RIP Walter Browne 1949-2015: a chess tribute

RIP Walter Browne 1949-2015: a chess tribute

NM CraiggoryC
Jun 26, 2015, 2:47 PM |

Grandmaster Walter Shawn Browne has quietly and suddenly passed away in Las Vegas Nevada.


As we grieve, Alan and I extend our condolences to his wife, family, friends, and the fans of this towering giant.

GM Browne had just finished playing in our 50th Anniversary National Open. He tied for 9th-15th. He played a 25 board simultaneous exhibition here at the Las Vegas International Chess Festival. He also taught at our chess camp and gave a lecture series. After the Chess Festival, Browne stayed the night at the home of his life-long friend, Ron Gross, who reported to us that Walter died suddenly in his sleep. We are shocked and saddened by this sudden loss.

GM Walter Browne was a 6 time U.S. Champion and eleven time winner of the National Open. He won the American Open seven times, the World Open three times, and the U.S. Open Chess Championship twice. Please visit his United States Chess Federation profile to learn more about him. Many thanks to our friends and chess journalists who have linked to this page as the original source for this story.

Walter is survived by his wife, Raquel, his sister Susan and his brothers, Stephen and Roger.

Walter was a good man, a great friend, and a mentor to generations of players. He will be sorely missed, yet his games, his brilliance, his generosity, and his explorations of the game, as well as his presence will live on. Farewell Walter. We will remember you. Rest in Peace.


Born January 10, 1949 in Sydney, Australia


Died June 24, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada

from by Janelle Losoff, Co-Organizer of the Las Vegas International Chess Festival and National Open Chess Championship

Below is a game I came across that I want to share as a chess tribute to the great American Chessplayer.


 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Be7 7. O-O Nc6 8. c4 Nb4 9. cxd5 Nxd3 10. Qxd3 Qxd5 11. Re1 Bf5 12. Nc3 Nxc3 13. Qxc3 c6 14. Bh6 14... Rg8 ! The best defense  ( 14... gxh6 15. Re5 Qd7 16. Rae1 Be6 17!! There have been many stories about this move. Some say that Fischer had this position with GM Larry Evans and he suggested it in front of a young Walter Browne. Others (including Browne himself) say that it was a stroke of over the board inspiration. Either way it's a grand move!! . d5 cxd5 18. Rxe6 ! the point of 14. Bh6!! is revealed  18... fxe6 19. Qxh8+ that Rook looks a lot better than the g7 pawn! 19... Bf8 20. Qf6 Be7 21. Rxe6 ) ( 14... Be4 15. Bxg7 Rg8 16. Bf6 ! 16... Bxf6 ( 16... Bxf3 17. Rxe7+ Kf8 18. g3 Bh1 19. f3 ) 17. Rxe4+ Qxe4 18. Re1 ) 15. Re5 Qd7 16. Rae1 Be6 17. Ng5 

17... O-O-O ( 17... Bf6 18. Nxe6 Bxe5 19. Nc5 ) ( 17... gxh6 18. Nxe6 fxe6 19. Rxe6 Rg7 20. d5 Kf8 21. Qxg7+ Kxg7 22. Rxe7+ Qxe7 23. Rxe7+ with a winning Rook and pawn endgame  ) ( 17... Bxg5 18. Bxg5 h6 19. Bh4 g5 20. Bg3 Kf8 21. Rxe6 fxe6 22. d5 cxd5 23. Qf6+ Qf7 24. Bd6+ Ke8 25. Rxe6+ ) 18. Nxf7 Bxf7 19. Rxe7 Qxd4 Just as in another amazing game: Kasparov-Anand 1995 World Championship Game 10 (also in America), White's grand attacking display is rewarded with a winning endgame that Browne dutifully converts into a full point. 20. Rxf7 Qxc3 21. bxc3 gxh6 22. Rb1 Rg5 23. h4 Rb5 24. Rxb5 cxb5 25. Rxh7 Rd1+ 26. Kh2 Rd2 27. Rxh6 Rxa2 28. h5 Rxf2 29. Rh8+ Kc7 30. h6 Kb6 31. Kh3 a5 32. g4 b4 33. cxb4 axb4 34. Re8 Rf1 35. Kg2 Rf7 36. g5 Rf5 37. h7 Rxg5+ 38. Kf3 Rh5 39. h8=Q Rxh8 40. Rxh8 All notes are Browne's own from an October 1974 edition of "Chess Life"