GM Walter S. Browne 1949 – 2015

It’s with great sadness, we must pass along the tragic news that
 

GM Walter Browne
 

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

 

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66 thoughts on “GM Walter S. Browne 1949 – 2015

    • rest in piece grandmaster…..saw you many times in “live chess”…for the last 30 yrs…in los angeles, san diego, san francisco, las vegas…one of the blitz GM’s i’ve seen…

    • My brother passed “suddenly” in his sleep a few years ago as well. It leaves us bereft and empty… It is a sadness that for many of us will remain with us the rest of OUR lives. too. Whether we knew them closely or not at all.
      Goodbye, dear one… Lynn Harrell

  1. I worked many years with Walter in doing WBCA tournaments. He had such a distinctive voice when he would leave phone messages. Really sorry to hear this, he was a great guy and I’ll miss him

  2. I had the privilege to fly from Venezuela to play in the 70s and 80s in the World Opens, and in several New York and Philladelphia tournaments, and he was a constant winner. I will always remember him

  3. Rest in peace, Grandmaster Walter Browne
    You wrote a great biographical book, which will be an eternal monument to you and your creativity.

  4. Walter and I were business friends from way back. When ever we ran into each other he didn’t fail to say “Hi Bob.” Saw him in Boston, Chicago, Denver and we corresponded not as frequently as would have been best. I’ll miss you Walter and I am sure many others will too.

  5. On the way to Reno 2014 he told me: “If you lose you learn, then you win and earn” – GM Walter Browne

  6. I was very sorry to hear the news, as I considered Walter to be a good friend. I visited him in his home a couple years ago, where we played his “Finesse Chess” and he also played a chess game with my Komodo program. The enthusiasm he showed for chess in post-mortems was memorable, as was his ability to compete at a high level past the age of 65.R.I.P. Walter, you will be missed.

  7. I was introduced to him by NM Ron Gross in Las Vegas… He was very cool. I’ll miss him 🙁

  8. Rest in peace Walter. Can’t wait to play in an upcoming simul at the Pearly Gates Chess Club.

    • Such sad news to hear today. My 9yr year son met Mr.Browne last year in Vegas and again this past weekend. Mr.Browne will be truly missed in the chess world and may he rest in peace. Checkmate my friend.

      • Thank you, Beverly & Zachary. I’m glad your son got a chance to meet Walter Browne. Walter was a legend, an inspiration. That is why we invited him back year after year to play at the National Open, to give simuls and to lecture and to teach.
        To me, Walter’s games were works of art. What a mind!

        We take what he has given us and carry on. His light does not go out as long as we remember and build on what he gave us.

    • Wally, rest in peace. When we met at the Oak’s club over 30 years ago and played Low Ball, $200 limit, I always knew you were the best player I ever played against. You knew when to “hold em ad new when to fold em”. I heard of your chess ability, and experienced your poker ability…None better.

      David Arsanis

  9. The chess world has lost a dedicated, passionate, enthusiastic champion. I attended his lectures at the national open the past couple years, over the Sicilian defense and was struck by the energy he displayed in explaining his ideas.

  10. Walter was a great sportsman. We had many interesting encounters and he was always happy to analyze in length and probe all the mysteries of the game. In this respect he reminds me of the German legend GM Robert Huebner, another great sportsman who loves chess and its analysis.

  11. I recall reading about Walter in chess life, he challenged then World Champion Karpov to a match. It was the first version of chess life. It was good of him to friend me on Facebook.
    He will be missed

  12. Shocking and terribly sad news. Walter should have been one of the last to go, not left early. He was an absolute legend for players around my generation, but even more than this, he was genuinely one of the most energetic and entertaining people I ever met. Lot of memories, and they all bring a smile. Rest in peace, Walter.

  13. My memory of GM Walter Browne was at the 1991 US Open in Los Angeles, he recruited me to be a scorekeeper at the WBCA Blitz tournament and I had to work with another scorekeeper who I absolutely despised! Some people stated that perhaps he did not know what he was doing, but for the most part, he very well knew what he was doing over the chess board as he was as an intense competitor that I have ever seen. Some people joked that the World Blitz Chess Association was also known as the “Walter Browne Chess Association” given the same initials. Regardless, GM Browne will be missed by many chess fans world wide including Yours Truly. RIP GM Walter Browne.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    David A. Cole

  14. Walter was a truly remarkable chess player and a great game player in general. He could play any game well if he put his mind to it. Scrabble, backgammon, poker, you name it. I remember the first time I ever saw him. He was just starting to make his mark on the New York chess scene. I didn’t know who he was, but here was this 14-year-old phenom destroying a local 2400 player at speed chess with such assuredness and composure, I wondered who the heck is that kid. I soon found out. Walter certainly put his permanent stamp on the history of the game we all love. What a talent.

