The Berkeley Chess School is saddened to learn of the passing of legendary chess champion Walter Browne, a longtime Berkeley resident. Walter, a six-time US Championship winner, was a passionate ambassador for the game of chess. In the 1970s, at the peak of his career, Walter was one of the top-ranked players in the world, which earned him a long feature story in Sports Illustrated and saw him compete in marathon simultaneous exhibitions while crisscrossing the United States. The Bay Area grandmaster won more Open Swiss tournaments than anyone in history. An active player until the end, he had just completed an excellent result at the National Open in Las Vegas.
Walter had a longstanding connection with BCS: Over 20 years ago he gave his first simul to our students and also generously donated many copies of his magazine Blitz Chess over the years. More recently, he gave a very energetic series of evening classes for our teachers and our top students, with plans for more classes in the future. In late May he won the Berkeley Senior Open, hosted by BCS. We will miss Walter and our sympathies go to his family and to his widow Dr. Racquel Browne.
For more on Walter Browne, please read his obituary in the New York Times. We invite our students to look at the article from The Telegraph (of London) because it features two of his instructive games.