As we close out Black History Month, I stumbled over a link to Robert Byrne’s analysis of FM Morris Giles’ win over GM Walter Browne. Giles was a Chicago legend who was a solid master in the 70s. He retired for a number of years and then returned in the 80s. Giles began terrorize Illinois players winning many tournaments before he began branching out on the national scene. He reached Senior Master (highest was 2475 USCF) and then retired again in the early 90s.
Giles (pictured right) was a quiet man who enjoyed his cigarettes, but had a ferocious style. His personality exploded onto the board and he scored many resounding victories. In 1988, he scored 9-3 in the U.S. Open in Boston and had scored his best result.
While many of us felt that Giles would continue to play and earn his IM title, he stopped playing and was never seen playing again. No one is quite sure why he stopped playing, but he left behind a treat. Byrne did the commentary for his long-running New York Times column.
September 25, 1988
CHESS; A Glory Trail for the Underdog
By ROBERT BYRNE
CHESS is notorious for neither respecting titles nor achievements, but only what is actually being done over-the-board at the given moment. That’s why the probability of upsets is so high – probably much higher than in sports.
So much depends on inspiration that slogging through reams of games played does not produce the innovation that one desires. In fact, it often mires one down in a myriad of indigestible details.
Nevertheless, the spectators -with short memories – take it for a miracle when the underdog hits the glory trail. Each time it is as though it had never happened before in the 1500-year history of the game.
Of course, some of these upsets give a vivid illustration of what the term really means. Such a game is the one won by the national master Morris Giles of Chicago from Walter Browne of Berkeley, Calif., a six-time United States invitational champion, in the 10th round of the United States open championship, which ended in Boston Aug. 20.