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  1. #1
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    Walter Browne (sf various threads)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Tan View Post
    We have yet another Australian GM addition to the Aus Open, but this time it's in the form of Australia's first GM Ian Rogers who will be providing live commentary for the full 11 rounds of the tournament! Ian and his wife Cathy have been an integral part of many international Australian tournaments and it's an honour to have them bring their experience and expertise to this event.
    "Australia's first GM...." Why does everyone forget Walter Browne?
    Still searching for Bobby Fischer....
    and fighting against those humourless bureaucrats who are forever lost in the minutiae.

  2. #2
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammo View Post
    "Australia's first GM...." Why does everyone forget Walter Browne?
    I think it is a classification issue rather than a memory one.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammo View Post
    "Australia's first GM...." Why does everyone forget Walter Browne?
    Hey Peter, in the "everyone" part of his post Jammo includes me! I had to adjust my signature to satisfy his correct protestation. His justified whingeing, however, would have been more complete and more related to the topic if he added a couple of encouraging words in regards to what appears to eventuate as one of the most successful international events in the history of Australian Chess. Organisers, please add my congratulations to your formidable efforts!
    Last edited by ER; 28-10-2014 at 07:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammo View Post
    "Australia's first GM...." Why does everyone forget Walter Browne?
    Because he doesn't count in any real sense.

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    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax View Post
    Because he doesn't count in any real sense.
    A tad harsh?
    Born in Sydney.
    Board one for Aus in two Olympiads.
    I stand to be corrected if I am wrong in claiming that he earned his GM title before he moved to represent USA
    Can those 2.5 facts be excluded from your interpretation of "any real sense"?
    Last edited by ER; 28-10-2014 at 11:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott Renzies View Post
    A tad harsh?
    Born in Sydney.
    Board one for Aus in two Olympiads.
    I stand to be corrected if I am wrong in claiming that he earned his GM title before he moved to represent USA
    Can those 2.5 facts be excluded from your interpretation of "any real sense"?
    Browne moved to the USA age three (American father, Australian mother), and as far as I am aware never lived in Australia from that time. He represented Australia twice at the Olympiad (possibly because he could not get on the US team), but subsequently represented the USA four times. He earned the GM title at an invitational GM tournament in San Juan (won by Spassky). I'd be curious to know how his affiliation was listed at that event.

    Bottom line for me, is that an "Australian GM" is one who either learned the game here, as an Australian citizen, or else moves here permanently and adopts Aussie citizenship.

    (I guess this all belongs in some other thread, maybe this one?)

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Pax on this issue.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

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    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    With all due respect Pax and Capablanca-Fan I would need to have GM Rogers and IM Jamison's thorough opinions on the question of how real Australian GM W. Browne was and/or how much real Australian he felt before I go ahead and reinstate my original signature bit or leave it as is!

    Quote Originally Posted by pax View Post
    (I guess this all belongs in some other thread, maybe this one?)
    agreed!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax View Post
    Because he doesn't count in any real sense.
    So being an Australian citizen, a grandmaster and playing top board in the Australian Olympiad team doesn't count in your opinion? Your have a strange system of "counting."
    Still searching for Bobby Fischer....
    and fighting against those humourless bureaucrats who are forever lost in the minutiae.

  10. #10
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammo View Post
    So being an Australian citizen, a grandmaster and playing top board in the Australian Olympiad team doesn't count in your opinion?
    In terms of the claim of being Australia's first GM the point is/was the difficulty of getting the level of competition necessary to play at that level and being able to demonstrate that to FIDE via the norms process. Quite difficult for someone who grew up in Australia, the tyranny of distance is much less of an issue for someone who grew up in the US.

    By the same token I would not class Ian as Tasmania's first GM (despite being born there) as he did not grow up there and so did not experience the same difficulties as people who did grow up in a small isolated state in terms of access to strong junior competitions, etc.

