Walter Shawn Browne

Walter Shawn Browne

(1949-Present)
United States – Inducted 2003

Walter Browne was born in Sydney, Australia, to an American father and Australian mother. After moving to the United States as a young child, he won the U.S. Junior Championship in 1966. In his early career, he represented Australia in competition, winning the 1969 Australian Championship, tying for first at the 1969 Asian Zonal tournament in Singapore, and playing first board at the 1970 and 1972 Olympiads. From the mid-1970s onward he would represent the United States, and he continued to win multiple national and international titles throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These include six U.S. Championships, eleven National Opens, seven American Opens, three U.S. Opens, three Interzonal tournaments, and two World Opens, as well as appearances at four more Olympiads. His most recent win was at the 2005 U.S. Senior Open.

Browne is known as a tactician who spends much of his time on the opening and middlegame. While issues of time pressure can and have hurt him in competition, his penchant for exciting, down-to-the-wire games also excites fans and unsettles opponents. A world-class speed chess player, he formed the World Blitz Chess Association in 1988, which lasted until 2004, and founded the magazine Blitz Chess. Brown has played competitive poker since the early 1970s, and more recently has turned his attention to that arena, winning almost $200,000 at the 2007 World Series of Poker.