Thursday, June 05, 2008

What Happened Next IV

Browne - Donner, The Master Game 1979

Yesterday, I asked what happened after Jan Hein Donner beat Walter Browne in their game from the 1979 edition of the classic BBC TV chess tournament.

Bent Larsen takes up the story ...

I shall always remember the day Donner beat Browne and looked completely bewildered. He had played badly recently and expected to be knocked out in the first round. Please, could he use a phone? Yes, just behind that door. he dialled Amsterdam, and it went something like:

' - I'm sorry dear but I won. - Yes, that means I have to stay till (sic) Wednesday. - Yes, I know I promised, but I shall pay the babysitter. - Yes, I make more money this way. - Yes, I'm sorry. Yes, see you Wednesday. Bye."

Mrs Donner is a judge, and he had promised to look after their little daughter while she concentrated on her work. It is not often you get to hear a chess master say: 'I'm sorry I won.'"

The Master Game: Book Two
James & Hartston, BBC 1981


Anonymous said...

Is that Larsen comment in the Master Game book? What page? I can't find it!

Tom Chivers said...


Which reminds me...

"Love is: trying your whole life to teach your wife to play chess." -- Donner.

Anonymous said...

"Love is: trying your whole life to teach your wife to play chess."
Sounds like a love of chess. Sounds anything but a love of his wife.

Jonathan B said...

I just sold the book on to the BCM Shop - it was part of the Andy Thake donation. I can't tell you exactly what the page number was but I remember it was from Larsen's introduction to the book at the beginning.

ejh said...

I rather like "Yes, I make more money this way" which vaguely suggests to me that old lady Donner was suggesting that he might like to consider packing it in anyway were this not the case.

An alternative explanation is that Donner knew Larsen was listening and was laying it on.