up when I get to Los Angeles." Browne pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket, but when he unfolded it he found that the paper was blank. He had put his jeans in the laundry without thinking that the paper containing this information was in his pocket. All the ink had been washed away and the information lost. The chess tournament was a 13-round event, the longest US Open Chess Championship ever played. I had a fairly good tournament but bombed out at the end, earning a barely plus score. Walter Browne after forfeiting two games won or drew all the rest of his games and got a respectable score although he did not win a prize. Walter Browne became a recognized chess grandmaster three years later. After the tournament was over, Ron Gross offered me and several other chess players a ride back to civilization. I had spent that summer working as a roulette croupier for Lincoln Fitzgerald in the Nevada Club in Reno, Nevada. I had left that job to come to Seattle to play in the US Open Championship. Ron Gross had a camper that he could use to drive around to chess tournaments. He would play in the tournaments and sleep in the camper so he did not have to pay for a hotel room. So he gave myself, future Grandmaster James Tarjan and Expert Prize Winner Touradj Saidi (not to be confused with International Master Anthony Saidy) a ride to California. I got off in Berkeley California as I was a student at the University of California at Berkeley. The others went on to Los Angeles. Forty-Six years later, on October 28, 2012, I was playing in the 2012 US National Game-in-60 Championship in Pleasanton California. Walter Browne was playing there too. I had my car with me. Walter Browne asked me to give him a ride to his home in the Berkeley Hills. He had just come out with his new book "The Stress of Chess: My Life, Career and 101 Best Games". I had bought the book. The first thing I looked for was to see if this stressful experience at the 1966 US Open Championship was mentioned. Indeed, it was, as it mentions a "Romantic Interlude" at that event. I think that I and only I knew what had happened during this "Romantic Interlude". By then, Walter Browne had been happily married for many years to a medical doctor from Argentina. He no longer chased girls around chess tournaments. So, while driving him home, with my wife and daughter in the car, I popped the question. I reminded him that I had been around and somewhat involved and that I had even spoken to the girl. Did he ever see that girl again? Did they resume their relationship?, I asked. Browne replied that no, he had never seen that girl again. Browne was an easily findable person. Even if she did not remember his name, she must have remembered that he was the US Junior Chess Champion. Even if she did not remember his name she could have found him, so I suppose she chose not to. <Sam Sloan>

Jun-27-15  zanzibar: Bravo <offramp> and thanks. A funny story.

You never forget your first(*). For me the taste of fluffernutter is forever bound to it.

(*) Kiss, what did you think I meant?

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <zanzibar> and <Olavi> thanks for your attention concerning <IM Ron Henley GM norm or qual>

Possibly maybe the mentioned source Chess in Indonesia did shorten things or there was lobbying indeed before / after the tournament. I do not know whether or not Henley would have become 'directly' a grandmaster with this tournament score. In any case, Henley had already a GM norm in his pocket (as mentioned on the page), he made his second one at Indonesia, surpassing the required number of games in this Mammoth tournament (26 players in a round robin!).

This co-win (second on tie-break) is widely regarded as Ron Henley's licence to be a Grandmaster: (quote from Wikipedia) Henley won the GM title by jointly winning a 26-player round-robin tournament in Surakarta, Denpasar, Indonesia (unquote)

Back to Walter Shawn Browne: He won this incredible <Mammoth> international round robin tournament called <Lady's Cup> :)

<Offramp> excellent posting and funny as usual!

Jun-28-15  Granny O Doul: Very interesting, offramp. A lot of thanks.
Jun-28-15  Petrobump: I had one encounter with Walter Browne at the chess board - 1963 at the Manhattan Chess Club. He was 13 or 14 and I was 20. We adjourned a game after 40 moves. I had reached a King and Pawn ending with 2 pawns to his one, and, feeling confident of a win, I didn't bother to look at the game during the week before resumption. But he did and he found a way to level the position to a dead draw. I was astonished. His fierce competitive nature was evident even at that young age. Sad to see him go.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Browne on Browne

The ful interview with GM Walter Browne (December 2014) has been released. Browne talks about Bobby Fischer, his own playing style and the game he invented.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: RIP GM Walter Browne

I just found out, shame on me, a week after his passing

Thanks <offramp> for the post

Curiously, I was just beginning to learn more about GM Browne, all favorable.


Jul-04-15  PaulBl: Thanks a lot you all for all the information, links, stories on Walter Browne. He was one of my heroes because of his relentless games and his special personality: he was an enigma to me, a romantic, often outspoken. He obviously lived his kind of life, so different from a normal career life, I could admire that. Thanks a lot Walter Browne, for being there, and being who you were.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: Good post <offramp>

In this video, GM Finegold offers his own tribute. You can tell that it was difficult to do.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: What he said about throat cancer was no surprise. Our neighbor had that and was also very emaciated and had trouble speaking, and also didn't live very long. Browne lived longer probably because the treatments are better, at least at prolonging life.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Walter Browne's best games

In honor of GM Browne, staff took a look at his best chess games, including his last game at the 2015 National Open in Las Vegas, played four days before his death.

For the latest issue of Chess Informant (the Informant 124) Browne had annotated two of his recent wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: I find it very odd that so far a specific reason for Browne's death has not been given, only that he died in his sleep. I mention this because prescription drugs have been known to cause death. My aunt, for example, died in her sleep, like Browne. Also like Browne, she had been active just before her death, making her passing totally unexpected. She had been taking Vioxx, a prescription drug that is now known to have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

So I am asking: Is it known WHY Browne died? Was he, like most Americans his age, taking prescription drugs? Is there a chance one of those drugs is the reason for his death?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If an autopsy was performed on the decedent, the cause of death would not yet have been ascertained, fifteen days on.

Other than three meetings at the board, did not know Browne, so would have no way of knowing what may have brought about his end, nor do I have any interest in speculating over possible causes.

Jul-09-15  diceman: <OBIT:
So I am asking: Is it known WHY Browne died?>

I heard he had cancer and assumed that was part of the cause.

...but I don't Know the details of his illness.

He certainly looked "thin" during the Seirawan interview.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Malcolm Pain continues his tribute to Walter Browne:

"Remarkably, Browne attended the same school as Bobby Fischer, Erasmus High in New York. Like Fischer, Browne dropped out of school to play chess professionally ..."

Jul-23-15  wrap99: <cro777> There are a few amazing high schools in NYC. Of course Barbra Streisand also went to Erasmus with Bobby where apparently they hung out but there is no evidence of subsequent contact. Other schools with many famous alumni: Bronx HS of Science, Dewitt Clinton, Stuyvesant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <wrap99> In an interview, Streisand mentioned being aware of Fischer in high school, evidently finding him attractive, but alas, this was unrequited love. When an interviewer mentioned that Barbra Streisand was one of his high school classmates, Fischer's response was, "I’ve heard this. I remember some mousy looking girl. Maybe that was her, I don’t know." It's fair to say tact was never one of Fischer's strong suits.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Heh, you can even find this interview segment on the Internet:

Jul-24-15  wrap99: <OBIT> I vaguely remember that. I think his antisemitism may have gotten in the way. A shame because she might have been willing to help him at a time when he needed it although perhaps Fischer always had access to help if only he had been willing to take it.

BTW, didn't Fischer want Browne to be his second or help with analysis at one point? High praise indeed.

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