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Walter Shawn Browne
Number of games in database: 1,447
Years covered: 1963 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2433 (2428 rapid, 2409 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2590

Overall record: +539 -326 =565 (57.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 17 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Indian (101) 
    E12 E15 E17 E16 E19
 Sicilian (101) 
    B45 B32 B47 B42 B43
 King's Indian (72) 
    E97 E94 E81 E80 E62
 Ruy Lopez (58) 
    C94 C95 C69 C72 C78
 Modern Benoni (43) 
    A70 A57 A56 A61 A79
 Grunfeld (34) 
    D85 D86 D87 D91 D79
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (242) 
    B92 B99 B90 B22 B98
 Sicilian Najdorf (139) 
    B92 B99 B90 B98 B93
 Queen's Indian (81) 
    E15 E12 E14 E19 E17
 English, 1 c4 c5 (77) 
    A30 A34 A36 A37 A32
 Nimzo Indian (66) 
    E32 E41 E42 E21 E53
 Queen's Pawn Game (54) 
    A46 A45 E00 D01 D04
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
   Browne vs Quinteros, 1974 1-0
   Browne vs E Winslow, 1977 1-0
   Browne vs Ljubojevic, 1978 1-0
   Browne vs Robert E Byrne, 1977 1-0
   O Sarapu vs Browne, 1972 0-1
   Van der Wiel vs Browne, 1980 0-1
   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)
   Lone Pine (1975)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1978)
   Madrid (1973)
   Lone Pine (1976)
   Hoogovens (1975)
   Rovinj/Zagreb (1970)
   San Antonio (1972)
   Reykjavik Open (2014)
   Lone Pine (1978)
   US Championship 2006 (2006)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Banja Luka 1979 by suenteus po 147
   Madrid 1973 by suenteus po 147
   Hoogovens 1972 by Tabanus
   Hastings 1972/73 by Chessdreamer
   Banja Luka 1979 by webbing1947
   Las Palmas 1977 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1972 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1975 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1974 by suenteus po 147

   I E Shliahtin vs Browne, 1993

   🏆 National Open
   Hans M Niemann vs Browne (Jun-20-15) 0-1
   L Ptacnikova vs Browne (Mar-11-14) 1/2-1/2
   Browne vs H Olafsson (Mar-10-14) 0-1
   G Gajewski vs Browne (Mar-09-14) 1/2-1/2
   Browne vs N Grandelius (Mar-08-14) 1-0

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 (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

Walter Shawn Browne was born in Sydney, Australia to an Australian mother and an American father. Browne won the 1969 Australian Championship, was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1970 and played first board for Australia at the Siegen 1970 and Skopje 1972 Olympiads. He also played on four bronze medal US Olympiad teams, once each on boards 1-4 ( 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, 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, Reykjav韐 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

Last updated: 2019-10-08 07:53:01

 page 1 of 58; games 1-25 of 1,447  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Browne vs I Zalys 0-1571963CorrespondenceB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
2. F Wilson vs Browne ½-½511963Marshall Chess Club Weekend Tournament, New City,C21 Center Game
3. Soltis vs Browne 1-0341965New YorkC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
4. Browne vs J Sherwin  0-131196548th Marshall Chess Club chB35 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Modern Variation with Bc4
5. Fred M Howard vs Browne  0-123196667th US OpenD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
6. Browne vs B Hochberg  1-047196667th US OpenD80 Grunfeld
7. L Jackson vs Browne 1-047196667th US OpenD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
8. Browne vs J Wolfe  1-022196667th US OpenA56 Benoni Defense
9. Browne vs R Bond  1-024196667th US OpenB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
10. Browne vs Juris Ozols  ½-½72196667th US OpenC00 French Defense
11. B Sperling vs Browne  0-129196667th US OpenD04 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Browne vs J B Kelly 1-032196667th US OpenB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
13. P O'Gorman vs Browne  0-148196667th US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
14. J Hanken vs Browne  ½-½44196667th US OpenA05 Reti Opening
15. W Goichberg vs Browne  ½-½51196667th US OpenB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
16. T Weinberger vs Browne  0-1411967Santa Monica Masters InvitationalB89 Sicilian
17. S Sloan vs Browne 1-0491967American OpenB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
18. B Sperling vs Browne 0-128196768th US OpenA48 King's Indian
19. Browne vs J T Westbrock  1-048196768th US OpenC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
20. Browne vs J F Shaw 1-022196768th US OpenC00 French Defense
21. A Karklins vs Browne 1-052196768th US OpenB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
22. J Davies vs Browne 0-146196768th US OpenB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
23. Browne vs W A Scott 1-025196768th US OpenB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
24. E Formanek vs Browne 1-037196768th US OpenB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
25. Browne vs D B Wade 1-041196768th US OpenB75 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
 page 1 of 58; games 1-25 of 1,447  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Browne wins | Browne loses  

