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R Byrne 
Robert Eugene Byrne
Number of games in database: 889
Years covered: 1943 to 2000
Last FIDE rating: 2434
Highest rating achieved in database: 2560
Overall record: +274 -160 =450 (56.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      5 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (151) 
    B90 B81 B42 B92 B84
 Ruy Lopez (68) 
    C95 C93 C78 C99 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (41) 
    C95 C93 C99 C92 C96
 King's Indian (32) 
    E60 E62 E64 E81 E63
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E21 E58 E29 E43 E57
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (30) 
    B68 B63 B62 B60 B67
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (132) 
    E80 E92 E97 E66 E81
 Sicilian (93) 
    B51 B90 B63 B93 B30
 French Defense (44) 
    C16 C04 C00 C01 C09
 Sicilian Najdorf (28) 
    B90 B93 B92 B91 B97
 English (20) 
    A15 A14 A10 A13 A16
 French Winawer (15) 
    C16 C15 C18 C19
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   R Byrne vs Larry Evans, 1965 1-0
   Kozomara vs R Byrne, 1967 0-1
   R Byrne vs V Liberzon, 1976 1-0
   R Byrne vs Gligoric, 1963 1-0
   Bronstein vs R Byrne, 1952 0-1
   Fischer vs R Byrne, 1965 0-1
   R Byrne vs Tarjan, 1975 1-0
   Reshevsky vs R Byrne, 1973 0-1
   R Byrne vs Smyslov, 1976 1-0
   R Byrne vs E Eliskases, 1952 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1972)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   47th US Open (1946)
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   58th US Open (1957)
   Vidmar Memorial (1969)
   Monte Carlo (1968)
   Lugano (1970)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Wertheim Memorial (1951)
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   U.S. Championship (1966)
   Moscow (1971)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1946 US Open, Pittsburgh, PA by RonB52734
   Amsterdam IBM 1969 by suenteus po 147
   Vidmar Memorial by FSR
   Hastings 1971/72 by suenteus po 147
   Lugano 1970 by Phony Benoni
   US Championship 1975 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1980 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1972 by Phony Benoni
   Monte Carlo 1968 by Tabanus
   US Championship 1978 by suenteus po 147

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(born Apr-20-1928, died Apr-12-2013, 84 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Robert Eugene Byrne was born in New York on April 20, 1928. He was inspired to learn chess at the age of eight after seeing chess players in the local park.

Awarded the IM title in 1952, Byrne earned his Grandmaster title in 1964 and two years later shared first place at the United States Open with Pal Benko. The 1972 US Championship served as an interzonal qualifying tournament, and Byrne after tying for first place with Samuel Reshevsky and Lubomir Kavalek, won the three man play off to advance to the Leningrad Interzonal (1973). (1)

The Leningrad Interzonal proved to be one of the highlights of his career, as Byrne finished only one point behind tournament winners Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov and ahead of such luminaries as Bent Larsen, Mikhail Tal, and Svetozar Gligoric. His successful run ended with a loss in his 1974 quarter final candidates match against Boris Spassky.

Editor for the New York Times weekly chess column from 1972 until his retirement in 2006, Robert Byrne also attained eminence as a highly respected chess writer, culminating in his 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Chess Journalists of America.


