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Robert Byrne vs Larry Evans
"Byrne Baby Byrne" (game of the day Mar-11-2011)
United States Championship (1965), New York, NY USA, rd 11, Dec-30
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Poisoned Pawn Accepted (B97)  ·  1-0



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Given 12 times; par: 39 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Conrad93><how is that possible? Is Byrne Nostradamus?> I'm guessing here, but: Up to move 14 was probably a known "book" line at that time; Byrne could have prepared the almost forced line from move 15 to around move 30, most branches of which lose even faster; and the rest was probably found over the board.
Dec-16-12  Boomie: 12...Bb4 is inaccurate. However the refutation 12...Qa5 wasn't found until 1967 by Fischer. Although white has a huge initiative, black can survive with at least a pawn to the good.

The King of the Poisoned Pawn showed how black can exploit 12. Bc4

G Mazzoni vs Fischer, 1967

15...gxf6 is a blunder after which black is probably lost.

Better is:

15...Nxf6 16. exf6 Rd8 17. fxg7 Rxd4 18. Qf2 Qf5 19. Qxd4 Bc5 20. Rxf5 Bxd4+ 21. Rf2 b5 22. Be2 Nd7

click for larger view

With about a half a Houdini pawn advantage for black.

Dec-17-12  Conrad93: Even with the refutation, the double knight sacrifice is brilliant.

Even Rybka missed it for a second.

Dec-17-12  Boomie: <Conrad93: Even with the refutation, the double knight sacrifice is brilliant.>

Indeed. A good example of tactics springing from an idea. Once he saw how powerful Rg3 was, the line clearing sacs became obvious.

Dec-18-12  Conrad93: 28.Nxf5 was more effective. That's my only issue here.
Apr-13-13  Calli: Horowitz in the NYT says that Byrne hoped to play his prepared line against Fischer who often played the Najdorf Poisoned pawn, but Byrne drew Black against RJF in the tournament, Fischer vs R Byrne, 1965 so Evans had the headache of trying to figure out Byrne's prep over the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I realize it's already served as Game of the Day, but I respectfully nominate this one for Game of the Day tomorrow to honor Mr. Byrne.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: What a barn-burner!
Apr-14-13  RookFile: This is the way chess should be played. A game that does credit to both players.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: RIP Robert Byrne

I have video annotated this game here:

Jul-22-13  Caissanist: Lubosh Kavalek annotated this game in his obituary for Byrne in the Huffington Post: .
Oct-08-13  MarkFinan: I was just about to comment on how totally brilliant this game is, then eerily realised I'd commented twice before on exactly the same days a year apart! Unbelievable, haven't seen a game in top level chess for eons

Feb-19-14  MarkFinan: Found it! What a complete numptie I really am, lol. I did mean that it was a win for white!? 😃😃
Feb-23-14  wrap99: Does the early a6 by Black not make this the O'Kelly variation and if so, isn't 3.c4 much stronger than 3.Nc3?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <wrap99: Does the early a6 by Black not make this the O'Kelly variation (?)>

It would have if White had not opted for a transposition.

<....and if so, isn't 3.c4 much stronger than 3.Nc3?>

Believe the theoretical recommendation is indeed 3.c4 with a good game, which is why this is seldom seen.

Feb-26-14  MarkFinan: I still think that Nf5!! (and the move preceding and following) here is one of the best combination of moves I've seen in chess. I realise that is some statement to make because a lot of people here know a lot more than me, but even so? How *classy* is this? #brilliant

click for larger view

And then when exf5 to follow with Ne4!! Maybe Mr Goldsby would like to make a video on this?? 😃

Nov-06-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Move 34 seems like Monday/Tuesday puzzle material.
Mar-14-16  morfishine: And I thought "Super Nez" laid out some crazy combinations, this has to be Byrne's best, god rest his soul
Mar-15-16  andrewjsacks: Too little-known a game.
Mar-25-16  Imran Iskandar: What a game! Can't believe I hadn't come across this sooner!
Sep-04-16  victim2: Oh yes please.
Make it all burn.
My count...

I give it about a few months to a year.
I suggest you all get your sherry and vanilla.

And watch the show gents :)

Apr-06-17  RookFile: What a great game. Evans was so close to beating off this attack. Byrne had to play an amazing attack!
May-19-20  MaczynskiPratten: One author who did appreciate this game was Irving Chernev. In "The Chess Companion" (1970) he included it with the note, "Robert Byrne turns out a sparkler which may well be the most brilliant game played by an American in the last ten years."
May-21-21  Cibator: <FSR: I submitted this pun! It is an allusion to the song "Disco Inferno" (Burn, baby, burn! Disco inferno!").

Strewth, and there was I thinking it meant this 'ere:

- an incredibly prescient (and also very catchy) song which came out a good two years earlier than "Disco Inferno", but as it was by a lowish-profile UK band, probably never figured in the USA.

May-21-21  Granny O Doul: Of course, the phrase was a popular chant during the era of urban riots in the USA in the 1960s.

It was also, I see, a pulp novel by a young aspiring screenwriter named Samuel Fuller in 1935. In this instance, reportedly, the phrase was used to taunt rather than to incite. More or less as the simple "burn!" was used in much of Canada and the midwestern USA in the 1970s, later revived by That Seventies Show.

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