Walter Browne is a living legend of chess, a hurricane of a player with a daredevil approach. Browne, famous for his hair-raising time-trouble duels, considers chess ‘a natural cerebral high’. ‘By competing you are a winner, no matter the result’ is his motto.
At the peak of his career Browne won the US Championship six times and claimed countless national and international tournaments. A regular and successful competitor in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, his achievements as a poker player are almost as impressive.
In this memoir, Walter Browne recounts his formative years, when he befriended and played Bobby Fischer in New York City, and his later life on the road, when he trotted the globe, living life to the full.
Sharing colourful anecdotes about chess legends such as Tal, Karpov and Timman, and his rivals in the rough-and-tumble of American opens, Browne looks back on a rich career. He presents his best games, full of sacrifices and fireworks, in a clear style that is easily accessible for amateur players.
Walter Browne was born in Australia in 1949 and moved with his family to the United States in 1953. He became an International Grandmaster in 1969 and won the US Championship six times. He won hundreds of thousands of dollars as a poker player.
British Chess Magazine: "Autobiography at its most sincere, its most earnest. This is grim combat served at a pace."
Dr Danny Kopec, author of 'Winning the Won Game': "You will find spectacular games and stories about encounters with many of the greatest players of our time. What a treat!"
Bill Cornwall, Los Angeles Times: "Written by and about one of our country's greatest players, and it is long overdue."
Harry Schaack, KARL Magazine: "Reading the narative leaves the reader breathless (..) The way Browne tells (and remembers) the story reflects how obsessed a player he is, restlessly rushing from one game (chess, poker, backgammon, bridge, pool or scrabble) to another (..) He tells everything with the same intensity, as if it is happening now, because for him every game is an existential challenge. It is a life in the present, in the moment, having to prove itself again and again." John Henderson, The Scotsman: "With 432 pages and many wonderful game annotations and anecdotes from 'Mr Six-Time', this book is destined to become a hit not just in America but globally."
John Watson, TWIC: "The games and annotations are nothing short of magnificent, and a tribute to Browne's skill, energy, and creativity."
Steve Giddins, author of '50 Ways to Win at Chess': "An excellent read, and a superb collection of annotated games. One gets a very good feel for the life of a chess professional in the 70s and 80s, especially one as active as Browne. Many is the tale of last-minute flights, delayed flights, lost luggage, sleepless nights travelling, followed by a game the next day."
IM Arthur van de Oudeweetering, ChessVibes: "The text oozes energy, also due to the pace with which you will read it (..) The game sections in each chapter are just wonderfully inspiring. If you want to get into a fighting mood, these will really boost your combativeness."
Sean Marsh, CHESS Magazine: "Fascinating (..) uncompromising chess is the order of the day (..) the second best chess book of 2012."
Devin Camenares, ChessCafe: "Full of instructive, entertaining, well-annotated games (..) good study material for any tournament player."
David R. Sands, The Washington Times: "'The Stress of Chess ... and its Infinite Finesse' is the cool title of the fine new game collection/autobiography of Walter Browne. The six-time American champion, one of the best players in the world in the 1970's, was an attacking demon and a time-trouble addict."
John Bartholomew, ChessPublishing: "A highly entertaining read."
Martin Rieger, Rochade Europa: "Browne is a fighter who stands up and goes on after taking even the hardest punch. Studying these games will improve your own play considerably."
Leonard Barden, the Guardian: "Many chess biographies are anodyne and technical, skirting controversy. The Stress of Chess by six-time US champion Walter Browne is more combative."
Four-times US Champion Yasser Seirawan: "It was truly remarkable to see him in action while in time-trouble. He was a demon (..) He was the toughest competitor I ever faced at the chess board."
Joe Petrolito, Australasian Chess Magazine: "The book includes 101 best games that highlight his attacking and risky style (..) The annotations are clear and instructive without an over-emphasis on computer evaluation."
World Series of Poker Winner Bill Chen: "Walter did what so few of us can: climb to the highest rung of two careers in one lifetime."
Paul Motwani, The Scotsman: Fascinating (..) lots of photos, interesting stories and 100 fully annotated games in Browne's gem of book."
B.H.Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad: "Many spectacular games and fascinating anecdotes from forty years of top level chess, alternating with long pieces of prose on various subjects, from games of poker to encounters with Bobby Fischer."
Nigel Short: "Just reading about the frenetic pace of his amazing career is enervating in itself."