We have learned of the unexpected death of the six-time US champion, Grandmaster Walter S. Browne, at the age of 66 in Las Vegas. Browne was a true American chess legend and an icon throughout his career.
Besides the six US championships he either won outright or tied for, Browne also won 11 National Opens in Las Vegas, three American Opens, and three World Opens, including the first one in 1973.
Browne long fought for equal recognition with Bobby Fischer, but the similarity began and ended with their both being from the Bronx and dropouts from Erasmus High School. Browne was also a very successful poker player, which seemed to be his main source of income over the years. Browne cut a striking figure at the chess board, with his long hair and intense manner. He always caused much excitement with his chronic and immense time scrabbles. The chess world mourns his passing.
The 47th World Open got underway in Arlington, Va., this week. Long a landmark US tournament, it is the world’s largest open Swiss event and boasts the biggest guaranteed prize fund. This year it is $210,000, with a first-place prize of $20,000. A few of the local players making the trip include, David Vigorito, Marc Esserman, Andrew Liu, Andrew Wang, Sid Arun, Carissa Yip, Robert Sullivan, and Bob Holmgren.
The recent US Junior Girls Championship ended badly for our local hero, Carissa Yip. She finished in 8th place, with 4 points (4 wins and 5 losses.) A 13-year-old Californian, Ashritha Eswaran, won the event with 6.5 points. Even though ranked 10th out of 10 players, she showed a steady hand throughout the event. Ashritha also played in this year’s US Women’s championship, making her the second-youngest to ever have this honor; Irina Krush at 11 holds the record.
Winners: BCC Junes Grand Prix, Open: 1st-2d: Henry Terrie and Howard Goldowsky: 3-1; Under 1800; 1st-2d: David Martin and Boshen Li: 3-1. Metrowest CC, Summer Solstice, Open section: 1st-3d: Vadim Martirosov, Yi Yang, and Ilya Krasik: 3.5-1.5.
Coming Events: July 10, BCC GM Walter S. Browne Memorial Friday Night Blitz, www.BoylstonChessClub.org; July 17-19, 20th annual Bradley Open, Sheraton Hotel, Windsor Locks, Conn., www.chesstour.com/brad15.htm.
Answer to today’s problem 1.Qxh7+! KxQ (forced) 2.hxg+ Kxg (if 2…Kg8 3.Rh8 is mate) 3.Be4 mate.