Saturday 27 June 2015

Walter Browne 1949 - 2015

Australian/American GM Walter Browne passed away on the 24th June 2015 in Las Vegas. He had just completed a series of chess and poker events in the city, and died in his sleep while staying at a friends place.
Born in Sydney in 1949 he was sometimes regarded as Australia's first Grandmaster, earning the title in 1969 while playing under the Australian flag. However he lived all but the first part of his life in the United States, and after representing Australia at the 1970 and 72 Olympiads, shifted to the US for the rest of his career.
He won the United States Championship 6 times (3rd most wins after Fischer and Reshevsky) and the Australian Championship in 1969. He scored a phenomenal 31.5/41 on board 1 for Australia at 2 Olympiads, winning individual bronze medals both times. He also played poker, competing in a number of events, and winning some substantial prizes along the way.
As a player who was habitually in time trouble it was no surprise he was a fan of blitz chess. He even went as far as forming the World Blitz Chess Association, and producing a magazine "Blitz Chess"
Possibly his most famous game was a win over Arthur Bisguier in 1974. The brilliant Bh6 was a complete surprise to his opponent, and at the time there were suggestions that this might have been a Fischer invention. Oddly for such a brilliant move, it quickly reached a rook and pawn ending, but one in which Browne was winning.

Browne,Walter S (2575) - Bisguier,Arthur Bernard (2435) [C42]
USA-ch Chicago (9), 1974


Anonymous said...

Browne won only one bronze medal when playing for Australia.

Anonymous said...

There is an obituary in the New York Times, 28 June.