    To keep everyone happy could we describe Ian as "Australia's first home-grown GM"?
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by jammo View Post
    So being an Australian citizen, a grandmaster and playing top board in the Australian Olympiad team doesn't count in your opinion? Your have a strange system of "counting."
    Did Browne ever live in Australia while representing this country? I'm wondering if a dual national who hadn't lived here for 20 years (and wasn't planning to move back) would ever be selected to represent Australia at the Olympics, or for the Australian cricket team, or for the Socceroos?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pax View Post
    Did Browne ever live in Australia while representing this country? I'm wondering if a dual national who hadn't lived here for 20 years (and wasn't planning to move back) would ever be selected to represent Australia at the Olympics, or for the Australian cricket team, or for the Socceroos?
    Irrelevant questions. Browne was a GM and registered by FIDE as Australian. Fact. If you want to try to re-write history that's up to you. I'm sure that Ian does not consider himself to be "Australia's first grandmaster." To quote "Chess in Australia January 1970 page 8 (report of Puerto Rico 1969 where Browne qualified for the GM Title) "Browne's result ..... put Australia on the map in a big way in over-the-board chess."
    Still searching for Bobby Fischer....
    and fighting against those humourless bureaucrats who are forever lost in the minutiae.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott Renzies View Post
    With all due respect Pax and Capablanca-Fan I would need to have GM Rogers and IM Jamison's thorough opinions on the question of how real Australian GM W. Browne was and/or how much real Australian he felt before I go ahead and reinstate my original signature bit or leave it as is!

    agreed!
    I think your first priority should be to do a bit of work on your spelling....
    Still searching for Bobby Fischer....
    and fighting against those humourless bureaucrats who are forever lost in the minutiae.

  14. #14
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Well much as I'm tempted not to be, I'm actually with jammo on this. This question of what counts as "Australian" is one that comes up now and then. A player can be an Australian citizen while having no connection to the country other than birth. Currently FIDE will accept that as conveying eligibility for federation registration and the ACF accepts it as conveying eligibility for Australian titles. Indeed Walter Browne is a former Australian champion (1969) and was Australian champion at the time of winning the GM title. It is a bit hard to argue that the Australian closed champion can be a grandmaster while not being an Australian grandmaster.

    Perhaps this just reflects differences between official definitions and how people in the chess community might see it but the chess community has had many decades to have the definitions changed and it has not happened. I know the AusJCL has been having issues with this recently with players who are Australian-born citizens and registered as AUS but otherwise have no "connection to Australia". I passed it on to the ACF Council as an issue for consideration (without taking a stance, just passing it on having told someone I would) but no-one has moved to change it yet.

    The general feeling seems to be that we have a lax definition of Australianness because we are struggling for players of that strength and beggars can't be choosers.

    At the risk of threadjacking a split thread minutes after creating it, we currently have at least one AUS-registered IM whose circumstances are reasonably similar to Browne.

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    Browne legally held dual citizenship of Australia and USA. May still, for all I know.

    When he won the Australian Championship 1969, he was listed in the tournament results as USA. But naturally the ACF and organisers were happy to rule that it was OK for such a strong player to be in the tournament.

    Browne played for Australia until 1974, when it was safe to go back to the USA. He was in Australia rarely (but not never) in that time.

    Did not appear on the ACF Rating List, which was a tricky (but not vexacious) decision, with a sort of maybe he should, maybe he should not, attitude among chess officials. Not that he had many Australian games.

    In Chess In Australia Feb 1971 Bernie Johnson wrote:

    ---
    Australia's first grandmaster ever. As one Sydney reporter aptly stated : "Browne has the modesty of Cassius Clay". He is a born actor with the world of chess players his audience. Protests violently and loudly at the drop of a hat and irritates tournament directors by mostly being correct in his objections. He is a great chess player and will be the first to admit it and could easily become challenger for the World title next time around, in 1975.
    ---

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