 page 1 of 36; games 1-25 of 889  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. J Staffer vs R Byrne 1-017 1943 corrA10 English
2. R Byrne vs M Green 1-028 1945 Ventnor CityB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
3. M Stark vs R Byrne  1-033 1945 Ventnor CityD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
4. R Byrne vs B Keltz  0-135 1945 Ventnor CityA15 English
5. E S Jackson vs R Byrne  1-062 1945 Ventnor CityC41 Philidor Defense
6. R Byrne vs W Adams  1-042 1945 Ventnor CityC32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
7. H Yanofsky vs R Byrne 0-119 1945 Ventnor CityD71 Neo-Grunfeld
8. Fine vs R Byrne 1-038 1945 New York bf simul (4-board), USAA48 King's Indian
9. Santasiere vs R Byrne  1-029 1945 Ventnor CityC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
10. R Byrne vs A Regen ½-½51 1945 Ventnor CityC78 Ruy Lopez
11. W Suesman vs R Byrne  ½-½27 1945 Ventnor CityC47 Four Knights
12. G Hartleb vs R Byrne 0-120 1946 47th US OpenE61 King's Indian
13. O Ulvestad vs R Byrne  1-032 1946 47th US OpenA48 King's Indian
14. R Byrne vs H Fajans 0-144 1946 47th US OpenD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
15. Larry Evans vs R Byrne  0-154 1946 47th US OpenE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
16. R Byrne vs B Price  1-040 1946 47th US OpenB01 Scandinavian
17. R Byrne vs Berliner 1-053 1946 47th US OpenC34 King's Gambit Accepted
18. Santasiere vs R Byrne 1-014 1946 47th US OpenB06 Robatsch
19. R Byrne vs Larry Evans  1-037 1946 47th US OpenC34 King's Gambit Accepted
20. S E Almgren vs R Byrne 1-026 1946 47th US OpenB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
21. R Byrne vs E Levin  ½-½33 1946 47th US OpenC39 King's Gambit Accepted
22. J Paal vs R Byrne  0-145 1946 47th US OpenD28 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
23. R Byrne vs W Adams ½-½43 1946 47th US OpenC32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
24. M Aleman Dovo vs R Byrne  0-144 1946 47th US OpenC41 Philidor Defense
25. R Byrne vs A Gordon 1-050 1946 47th US OpenC32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
 page 1 of 36; games 1-25 of 889  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Byrne wins | Byrne loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Walter Browne was born in Australia to an American father and Australian mother, and moved to the USA when he was two. I would say he is "American born and bred".
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: A very credible 70% in the 1952 Olympiad beating Bronstein in this team tournament :

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Video tributes to Byrne by IM Andrew Martin: and
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I was a big fan of his Chess Column. It has not been the same since he retired in 2006.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Tribute by Andrew Martin:
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <plang: I was a big fan of his Chess Column. It has not been the same since he retired in 2006.>

You got that right. Apparently the NYT picked his not-all-that-worthy successor because the guy was already on the NYT's staff and knew something about chess. Probably that meant that the Times didn't have to pay him anything beyond his already-existing salary. (He is a FIDE Master.

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: <FSR> In the L.A. area, we have seen a similar sorry phenomenon. The L.A. Times chess column was run excellently by IM Jack Peters for years (after GM Jim Tarjan declined the offered post). A couple of years ago, Peters lost the column and it is now a syndicated piece each week, saving the Times the salary of Peters for a small fraction of the cost to them, and virtually no local news, and poor in international chess news, and is, more broadly, a sad commentary on the decline of the newspaper business because of all the online factors.
Apr-15-13  keresfan: RIP Robert Byrne.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <andrewsjacks> My aunt, who is a law professor at UCLA, sent me some of Jack Peters' columns over the years. He was an excellent columnist. Ditto with Kavalek, who used to write for the Washington Post. It's sad what's happening to newspapers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: With Kavalek out at the Post, does anyone write for them now?

<FSR> and <andrew>: I'll sign that-print media in general have been in decline for about ten years now, with the advertising side of things taking a beating and serving as the impetus in a vicious cycle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "I learned that the ones who frown and squirm are the ones who are the most dangerous."

- GM Robert Byrne

rest in peace, GM Robert Eugene Byrne..

Apr-20-13  chesswar1000: Happy Birthday Mr. Byrne...
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday....R.I.P.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Nobody writes about chess for the WP anymore so far as I know, but Kavalek still writes a chess column online, every two weeks for the Huffington Post. It's very good.
Jul-05-13  hudapri: RIP - There's a cover story in this month's Chess Life (USCF magazine).
Jul-05-13  HeMateMe: Was R. Byrne a lifelong smoker, like his late brother Donald Byrne? I saw a photo of Robert B. smoking, and it looked fairly current. Of course every smoker doesn't get cancer but it can't help your health. Donald Byrne died young. he was a chain smoker.
Jul-05-13  JoergWalter: <HeMateMe: Donald Byrne died young. he was a chain smoker.>