  15. Oh my….Shawn and I had been good friends since the early 70’s….I’m saddened at this loss but am comforted knowing he is at peace.

  16. I knew him well also. He played in the 1983 National Open and had a few requests that we honored, of course. We had put him in the new Tracy tower with an updated room. HE said he preferred the old tower because it was four minutes closer and that meant he could sleep that much longer. He was serious. We moved him, of course.

    I will miss him too.

  17. Just. Wow. Shocking considering I’d just read about him playing in Vegas. I’ll never forget watching him make some extra dough playing speed backgammon at the 1972 US Open (which he won) in Atlantic City or the last round being delayed in Reno ’96 (which he won with A. Ivanov) while he was beating Dr. Saidy with 2 bishops against a knight. A true character and great player.

    • I was there in Reno, too. I was so impressed by the game I asked Walter several years later if he could send me the game. Not only did send the game, but he added some annotation.

      [Event “Reno Open”]
      [Site “?”]
      [Date “1996.10.27”]
      [Round “5”]
      [White “Browne, Walter”]
      [Black “Saidy, Anthony Fred”]
      [Result “1-0”]
      [ECO “E16”]
      [WhiteElo “2555”]
      [BlackElo “2400”]
      [PlyCount “267”]
      [EventDate “2007.01.18”]

      {Started at 9am and ends around 8:15 at night!! Thankfully my wife Raquel was
      on hand to help with meals. Then I had only 30 minutes before playing
      Yermolinsky in the last round. I won that game in aqround 35 moves fairly
      easily tying for first with Alex Ivanov.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3
      Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. O-O d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Ne5 Qe7 10. a3 Bd6 11.
      Ndc4 $1 $14 Ne4 12. Nxd6 cxd6 13. Ng4 Nc6 14. f3 Ng5 15. Ne3 $16 Na5 16. b4 $6
      (16. Qd3 $1 g6 17. b4 $16) 16… Nc4 17. Nxc4 dxc4 18. h4 (18. e4 d5 19. e5
      Rac8 $11) 18… Ne6 19. d5 Nc7 20. e4 $14 a5 21. Qd4 $1 axb4 22. Qxb6 Rfb8 23.
      Bf4 $16 Ne8 24. axb4 Bxd5 25. Qd4 Be6 26. Rxa8 Rxa8 27. b5 h6 28. b6 Qb7 29.
      Rb1 Ra3 $1 30. Qd2 c3 31. Qc1 Rb3 32. Rxb3 Bxb3 33. Be3 Qc6 34. Qb1 Qc4 35. Bf1
      Qb4 36. Bd3 d5 37. Bc2 $6 (37. Bf2 Qa3 38. b7 $18) 37… Qd6 $1 38. Qxb3 Qxg3+
      39. Kf1 Qxf3+ 40. Bf2 dxe4 41. Qb5 Qh1+ 42. Ke2 Nd6 43. b7 (43. Qe5 Qf3+ 44.
      Kf1 Qh1+ 45. Bg1 Qh3+ 46. Kf2 Qxh4+ 47. Qg3 {is superior according to Fritz
      but during the game wasn’t too clear.}) 43… Qf3+ 44. Ke1 Qh1+ 45. Ke2 Qf3+
      46. Ke1 Qh1+ 47. Qf1 Qxf1+ 48. Kxf1 Nxb7 49. Bxe4 Nd6 50. Bd3 Ne8 51. Bd4 {
      Fritz evaluates this as a win though lots of work ahead!} g5 52. Bxc3 gxh4 53.
      Kg2 Ng7 54. Kh3 Ne6 55. Kxh4 Ng7 56. Bf6 Ne8 57. Bd4 Ng7 58. Be3 h5 59. Bg5 Ne6
      60. Bf6 Nf4 61. Be4 Kf8 62. Kg5 Ng6 63. Bc6 Ne7 64. Bd7 Ng8 65. Bd8 Kg7 66. Ba4
      f6+ 67. Kxh5 Nh6 68. Bd7 Nf7 69. Be7 Nh6 70. Be6 Ng8 71. Ba3 Nh6 72. Bb4 Nf7
      73. Kg4 Nd8 74. Bd5 Nf7 75. Kf5 Nh6+ 76. Ke6 Kg6 77. Bc6 Ng4 78. Be8+ Kg5 79.
      Bd2+ Kh4 80. Bf4 Kh3 81. Kf5 Kh4 82. Bb5 Nf2 83. Be2 Nh1 84. Bf3 Ng3+ 85. Kg6
      f5 86. Bc7 Kh3 87. Kg5 Nf1 88. Bf4 Ng3 89. Be5 Nf1 90. Kxf5 Nh2 {Due to a very
      fast time control of ten moves in ten to 15 minutes I repeated moves many
      times to gain time.} 91. Bc6 Ng4 92. Bf4 Nh2 93. Bc7 Nf1 94. Kf4 Nh2 95. Bd6
      Nf1 96. Bc5 Nh2 97. Bd4 Nf1 98. Ba7 Nh2 99. Be3 Nf1 100. Bb6 Nh2 101. Bc5 Nf1
      102. Bb7 Nh2 103. Bd5 Nf1 104. Ba8 Nh2 105. Be4 Nf1 106. Bb7 Nh2 107. Be4 Nf1
      108. Bh1 Ng3 109. Bf3 Nf1 110. Bd5 Nh2 111. Bd6 Nf1 112. Kf3 Nh2+ 113. Ke2 Ng4
      114. Be6 Kh4 115. Kf3 Nf6 116. Bf4 Nh7 117. Bf5 Ng5+ 118. Ke3 Kh5 119. Kd4 Nf3+
      120. Ke4 Ng5+ 121. Ke3 Nf7 122. Kf3 Ng5+ 123. Kg3 Nf7 124. Bd2 Ng5 125. Kf4 Nf7
      126. Bc3 Nh6 127. Bd7 Kg6 128. Be8+ Kh7 {Now it’s easy as the knight will run
      out of squares.} 129. Kg5 Nf7+ 130. Kf6 Nh8 (130… Nh6 131. Bg6+ Kg8 132. Bh5
      Kh7 133. Bf3 Ng8+ 134. Kg5 Ne7 135. Bb4 Ng8 136. Bf8 Kh8 137. Kg6 {wins.}) 131.
      Bd7 Kg8 132. Bf5 Kf8 133. Be6 Ke8 134. Bb4 1-0

