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Robert Byrne
R Byrne 
Number of games in database: 1,042
Years covered: 1943 to 2000
Last FIDE rating: 2434
Highest rating achieved in database: 2560

Overall record: +344 -175 =516 (58.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 7 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (167) 
    B90 B81 B42 B92 B84
 Ruy Lopez (77) 
    C95 C93 C78 C99 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (47) 
    C95 C93 C92 C99 C89
 King's Indian (45) 
    E60 E62 E67 E63 E64
 Nimzo Indian (39) 
    E21 E58 E54 E53 E47
 Sicilian Najdorf (37) 
    B90 B92 B97 B93 B98
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (149) 
    E80 E92 E97 E70 E81
 Sicilian (109) 
    B90 B51 B92 B93 B63
 French Defense (55) 
    C16 C04 C00 C15 C01
 Sicilian Najdorf (37) 
    B90 B92 B93 B97 B91
 English (24) 
    A10 A15 A13 A14 A16
 French Winawer (22) 
    C16 C15 C18
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   R Byrne vs Evans, 1965 1-0
   V Kozomara vs R Byrne, 1967 0-1
   Fischer vs R Byrne, 1965 0-1
   R Byrne vs Kotov, 1954 1/2-1/2
   E Torre vs R Byrne, 1973 0-1
   R Byrne vs Eliskases, 1952 1-0
   R Byrne vs D Byrne, 1949 1-0
   R Byrne vs Liberzon, 1976 1-0
   R Byrne vs Tarjan, 1975 1-0
   Bronstein vs R Byrne, 1952 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   61st US Open (1960)
   67th US Open (1966)
   Mar del Plata (1961)
   Buenos Aires (1964)
   70th US Open (1969)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   62nd US Open (1961)
   69th US Open (1968)
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   47th US Open (1946)
   58th US Open (1957)
   63rd US Open (1962)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Sarajevo (1984)
   London WFW (1991)

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 1975 by suenteus po 147

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Robert Byrne
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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. His younger brother was International Master Donald Byrne.

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.

Byrne worked as a university professor for many years, before becoming a chess professional in the early 1970s. Editor for the New York Times weekly chess column from 1972 until his retirement on November 12, 2006, on which day they ran his final column (a recounting of his 1952 win over David Bronstein). Robert Byrne also attained eminence as a highly respected chess writer, culminating in his 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Chess Journalists of America.


Wikipedia article: Robert Byrne (chess player)

Last updated: 2023-01-20 06:15:50

 page 1 of 43; games 1-25 of 1,062  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J Staffer vs R Byrne 1-0171943corrA10 English
2. M Pavey vs R Byrne ½-½381944Manhattan CC-ch 1944/45A13 English
3. G Kramer vs R Byrne  0-1421944Manhattan CC jr chD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
4. R Byrne vs Denker  ½-½641944Manhattan CC-ch 1944/45B29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
5. A Pinkus vs R Byrne  1-0311944Manhattan CC-ch 1944/45D29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
6. W Suesman vs R Byrne  ½-½271945Ventnor CityC47 Four Knights
7. Santasiere vs R Byrne  1-0291945Ventnor CityC34 King's Gambit Accepted
8. R Byrne vs W Adams 1-0421945Ventnor CityC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
9. H Yanofsky vs R Byrne 0-1191945Ventnor CityD85 Grunfeld
10. R Byrne vs B Keltz  0-1351945Ventnor CityA15 English
11. E S Jackson vs R Byrne 1-0621945Ventnor CityC41 Philidor Defense
12. R Byrne vs M Green 1-0281945Ventnor CityB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
13. R Byrne vs A Regen ½-½511945Ventnor CityC78 Ruy Lopez
14. M Stark vs R Byrne 1-0331945Ventnor CityD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
15. Fine vs R Byrne 1-0381945Blindfold blitz simul, 4bA48 King's Indian
16. J Paal vs R Byrne  0-145194647th US OpenD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
17. R Byrne vs H Fajans 0-144194647th US OpenD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
18. R Byrne vs B Price  1-040194647th US OpenB01 Scandinavian
19. G Hartleb vs R Byrne 0-120194647th US OpenA53 Old Indian
20. R Byrne vs W Adams ½-½43194647th US OpenC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
21. O Ulvestad vs R Byrne  1-032194647th US OpenA48 King's Indian
22. Evans vs R Byrne  0-154194647th US OpenE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
23. R Byrne vs H Berliner 1-053194647th US OpenC34 King's Gambit Accepted
24. W Adams vs R Byrne  0-130194647th US OpenB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
25. R Byrne vs E Levin  ½-½33194647th US OpenC39 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 43; games 1-25 of 1,062  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Byrne wins | Byrne loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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:
Jun-12-20  jith1207: < Everett: <wordfunph: "I learned that the ones who frown and squirm are the ones who are the most dangerous." GM Robert Byrne> ..
If he said this before the arrival of Kasparov, it could be argued that he had some scrying device...>

