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Friday 9 December 2016

i'm often asked if chess players are good at poker. The short answer is "yes". While no very strong chess player has made it big in poker yet, many chess players play poker successfully, often combining these two very different games - chess is a game with perfect information, while poker has much room for guess-work and speculation. One such player was Grandmaster Walter Browne, who passed away three weeks ago in Las Vegas at the age of 66. He excelled in chess, backgammon and various card games, including poker, in which he won over $250,000 in live tournaments. I met Walter on several occasions. He was a nice man, but very tense over the board, usually ending up in severe time-trouble. Unsurprisingly, he called his 2012 chess autobiography

Published 12/07/2015 | 02:30

i'm often asked if chess players are good at poker. The short answer is "yes". While no very strong chess player has made it big in poker yet, many chess players play poker successfully, often combining these two very different games - chess is a game with perfect information, while poker has much room for guess-work and speculation. One such player was Grandmaster Walter Browne, who passed away three weeks ago in Las Vegas at the age of 66. He excelled in chess, backgammon and various card games, including poker, in which he won over $250,000 in live tournaments. I met Walter on several occasions. He was a nice man, but very tense over the board, usually ending up in severe time-trouble. Unsurprisingly, he called his 2012 chess autobiography The Stress of Chess. In the 1970s Browne was one of the leading chess players in the world and here's one of his games from that period, played in Wijk aan Zee in 1974.

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Browne - Quinteros

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6

3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7

5.c4 Qg4?!

The Argentine GM goes on a risky pawn-grabbing mission; it was better to play 5...Nc6 or 5...Nf6 6.0-0 Qxe4 7.d4 cxd4 8.Re1 Qc6? 9.Nxd4 Qxc4 10.Na3 Qc8 11.Bf4 Qd7 12.Nab5 e5 (D)

Of Black's first 12 moves, 7 were were made with the queen, falling way behind in development. This allowed Browne to launch a deadly attack, conducted very energetically:

13.Bxe5! dxe5 14.Rxe5+ Be7

15.Rd5! Qc8 16.Nf5! Kf8

17.Nxe7 Kxe7 18.Re5+ 1-0

Sunday Independent

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