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Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: From the <Mechanics Institute Newsletter #716>: Richard Reich of Madison, Wisconsin, passes along the following previously unpublished game, which he recorded as it was played.

Sicilian Keres Attack B81
Walter Browne (2470 USCF)朘en Smith (2411 USCF)
New York (Empire City Open round 5), October 10, 1971

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 d6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.g4 h6 7.g5 hxg5 8.Bxg5 Nc6 9.Qd2 a6 10.0𢠢 Qc7 11.f4 Bd7 12.h4 Be7 13.Bh3 0𢠢 14.f5 Nxd4 15.Qxd4 e5 16.Qg1 Bc6 17.Bg2 Kb8 18.Be3 Rdg8 19.Bb6 Qd7 20.Qe1 Rc8 21.Bf3 Ba4 22.Bf2 Bc6 23.Rg1 Rh7 24.Qe3 b5 25.a3 Qb7 26.Rd3 Nd7 27.Nd5 Bxd5 28.Rxd5 Rc6 29.Rd3 Nb6 30.b3 Qc7 31.Qd2 Nd7 32.Kb2 Nc5 33.Bxc5 Rxc5 34.h5 Rc6 35.Rg2 Bf6 36.a4 bxa4 37.Qb4+ Ka7 38.Qxa4 Rh8 39.Rdd2 Rc8 40.Kb1 Rc5 41.Be2 Ra5 42.Qc4 Qb7 43.Qd3 Rc6 44.Rg3 Qb4 45.c4 Ra3 46.Bd1 Ra5 47.Qc3 Qxc3

<Black offered a draw: 揑 think I have the best of it, but I抣l offer a draw.>

48.Rxc3 Rac5 49.Rcd3 Bg5 50.Rb2 Bf6 51.Rh3 Rb6 52.h6 gxh6 53.Rxh6 Bd8 54.Rg2 Bc7 55.Kc2 a5 56.Rh8 Bb8 57.Kc3 Rc7 58.Rf8 Rbb7 59.Bh5 a4 60.bxa4 Re7 61.Rg7 d5 62.exd5 e4 63.Rfxf7 Be5+ 64.Kc2 Rxf7 65.Rxf7 Rxf7 66.Bxf7 Kb6 67.Be8 Kc5 68.Bb5

<After some garbling of the score, we have the correct position.>

68...Bd4 69.Kd2 Kd6 70.Ke2 Ke5 71.Bd7 Bb6 72.Be6 Bc5 73.a5 Bb4 74.a6 Bc5 75.d6 Kxd6 76.Bd5 e3 77.f6 Kc7 78.Kd3 Kb6 79.Bb7 Ka7 80.Bf3 Kxa6 81.Ke4 Ka5 82.Kd5 Kb4 83.Be2 Bf8 84.Bf1 Bc5 85.Kc6 Bf8 86.Kd7 Kc3 87.Ke8 Bc5 88.f7 Kd2 89.f8Q Bxf8 90.Kxf8 Ke1 91.Bh3 Kd2 92.Bg4 10

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I just go a hold of his book, The Stress of Chess. Very good. He has about one hundred pages of bio material, along with 100 annotated games. Very interesting, fun stuff.