  18. I’m very sorry to hear of Walter’s passing. He was too young to go, and he will be missed by so many. He was a great player, a unique character, and a terrific person.

  19. My son played in his simul last week. He seemed so healthy and full of energy. Shocking. He was a real class act and a living legend, an honor to have met him. R.I.P.

  20. I was introduced to Walter by his wife Raquel, an Argentinian like myself, in a chess tournament in San Francisco in the 90’s. They invited me to their home in Berkeley and I brought a box of traditional “alfajores Havana” from Mar del Plata, Argentina. Walter showed me his chess room and gave me an autographed chess magazine of his authorship. I always cherished these memories.
    May he rest in peace. My condolences to Raquel and the rest of the family.
    Andres Capizzano

  21. GM Walter Browne
    Such a shock to learn of his passing. I pray for comfort and peace for his family, we will miss this man and I will always remember the great player that he was in the early 1970’s, winning 70% (or better) of al the events that he entered.

  22. I played Walter twice, in a simul in 1973 (I still have the November 1972 Chess Life and Review issue he autographed, he was on the cover for winning the US Open), and in 1982 at the Lina Grumette Memorial Day event. He crushed me in the simul, I was 1500’s. I gave him a better game in the latter, but he won of course.

    I remember at the conclusion of the 1975 National Open (My first), GM Pal Benko had finished ahead of him on tiebreaks. Walter must have been following the games in progress to assess tiebreaks and may have thought he had won. He was reviewing the results of all his and Benko’s opponents with a TD at the wallcharts and was astounded to find one of the players he was expecting to lose had actually won, thus costing him the title. Walter’s comment was “What, he won that game?”

    I was happy to be in Las Vegas the last 3 years and see and chat with him again as well as introduce him to several scholastic players with aspirations of greatness.

    Walter left us too early, but he left a fine legacy.

