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Robert Eugene Byrne
Robert E Byrne 
Number of games in database: 923
Years covered: 1943 to 2000
Last FIDE rating: 2434
Highest rating achieved in database: 2560

Overall record: +292 -165 =461 (56.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 5 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (154) 
    B90 B81 B42 B92 B84
 Ruy Lopez (69) 
    C95 C93 C78 C92 C99
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (42) 
    C95 C93 C99 C92 C96
 Nimzo Indian (35) 
    E21 E58 E29 E54 E47
 King's Indian (34) 
    E60 E62 E64 E67 E81
 Sicilian Najdorf (32) 
    B90 B92 B93 B97 B94
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (132) 
    E80 E92 E97 E81 E63
 Sicilian (96) 
    B90 B93 B51 B63 B92
 French Defense (45) 
    C16 C04 C00 C01 C15
 Sicilian Najdorf (30) 
    B90 B93 B92 B91 B97
 English (23) 
    A10 A15 A14 A13 A16
 French Winawer (16) 
    C16 C18 C15
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Robert E Byrne vs Larry Evans, 1965 1-0
   Kozomara vs Robert E Byrne, 1967 0-1
   E Torre vs Robert E Byrne, 1973 0-1
   Fischer vs Robert E Byrne, 1965 0-1
   Robert E Byrne vs Kotov, 1954 1/2-1/2
   Robert E Byrne vs D Byrne, 1949 1-0
   Robert E Byrne vs V Liberzon, 1976 1-0
   Robert E Byrne vs E Eliskases, 1952 1-0
   Bronstein vs Robert E Byrne, 1952 0-1
   G Hartleb vs Robert E Byrne, 1946 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1972)
   US Championship 1961/62 (1961)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   47th US Open (1946)
   58th US Open (1957)
   Monte Carlo (1968)
   Lugano (1970)
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Wertheim Memorial (1951)
   US Championship (1966)
   Moscow (1971)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Haifa Olympiad (Men) (1976)

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

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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 37; games 1-25 of 923  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J Staffer vs Robert E Byrne 1-0171943corrA10 English
2. W Suesman vs Robert E Byrne  ½-½271945Ventnor CityC47 Four Knights
3. Robert E Byrne vs W Adams 1-0421945Ventnor CityC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
4. M Stark vs Robert E Byrne  1-0331945Ventnor CityD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
5. E S Jackson vs Robert E Byrne  1-0621945Ventnor CityC41 Philidor Defense
6. Robert E Byrne vs A Regen ½-½511945Ventnor CityC78 Ruy Lopez
7. H Yanofsky vs Robert E Byrne 0-1191945Ventnor CityD85 Grunfeld
8. Robert E Byrne vs M Green 1-0281945Ventnor CityB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
9. Santasiere vs Robert E Byrne  1-0291945Ventnor CityC34 King's Gambit Accepted
10. Robert E Byrne vs B Keltz  0-1351945Ventnor CityA15 English
11. Fine vs Robert E Byrne 1-0381945Blindfold blitz simul, 4bA48 King's Indian
12. J Paal vs Robert E Byrne  0-145194647th US OpenD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
13. Robert E Byrne vs B Price  1-040194647th US OpenB01 Scandinavian
14. Robert E Byrne vs H Fajans 0-144194647th US OpenD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
15. G Hartleb vs Robert E Byrne 0-120194647th US OpenA53 Old Indian
16. Robert E Byrne vs W Adams ½-½43194647th US OpenC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
17. O Ulvestad vs Robert E Byrne  1-032194647th US OpenA48 King's Indian
18. Larry Evans vs Robert E Byrne  0-154194647th US OpenE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
19. Robert E Byrne vs Berliner 1-053194647th US OpenC34 King's Gambit Accepted
20. W Adams vs Robert E Byrne  0-130194647th US OpenB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
21. Robert E Byrne vs Eugene Levin  ½-½33194647th US OpenC39 King's Gambit Accepted
22. S E Almgren vs Robert E Byrne 1-026194647th US OpenB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
23. Santasiere vs Robert E Byrne 1-014194647th US OpenA04 Reti Opening
24. Robert E Byrne vs A Gordon 1-050194647th US OpenC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
25. M Aleman Dovo vs Robert E Byrne  0-144194647th US OpenC41 Philidor Defense
 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 923  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Robert E Byrne wins | Robert E Byrne loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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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...
Jul-04-13  talisman: happy birthday....R.I.P.
Jul-04-13  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).
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Mar-21-14  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.

Apr-20-15  NBAFan: Happy birthday Robert Byrne. You are remembered.
May-22-15  TheFocus: <Robert Byrne was a pillar of US chess. In the middle of his career he switched from playing 1.d4 to 1.e4 which was tantamount to the driver of a Ford switching to a racing car. This, however, helped him to get closer to the top of the chess world> - Anthony Saidy.
Apr-12-16  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Robert Byrne.
Apr-20-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Robert Byrne.
Apr-20-16  Marmot PFL: <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 !!>

The Byrne's are one of the few cases I know of where the older sibling was the stronger player. Most of the time it's the youngest: the Laskers, Polgars, Finegolds, and Nakamuras for example.

Dec-15-16  Swedish Logician: In the seventies and eighties I read Byrne's lucid columns with pleasure and was happy today to discover that some of the columns were collected in book form. I was also surprised to learn from Wikipedia that he was a professor of Philosophy at Indiana. Using JSTOR to search for philosophy articles by his hand I could not find any. I would be interested if anyone knows of philosophy articles by Byrne. Today it would not be possible to hold a professorship without any professional writings.
Jan-31-18  RookFile: I think his philosophy was: "play chess".
May-16-18  Senk:
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