He knew Fischer pretty well. Tells of them playing baseball in Central Park, then walking down to the west village for Orange juice, THEN walking up to the upper east side of Manhattan. that's a good 13 miles of walking. Fischer liked to walk. They played a lot of Blitz.

Browne mentions the Nice Olympiad, 1974. He was playing someone (petrosian?) and had sacked a piece, with good winning chances. Then, Robert Byrne, team captain, approaches and asks for a "package draw." Browne had never heard of this before. Apparently Reshevksy wanted to draw his game, but it would only happen if Browne could be persuaded to also let his game be drawn--a package deal.

He was playing in a super GM event in Milan, with Karpov, Petrosian, Tal, Ljubo and a bunch of other big names. This was some sort of tournament that was played as an elimination event. Tal and Browne were knocked out of the advancement rounds, so they started playing blitz in the press room. Pretty soon so many spectators were leaving the main playing hall to watch the blitz that the head organizer approached Tal and Browne and asked to stop playing.

A lot of good stories. He has an 89 move draw with Fischer in the book. The computers have found a winning line for him in this game, near the end.

Nov-02-16  optimal play: Walter Browne was the 1969 Australian Chess Champion.

Browne turned 20 during that tournament which was played in Melbourne from 27th December 1968 to 15th January 1969

He finished clear 1st on 13/15 [+11/=04/-00]

The championship consisted of 24 players in a 15 round Swiss format.

Since none of his games from that tournament appear in his database, I've submitted a few of them for the record.

For example this was the game he played on his 20th birthday...

[Event "Australian Championship"]
[Site "Melbourne, Australia"]
[Date "1969.01.10"]
[Round "11.1"]
[White "Browne, Walter Shawn"]
[Black "Basta, Emanuel Adolph"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C97"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "1968.12.27"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "15"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[SourceDate "2007.10.17"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 Na5 9. Bc2 c5 10. d4 Qc7 11. h3 Bd7 12. Nbd2 Rc8 13. dxe5 dxe5 14. Nf1 O-O 15. Ne3 Rcd8 16. Qe2 Rfe8 17. Nf5 Bf8 18. Bg5 Qb6 19. Ne3 h6 20. Nd5 Qc6 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Nh4 Bg7 23. Rad1 Kf8 24. Qh5 Nc4 25. Rd3 f5 26. exf5 Nxb2 27. Rf3 e4 28. Bxe4 Rxe4 29. Rxe4 Qxd5 30. Ng6+ fxg6 31. fxg6+ Qf5 32. Rxf5+ Bxf5 33. Qxf5+ Kg8 34. Qf7+ 1-0

click for larger view

Browne's record of games in the 1969 Australian Chess Championship is as follows:

round 1 (1968.12.27) Arthur Gustav Teters vs Walter Shawn Browne 0-1

round 2 (1968.12.28) Walter Shawn Browne vs Paul Dozsa 1-0

round 3 (1968.12.30) Walter Shawn Browne vs Douglas Gibson Hamilton 1-0

round 4 (1968.12.31) Olgerts Bergmanis vs Walter Shawn Browne 0-1

round 5 (1969.01.02) Willem Johannes Geus vs Walter Shawn Browne 0-1

round 6 (1969.01.03) Walter Shawn Browne vs John Spencer Purdy -

round 7 (1969.01.04) Michael Woodhams vs Walter Shawn Browne -

round 8 (1969.01.06) Walter Shawn Browne vs Noel Gregory Craske 1-0

round 9 (1969.01.07) Alfred Flatow vs Walter Shawn Browne -

round 10 (1969.01.08) Peter Johnson vs Walter Shawn Browne 0-1

round 11 (1969.01.10) Walter Shawn Browne vs Emanuel Adolph Basta 1-0

round 12 (1969.01.11) Walter Shawn Browne vs Karlis Alexander Ozols 1-0

round 13 (1969.01.13) Walter Shawn Browne vs Lloyd Stanley Fell 1-0

round 14 (1969.01.14) Gerd Niess vs Walter Shawn Browne 0-1

round 15 (1969.01.15) Otto Weber vs Walter Shawn Browne -

Browne's progress score was as follows:- 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 5.5 6.0 7.0 7.5 8.5 9.5 10.5 11.5 12.5 13.0

His victory in this championship earned him the right to represent Australia at the 1969 Asian Zonal tournament.