  23. I was fortunate to meet and play against GM Browne in a simul in Reno, NV back 2007. RIP GM Browne!

  24. As no man is an island, Mr Browne’s untimely passing will not go ungrieved nor will his time of earth go unforgotten. Many people will mourn his passing personally and many, many more will mourn him for who he was. As with all great people, his legacy will be forever his greatest tribute.

  25. I was so sorry to hear this. I was fortunate to play him in the Las Vegas simul last week. When I resigned Walter kindly pointed out my earlier opening mistakc, as he moved quickly to the next board. I will treasure my copy of his book. Rest in peace Walter Browne.

  26. I never had the pleasure of meeting Walter, but I was very saddened to hear this. I saw him several times this past weekend at the National Open and appeared to be in good health. A reminder to us all that life is precious and not to be taken for granted.

    I know he was a strong poker, backgammon, and Scrabble player, three other games I enjoy.

    I recently purchased his book and I’ve been enjoying it very much.

    My condolences to his family and friends. I know he will be missed.

  27. I was 16 the first time I met Walter Browne, at a tournament at the Paul Masson winery. He was there with Max Euwe, Boris Spassky, and George Koltanowski. Talk about a chess dream come true!
    I would occasionally see him around, and had the honor of playing him in a simul last year in Auburn, Ca.
    I met him again last year in Reno. He was demonstrating his chess variant. He eyes sparkled when it came to chess…playing…discussing…engaged in it in any way.
    I bought his book, and he graciously autographed it. It will be something I will cherish.
    My prayers to his wife, family, friends, and fans.

  28. I am shocked and saddened to learn of Walter’s death. My condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.

    Walter won one of my brilliancy prizes for his win over Boris Kreiman at the Key West 1994 U.S. Chess Championship, but I do not remember exactly when I first met him. I got to know him a little bit when he was the GM guest instructor at Danny Kopec’s summer chess camps and I took several private lessons with him. His ability to calculate with great speed was amazing. I remember well my loss to him in the camp simul where he whipped up a devastating attack against my Sicilian Defense.

    I was a subscriber to his Blitz magazine and also enjoyed reading his biographical book, not just for the amazing chess games, but the adventurous stories related to his barnstorming simul expeditions and his overseas experiences, and also his explanations about poker. Regrettably, I never had a chance to get him to autograph my copy.

    My last contact with him was some email exchanges related to his invention of a new chess-like game and its new pieces. As always, with Walter, it was very innovative and he was characteristically enthusiastic about it.

    This is a great loss for Walter’s family and friends, the chess world, and the other worlds in which Walter was such an enthusiastic and successful participant.

    Walter was unique; I and many others will miss him.

    Paul Albert

  29. …… 1970…astride a newly bought motorcycle in Berkeley California ….eyed Waterman,William Bills and Jude Acers..”you know if I don’t make it in chess..I know I can always make it in music..play in a band..that would be good” ..someone asked instantly… “Walter what …what instrument would you play?” “THE DRUMS”………. final verdict…. Browne stands alone , a whole separate building in world chess history. Jude Acers/New Orleans

  30. RIP GM Walter Browne. You will be dearly missed by those who knew you.

    Let me share some experiences…

    I used to write for the Blitz Chess magazine in the 1990s and was a member of the World Blitz Chess Association (WBCA) until it folded. Walter Browne thought my games were very good tactically. This was why I frequently found my blitz games included with those of Grandmasters.

    The joke at the time was that WBCA was the Walter Browne Chess Association due to the similarities in initials.

    One time I complained that my name was not listed among the contributors. Well, the next time an issue came out, I found myself listed along with Anatoly Karpov, Ron Henley, and a few others. I was the only non-master to be included in this company.

    Next thing I knew, someone from among this group complained to Walter Browne about my name being included. The following issue, my name was removed from the list of contributors. At the same time, my membership in the WBCA was extended, and more of my games published. I think this was Browne’s way of keeping everyone happy.

    Back in those days, I played at the Marshall Chess Club in blitz tournaments. I suppose my games were a stable source of copy material. It was from the East Coast (NY to be precise), while Walter Browne resided on the West Coast.

    Today I have a blitz rating of 2284 USCF. The United States Chess Federation now has a separate rating system for both Quick Chess and Blitz Chess. However, it got there thanks to Walter Browne. He was more than a decade ahead of USCF in setting up a rating system for blitz tournaments.