Byrne died in Philadelphia of complications arising from lupus.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez: Very interesting the discussion about the couple of male sibling who are the strongest all time in chess? I would like to mention another couple: the Bolbochan brothers, they could be above Byrne brothers because, if you see chessmetrics they were 13 and 18 of the world at his best and, the Byrne brothers were : 11 and 38. Other side, Is clear the advantage for the Lasker brothers first and seventh in the world at his best !!
Mar-21-14  Petrosianic: Just to be clear, you're talking bout Emanuel and Berthold here, not Emanuel and Edward. (Ed Lasker was only distantly related).

Yeah, you're right. Berthold Lasker does show him peaking at #7, but he played VERY little, for a very short period of time, almost exclusively in Berlin. A lot of people don't even know he existed. I wouldn't think of the Laskers as a brother team on a par with the Byrnes or even the Bolbochans.

Of course, going just by the rankings, you've got a point.

Mar-21-14  Petrosianic: Berthold Lasker is the Gummo Marx of chess...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: The following game was played over Memorial Day at the Buckeye Open in 1963. Robert Byrne scored 7 1/2 - 1/2.

I have the sneaky suspicion that Byrne's opponent was Ivan Theodorovich

[Event "Buckeye Open"]
[Site "?, USA"]
[Date "1963.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Byrne, Robert Eugene"]
[Black "Theodorovitch"]
[ECO "A41"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "71"]

1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Nf3 e5 5. g3 Nc6 6. d5 Nce7 7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O O-O 9. b4 Ne8 10. Bb2 h6 11. Qb3 f5 12. Rfd1 g5 13. c5 Ng6 14. a4 g4 15. Nd2 h5 16. Nc4 h4 17. a5 Rf7 18. b5 Bf8 19. b6 dxc5 20. Nb5 axb6 21. axb6 Rxa1 22. Rxa1 h3 23. Bh1 Bd7 24. bxc7 Nxc7 25. Nxc7 Qxc7 26. d6 Bxd6 27. Bd5 Nh8 28. Rd1 Be8 29. Nxd6 Qxd6 30. Bxf7+ Bxf7 31. Rxd6 Bxb3 32. Rd8+ Kh7 33. Rd7+ Kg6 34. Rxb7 Be6 35. Bxe5 Nf7 36. Rb6 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Paul> That would not be at all surprising, though so far I have found nothing to confirm this.

My guess is that the Buckeye Open was held in Ohio, as implied by the name, but this is another uncorroborated assertion.

Eight rounds over three (or possibly four) days. Reminds me of an event or two I played, ca 1972-73, with a Friday evening round, three on Saturday and two Sunday.

Jun-06-14  Conrad93: I have seen certain sites claim that Byrne had an IQ over 170+, but the claims were never substantiated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I'm preparing games from the 1966 uS Open in Seattle, and just came across this beauty:

Richard Verber - Robert Byrne
US Open, Seattle, 1966, round 12

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.f4 Bd7 7.Nf3 g6 8.Bd3 Bg7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Kh1 Nb4 11.a3 Nxd3 12.cxd3 b5 13.Qe1 a5 14.Nd1 Qc7 15.Ne3 e6 16.Qh4 Qd8 17.g4 Ne8 18.g5 f5 19.gxf6 Nxf6 20.f5 exf5 21.exf5 gxf5 22.Nd4 Ng4 23.Qxd8 Raxd8 24.Ndxf5 Nxe3 25.Nxe3 Rxf1+ 26.Nxf1 Rf8

click for larger view

Sort of la-di-da. At this point, <White resigns>.

No it wasn't a time forfeit or some other weirdness. Just look again at the position, and try to get out of it as White without losing decisive material.

Black's domination of the board with no piece beyond the second rank is reminiscent of the finish of R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <PB> Another picturesque example of all Black's pieces near the edge of the board producing a won position is: O Neikirch vs Botvinnik, 1960

click for larger view

Believe Botvinnik's comment was something to the effect that, from the compositional point of view, it would have been aesthetically more pleasing to have his bishop at a8 instead of b7.

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