I was browsing “The Week in Chess” on the internet last night and came across a new chess book “The Stress of Chess,” a biography of GM Walter Browne.  I must have a copy!  Australians of my vintage will remember Walter Browne as Australia’s first grandmaster in 1970 and indeed he was my boyhood hero.

I think it was in 1968 that the chess column in the Weekly Times newspaper reported that an “Australian” had won the US Chess Open.  “I bet he’s never even seen a sheep” commented the columnist, who had never heard of Walter Browne.  The following year however we had all heard of Browne as he came to Australia to win the Australian Chess Championship then represented us in the Zonal where he secured the IM title.

In 1970 FIDE awarded only two new grandmaster titles.  Browne was one and the other was some unknown Russian guy named Karpov.   Browne played also in Adelaide 1971, perhaps Australia’s first real International tournament, and amazed everyone with his fighting spirit and ability to beat all-comers at lightning chess for $1 per game.  He played for Australia in two Chess Olympiads, 1970 and 1972, before switching to the USA where he was US Champion 6 times.  It is not surprising that Browne is also a top poker player, which I guess is sort of how he played chess as well.   I’ve just been playing through a great game where he had Bobby Fischer on the ropes but Fischer secured a draw with some ingenious defence.

It is appropriate therefore that today’s puzzle is from one of Browne’s games at the Skopje Olympiad in 1972.  His opponent is the very solid NZ IM Ortvin Sarapu.   Material is level but Browne’s pieces are poised to attack.  Can you find Black’s second move from the diagram which wins the game?

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