    Rest in peace, GM Walter Browne. Your contributions to chess and poker will be always remembered.

  31. Walter Browne came to te Toms River Chess Club and gave an excellent kecture and simultantaneous. He brought his tiurnament booklets as prizes. We had a surprise birthday party and he was very kind to every payer but won almost all the games.
    A fine person. May the good Lord watch over him now.
    Steve Doyle

  32. Walter and I had a hard-fought draw at Chess City in 1975.His intensity at every board was unbelievable.It was at that time that we became friends and worked on several NYC chess projects together.Walter Browne was the most exciting Chess Player to watch in the history of the game.His level of intensity and concentration was a marvel to behold.R.I.P.

  33. I played Walter Brown in Los Angeles when I was a college student at New Mexico State University in the early 1970’s. I remember it was the second round of the American Open (Nov 25, 1971) and he was very intense and played very fast and I quickly lost the game. My impression of Walter Brown was that he was like a Spartan warrior ready to do battle to the end. Even if the chess game was drawish, Walter would drag the game on until he uncovered a weakness that he could exploit. One of his games at that tournament went way pass midnight. At that time Walter was co-champion of the US Chess Open with Larry Evans and he was playing high caliber chess. I stopped playing chess a few years later and raised a family. Over 40 years have passed and I started to play again and I entered the Las Vegas Chess Festival 2015 this year. I attended Walter Brown’s chess lecture on June 19, 2015. I bought his book and he signed and dated it. We talked and I said I just turned 65. Walter won the US Senior Chess Open last year (2014) and encouraged me to enter the next one. I was surprised how pleasant and friendly Walter was to me, a big difference from his earlier chess career. I was looking forward to meeting Walter again. I was shocked and deeply sadden to hear the news of his sudden death. Walter was one of a kind. We all will miss him dearly.

  34. I was stunned to find Walter Browne listed recently as the Player of the Day on chessgames.com, with “(1949-2015)” below his name. I had just seen him in April at the Larry Evans Memorial in Reno. I purchased his new book there (“The Stress of Chess… and its Infinite Finesse”) and had him sign it, and commented on one of his games from the book that I found particularly interesting and enjoyable. It was against a fellow GM who grabbed a couple of pawns in the opening at the expense of development, and got soundly thrashed for his disregard of opening principles. Walter commented that it was the only game of its kind that he was aware of, where his opponent resigned with all his remaining pieces on their original squares – except his king!

    I didn’t know Walter well at all, but always found him to be very approachable. At a Reno tournament several years ago, I met him in the book store before the start of the tournament, and he seemed to recognize me (although I am just a “lowly” Expert), likely from the many tournaments we attended. I asked him about his poker game, though I never became much of a poker player myself. His eyes lit up — “Do you play?” he asked. I had to confess that I wasn’t much of a poker player but enjoyed the game and wanted to play more, then told him my memory of him at a Las Vegas tournament a few years back, carrying a paper sack of money he won playing poker one night, with a big smile on his face.

    Walter, thank you for your passion for chess, and the legacy you have left behind. Your name will be forever linked with Fischer, Reshevsky, Evans and the other American greats of the game. We will miss your energy and enthusiasm, and relentless search for truth on the chessboard.

  35. I watched Walter play against Gufeld at a big Los Angles open in the mid 1990’s, you could tell they were both out for blood. The game got to the ending where Walter had a King and Knight, and Gufeld had a King and Rook. Walter got up and said something like, Draw? and Gufeld said no, exclaiming that someone in Russia had recently won a game in a similar position! Well, this really ticked Walter off, he said something like, this is a dead draw, I don’t care where you come from. Needles to say, it was great to watch this all unfold live. And, yes the game ended in a draw.

  36. Shocked to hear of Walter’s passing. Last time I saw him was at the 2014 National Open and was going to see him this year as well but I had to withdraw at the last moment. My loss.
    Walter was a towering figure in California chess for decades. He was one of those rare chess players who embodied great fighting spirit with true art. Walter always wanted to win, but win in the most artistic way. That was most important to him. Great memories. Bon voyage Walter.

  37. I never got to play “Mr. Six Time” but did sneak a few comments in edgewise during one of his legendary post mortems. I also witnessed him luring more than one victim into his time pressure,.
    He was the ultimate role model for being competitive and giving your all at the chess board. He left many stories on his travels. An old friend, John Fincken (RIP), had many and used to love to tell about the challenges of getting Walter to focus his energies for a video series. He was a ball of energy, “like the sun was in my stomach” he told Sport’s Illustrated. RIP.

