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Walter Browne vs Abdul-Razzaq Ahmed Taha
"Browne Out" (game of the day Jan-06-2012)
Skopje Olympiad qual-7 (1972), Skopje YUG, rd 3, Sep-21
French Defense: Classical. Alapin Variation (C14)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-06-12  solskytz: I just love (after Once's post) the idea of 27. h4 - the king steps into the fourth rank (!!) just to clear the space for the pawn to jump a couple squares forward, in its turn preparing the king's retreat into safety at h2 via g3 - a maneouver to remember - can astonish quite a number of blitz adversaries!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <<<ATTENTION>>>

We have about a bit less than 60 hours to go before the end of the Caissar Nomination stage. Then it's votin' time.

So, please, if you have not yet put in your nominations, do so at my forum.

(Details can be found in my profile, by clicking on the Wabbit avatar.)

Jan-06-12  Chessmensch: Razzmatazz or Razzle-Dazzle.
Jan-06-12  poachedeggs: Somebody needs to wipe the dust of White's rook and bishop...amazing...
Jan-06-12  Blunderdome: after 31. Kh6 Qxb6+, which of white's interpositions is the funniest?
Jan-06-12  Oceanlake: Rolf Schwarz's French book says both a4 and Qa8 are mistakes.
Jan-06-12  Yodaman: <once> Thanks a lot.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Inar goodking weightthief chocabloc almighty ng3 otherwise virgin I booke7 it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Once> is probably right about Browne missing the deadly ...Qxb6+ - a move that hadn't been available when White's pawn was on d4 and Browne was visualizing this position in his head. Consider the final position if White plays 31.Kh6 and Black <couldn't> play Qxb6+ - say if there were a pawn on a5 guarding the pawn on b6:

click for larger view

The game ends immediately because of the decisive mating attack - by <White>! White threatens 32.Qg7#, and 32...Qe3+ 33.f4 just postpones the inevitable by one move. Alternatively, 32...Rf7 33.Qg5+! mates (33...Rg7 34.Qxg7#; 33...Kf8 34.Qd8#; 33...Kh8 34.Qd8+ Rf8 35.Qxf8#). White wins with a brilliant mating attack aided by his king, anticipating the later Short vs Timman, 1991! But, sadly for Browne, ...Qxb6+ <is> possible, and Browne becomes the <goat> instead of the <hero>. Chess is a hard game.

Jan-06-12  Xeroxx: what a mess
Jan-06-12  erniecohen: 27. h4 fxe5 28. dxe5
Jan-06-12  RandomVisitor: Final look at white's chances after 13...Qb4+:

1: Walter Shawn Browne - A Taha, Olympiad Skopje, Yugoslavia 1972

click for larger view

Analysis by Deep Rybka 4.1 x64:

<[+0.57] d=27 14.Kd1> Qxd4+ 15.Kc1 Qxf2 16.Nf3 c5 17.Qd6 Qe3+ 18.Kb1 c4 19.Rg1 h6 20.Rh1 f6 21.exf6 Rxf6 22.h4 Rf7 23.Qd8+ Rf8 24.Qe7 Rf5 25.Qe8+ Rf8 26.Qxb5 Rxf3 27.gxf3 Bd7 28.Qb4 Qxf3 29.Bg2

[+0.00] d=27 14.c3 Qxb2 15.Ne2 b4 16.cxb4 Qxb4+ 17.Kd1 <Qxb6> 18.Qd6 Qb3+ 19.Ke1 Qb1+ 20.Kd2 Qb2+ 21.Ke3 Qb3+ 22.Kd2 Qb2+ 23.Ke3 Qb3+ 24.Kd2 Qb2+ 25.Ke3 Qb3+ 26.Kd2 Qb2+ 27.Ke3 Qb3+ 28.Kd2 Qb2+ 29.Ke3

Jan-07-12  ounos: <solskytz> 29. Qd6 Kh8 30. Qxf8# :-)
Jan-07-12  solskytz: (lol)
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Hard to believe that W was never (according to engine evals) worse of ... until 29 Qe7?? after which his position was totally lost.