Jan-02-17  Helios727: How did Browne develop a Brooklyn accent if he spent at least the first 20 years of his life in Australia? Did he travel back and forth between both places during those years?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Helios727: How did Browne develop a Brooklyn accent if he spent at least the first 20 years of his life in Australia?>

Contrary to what the bio above implies, he did not live solely in Australia until age 20-21; Browne spent most of his teenage years, and probably longer than that, in New York; no doubt a poster such as <optimal play> knows far more than I do about it all.

Jan-03-17  Granny O Doul: <Helios727: How did Browne develop a Brooklyn accent if he spent at least the first 20 years of his life in Australia?>

Maybe he took a correspondence course.

Jan-03-17  optimal play: <Maybe he took a correspondence course.>


In actual fact he was born in Australia but grew up in the USA, hence his accent.

I believe he had dual citizenship due to an Australian mother and American father.

And I notice those 1969 games still haven't appeared yet!

Jan-03-17  Howard: Browne was the son of a Wall Street businessman, in fact. Incidentally, he did temporarily move back to Australia in the late 1960's, but he returned to the U.S. roughly about 1972.

He also won the U.S. junior championship in 1966, despite forfeiting his first round game.

Jan-10-17  Marmot PFL: The US had the stronger chess culture but it was possible for Browne to be top board for Australia, while the US had Fischer, Reshevsky, Evans, Benko, Lombardy, Byrne, Kavalek, Mednis etc.
Jan-21-17  zanzibar: There looks to be a detailed, and informative article/interview on Browne from the 1982 Chicago tournament:

<May 10, 1982
A Publisher Extra Newspaper
Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois Page 56>

I don't have full access, here's a few snippets put out for general reading:

He's a quote from his Dad talking about the very young Walter Jr. (looks like the fact that he was a Jr. is often overlooked):

<"He started playing when he was 8. I used to play him on Sundays while reading the paper. I'd read, make a move, read, make a move. By the time he was 12 I had to put the paper away. After that I was dead. By 14, he was the youngest Master in the country. Now sometimes I say, 'How about a friendly game with your dad?' He finishes me off in a minute or so. I've watched him play speed chess, five minutes a game, against lots of opponents at once. He'll beat one, then another, then another, reeling them in like fish.">

Walter Jr.'s competitive attitude shows up here:

<SOMETIMES BROWNE plays the opening moves, usually a time of great deliberation, very fast.

"So he thinks your plan is working."

He has, on occasion, been in a position to win a tournament by securing merely a draw in a game against a less highly rated opponent. With apparently nothing to gain and much to lose, he has refused the draw and thrashed the opponent. Why? "It's to punish him," Browne said. "We'll meet again. I want his confidence destroyed.">

On Bobby Fischer:

<"What would I do?" they thought. "What will he do'" Browne is amused that university professors talk with him in awe about his games Browne is not a college grad. There are two million chess federation members in Russia, 50,000 in America. Many of those Americans are AF, after Fischer Bobby Fischer was the Picasso of chess Browne played him to a draw in their only meeting

"I could have beaten him. I think, but I thought I'd settle for a draw and get him next time, not knowing, of course, that he'd retire".