Well, he said that before the arrival of Carlsen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gottschalk: Robert Byrne played at Mar del Plata international tournament, 1961. He shared the second place with Matanovic, Filip and Rossetto-1,0 pt behind the winner: Miguel Najdorf.!

Crosstable and games

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: a classy man who played a lot of great chess and did a lot of writing about the game he loved.

Viktor Korchnoi: "Byrne is that most curious animal that comes to Russia to play in our tournaments, eat our bad food, get paid low prizes, but his tournament results immediatley improve after having played for 3 weeks against players here [in the USSR]."

Apr-21-22  Granny O Doul: Interesting that Byrne feared players who squirm, when that was just what Fischer loved to see. Maybe that's why Byrne was never Fischer's second; too different in approach.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Marmot....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.>

Was Mark Finegold older than brother Ben?

Apr-21-22  Swedish Logician: Robert Byrne was a Professor of Philosophy, I have heard; does any know at what university? Did he have a doctorate in Philosophy?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Swedish Logician: Robert Byrne was a Professor of Philosophy, I have heard; does any know at what university? Did he have a doctorate in Philosophy?>

According to the internet (an unimpeachable source) he taught at the University of Indiana. He got his undergraduate degree at Yale. I don't think he had a Ph.D.

<He majored in philosophy at Yale and earned an M.F.A. from Indiana University, where he became a lecturer in philosophy.>

Apr-21-22  Swedish Logician: <key.pusher> thank you so much. I think I once saw the article you point to, and then tried on the net, without success, to find a Ph.D. dissertation by Byrne.
Apr-21-22  Swedish Logician: <key.pusher> looking back at earlier posts, I now, embarrassingly enough, discover an earlier post by MYSELF Dec-15-16, where I had found out about the Indiana connection. The COVID pandemic must have impaired my memory.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: you mean a guy couldn't make a living playing chess in the USA? Had to become a college professor?

I remember when Gary Kasparov took the world title out of FIDE and started something called the Professional Chess Players Association, ("PCA"). This was supposed to be a sort of union, or league of grandmasters, that could exhibit might and somehow accumulate enough extra money from deep pocketed corporate chess patrons to produce pensions for the best, most active grandmasters. yep, professional chessplayers, the best ones, were supposed to be receiving a pension after putting in a certain number of years, under the auspices of the PCA. You CAN'T make this stuff up! They said chess could get you a PENSION!

Well, those dreams sort of came and went (like Kasparov's PCA). But, it was a fun fantasy while it lasted. I hope Byrne got himself a teacher's pension from Indiana.

BTW, is that the same Indiana where Bobby Knight coached (IU) or was this a different campus?

Apr-22-22  Granny O Doul: Yes, Mark Finegold is a year or two older than Ben. Likewise, Jay Whitehead and Greg DeFotis surpassed their older brothers.

On the other hand, Alexandra Botez seems to be keeping her lead on her younger sister. The Costigan twins had both an older and younger brother, both of whom I played (but neither twin). That probably makes me pretty special.

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