It seemed to me W was in trouble as soon as he took the Nb8, I certainly would have preferred playing B from then on. Anyone know their relative rating then?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <scormus> I'm sure Browne's rating was much higher. He had been a GM since 1970 (at age 21), was playing first board for Australia, and was spoken of as a possible world championship contender. He had drawn against World Champion Spassky at San Juan 1969 (his breakout tournament), and did so again at this Olympiad; Fischer had narrowly escaped losing to him at Rovinj-Zagreb 1970. Browne's opponent Abdul-Razzaq Ahmed Taha was, and is, a nobody; his other three games in the database are all losses. I remember Keene and Levy wrote in their book on the Olympiad that this was a sensational upset.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Two very prominent players were willing to emulate Browne's opening. Ljubojevic vs Korchnoi, 1987 followed this game until Korchnoi deviated with 17...c5. Black deviated early with 9...Nc4 in Aronian vs I Lempert, 1996. Both games ended in draws.
Mar-21-13  Abdel Irada: Heffalump is better than none.
Sep-07-13  Xeroxx: king's gone crazy
Aug-28-14  optimal play: <In 1972, when Iraq finished second last at the Skopje Olympiad, their top player Taha cost Walter Browne the gold medal on board one with an amazing David versus Goliath victory>

Browne was awarded the top board individual bronze medal behind Hübner (Gold) & Hort (Silver).

However, Browne finished the Olympiad with a score of 17½/22 [+15/=5/-2] compared with Hübner on 15/18 [+12/=6/-0] and Hort 14½/18 [+11/=7/-0]

Browne's score of 17½ was the highest for that Olympiad, not just on board 1 but in fact on all boards!

How did Browne not get the Gold Medal?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <optimal play> Highest number of points, but not best winning percentage:

Huebner .833

Hort .806

Browne .795

At Havana 1966, Fischer finished with first board silver, after Petrosian, in the same way. The world champion made +10 =3 (.885) while Fischer scored +14 -1 =2 (.882), and would have taken home the gold if he had accepted Gheorghiu's offer of a draw while in a clearly inferior position in the last but one round of the final.

Rogers' information is correct.

Aug-29-14  optimal play: Thank you for that explanation <perfidious> but I must ask, how is that fair?

Was best winning percentage the sole criteria?

Browne played 22 games achieving 15 wins compared to Hübner & Hort who only played 18 each with 12 & 11 wins respectively.

Same with Bobby who played 17 to Petrosian's 13 and had 14 wins to only 10

What if some guy played 1 single game, won it, then left the Olympiad without playing again, thus scoring 100%

Would he have won the gold?

It's crap!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <optimal play> One would imagine that there is a minimum number of games which must be played in order to belay such a travesty as that in the scenario you mention--no idea what the requirement is, though.

At Hamburg 1930, Rubinstein also scored 15/17 and this was enough for the prize, in a system under which most points were indeed rewarded; Alekhine made a clean score, but only played nine games, so did not come into the reckoning.

Aug-29-14  optimal play: <perfidious> Interesting about Hamburg 1930

Alekhine (9/9) won the brilliancy prize for his game against Gideon Ståhlberg (Sweden) although he did not win a medal because the medallists played 17 games each.

Couldn't find out why he only played nine games?! He seemed to have been at the Olympiad the whole time!

He didn't even play any of the eventual medallists; Rubinstein, Flohr or Kashdan; in fact apart from Ståhlberg, he seemed to avoid the top players!

The French team certainly could have done with him playing a few more games; the rest of them were hopeless!

They only came 12th out of 18 teams yet their top player scored 9/9

Merci pour votre aide Monsieur Alekhine!

(translation: Thanks for all your help Mr Alekhine!)


Oct-02-14  Albion 1959: I first saw this game in Simon Webb's book "Chess for Tigers" around 1980. It featured in a chapter titled "How to beat Heffalumps". Which was referring on how to beat a stronger chess opponent than oneself. I recall that Webb hinted that 11.c6 may well have been a prepared line and that Browne could or should have contented himself with a draw on or around move 19. This was a colourful and interesting game to look at. But what ever happened to RAH Taha ?
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