Browne said of Fischer. "It was like being a violinist and having the greatest violinist of all time alive in your lifetime." He also said, in 1974. "Fischer is god; but I am the devil." >

Apr-22-17  docbenway: Reading The Stress of Chess now and enjoying it but it's unfortunate he didn't have the assistance of an active editor. I doubt the people he listed as "infamous" really were, and I also doubt his "endearing memory" of playing blitz in Europe really was. This in the first few pages. RIP
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Against two world champions :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <The Focus> Did you play Walter Browne at one stage? Some interesting games here. Browne was younger than I by one year about. I think that Ewen Green of NZ flatted with him in Europe in the 70s. Well he was clearly very good for sure.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I just had a quick look at Seirawan's comment quoted in 'The Stress of Chess'...

I know there are players who get into time trouble trying to see everything. What is really scary are players like Browne who get into time pressure and then play, as Seirawan says, like "cobra"'s....

Looks like an interesting book. I am interested in the psychology of chess struggle almost more than the games (although of course they are important!).

Jan-10-19  Ironmanth: RIP, Walter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: RIP eternally!
Jan-10-19  Murky: I used to work for Walter Browne, putting together his magazine, 'Blitz Chess' at his home in the Berkeley hills. Over several months I got to know Walter well. His competitive streak was his stand-out trait. In time pressure at the chessboard he could pour on a mental intensity and dominance that was dramatic. He'd grimace, constantly check the clock, calculate with depth, move pieces at light speed, and then defeat his opponents. I watched him defeat both Georghiu and Lombardy in this fashion, with only seconds left on his clock. It was as if his metabolism was operating at twice the speed of a normal human being. Some players felt his intensity verged on unsportsmanlike behavior, as if his 'antics' were a deliberate attempt to frustrate his opponents. Even I was delighted once to watch Robert Byrne demolish Browne at a Los Angeles tournament many years ago. The contrast of watching Byrne's calm demeanor defeating Browne's hyperactivity was delightful. One story I heard second hand has Walter Browne at a Los Angeles tournament in time pressure when a cat saunters up to his table and starts rubbing up against his leg. Next thing people see is Walter launching the cat into airborne status across the room, as if he was shooing away a fly. Away from the chessboard (however infrequent that was) his quirks of personality were not an issue. He may have been intrinsically high strung, but at least with me was always civil, had good humor, and kept good company. I did get a demonstration once of how sharp his mind really was. As I was assembling his magazine, Blitz Chess, Browne would check the scores of games without using a chessboard. He'd spot an occasional mistake in game scores just via sight reading, and make corrections on the fly. So Goodbye Walter Browne! I remember you well.
Jan-10-19  zanzibar: One of the small pleasures of <CG> is reading first-hand accounts such as the above.

Thanks for sharing <Murky>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  mckmac: <Zanzibar> I'll second that.

<Murky: ...One story I heard second hand has Walter Browne at a Los Angeles tournament in time pressure when a cat saunters up to his table and starts rubbing up against his leg. Next thing people see is Walter launching the cat into airborne status across the room, as if he was shooing away a fly...> Brilliant!

Jan-11-19  Petrosianic: <"I could have beaten him. I think, but I thought I'd settle for a draw and get him next time, not knowing, of course, that he'd retire".>

It's true that he had chances to win that game, but only Browne thought that he deliberately chose not to win it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Petrosianic> yeah, for bad excuses for not beating someone, that抯 up there with Tarrasch blaming the sea air when he was 200 miles inland.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: what would a cat be doing in a chess tournament hall? Some starving chess player had cat food in his back pack? Let's not go there...
Jan-10-20  Cheapo by the Dozen: Browne wasn't just a jerk during time pressure. I still remember him screaming insults at Anthony Saidy when they were analyzing a position between rounds. "You know nothing about endgames, Saidy!" This was when I was a kid. Browne was basically the only grandmaster I thought badly of.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <He'd grimace, constantly check the clock, calculate with depth, move pieces at light speed, and then defeat his opponents. >

There was more to it from that, if the videos I've seen are to be believed.

Premium Chessgames Member

Amazing how the nodding stops when he realizes he's in trouble....

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