    • Yes, Walter was always a ball of inspired energy. He burned brightly like the Sun at the Chess Festival. He was a “Star” in every sense of the word. Never full of himself, he warmed and inspired others. Walter was generous and giving and he died, as he lived, doing what he loved. What tribute could be greater?

      Oh Walter, your star supernova-ed too soon!

    • Yes, that’s an important interview. It’s called,
      ” A Conversation with GM Walter Browne.” Thank you for posting it. Many great tributes to Walter are posted here as well.

  38. I recall attending a lecture by GM Browne at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside — I would guess in the late 1970’s. He was an enthusiastic speaker, and imparted several insightful comments. I can’t exactly recall the game now – I believe it was versus a GM who had decided to try to snatch a pawn out of the opening — I know its vague but does anyone have an idea of it? I’d like to go back and review it to recall the only opportunity I had to interact with GM Browne.

  39. I only saw during the tournament Nimzowitsch Memorial (1985) where he shared the first prize with Bent Larsen and Rafael Vaganjan. There is a cute tournament book, but unfortunately only in danish.

    “The Stress of Chess” remains forever.

    HVIL I FRED/REST IN PEACE.

    NB: Was he last game kept??

  40. Just learned about this, and even though I didn’t know Walter, I was still shocked. I guess when you read about someone in the chess literature through the years as I have done since the ’70’s, you feel you know them well. My condolences to his family and loved ones.

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  42. You know this one really hit me. I’m from the Bobby Fischer era, in fact I even predate that amazing match in 1972 as I was competing in tournament’s since the mid 60’s. Somehow I always associated Walter Browne with that time, and while Bobby Fischer was an inaccessible God, Walter was always there for us, to appreciate his amazing chess and inexhaustible passion for the game. This era
    is just so special for us old timers as chess just
    seemed more magical and full of hidden wonders back in the pre computer days when
    we just had to figure it all out for ourselves.
    As for my own experiences with Walter, well several come to mind, starting with him
    mating me in about 15 moves in a blindfold simul back around 1970. Since then I did play
    him in a handful of OTB tournaments with the
    usual share of lopsided losses, but still I managed to “hold” two draws with the white pieces at the US Open at Fairfax 1976 and
    Boston 1988. After the Boston draw I was treated to a long skittles room post-mortem
    where Walter dissected the position in detail
    from start to finish, a free lesson for me that I
    will never forget.
    Also I got to hang out with Walter at
    various times and chess venues and spend
    some time with him. I remember playing a
    round of golf with him once and even spending an afternoon bowling (at least one
    game that I could beat him at). We always had
    a friendly wager on the outcomes and even
    at games that he lacked the skill he never lacked the ferocious desire to compete. In
    fact it was his passion for all that he did that
    just sticks with me and makes his passing so difficult to accept.
    If I was to sum up one thing that I remember him saying I think it goes back to
    that old Sports Illustrated article, where he
    basically stated that he just feels sorry for those people who never learned to play chess.
    I think we as chess players and I know especially in my case through high school etc.
    I can just so relate to that. It always felt like it
    was us (the chess players) and them (the straight world) and it was the straight world
    that just didn’t get it.

    Walter buddy, thanks for the lifetime of memories and now it’s time for you to
    take that well deserved rest.

  43. I remember seeing Walter on only about 5 occasions. I saw him play Paul Keres last game. They were such a contrast to each other. Keres was poise and composure, Walter was high-strung and nervous. Years later I had the privilege of seeing Walter in the NY State Open a couple times, the World Open and the National Open. I saw him in a much better light and I really saw a remarkable character shine through in those tournaments. My heart is saddened deeply with his passing. He was a source of inspiration and joy in chess. Liveliness and energy were the hallmark of his chess. God bless you Walter.

  44. I was saddened to learn of Walter’s passing. To me he was a modern day chess hero. I would have loved to have met him but his games and successes on and off the board were fantastic. May God Bless you Mr. Browne and your family. RIP

  45. Very sad to just discover this. Walter and I played many times… we were pretty evenly matched.. in
    tennis only!

    He was always late for matches because he didn’t drive and could never find a cab.

    A most memorable fellow!

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