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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 C99 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (42) 
    C95 C93 C92 C99 C96
 Nimzo Indian (35) 
    E21 E58 E54 E29 E47
 King's Indian (34) 
    E60 E62 E64 E67 E66
 Sicilian Najdorf (32) 
    B90 B92 B97 B93 B94
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (132) 
    E80 E92 E97 E66 E63
 Sicilian (96) 
    B90 B51 B93 B63 B62
 French Defense (45) 
    C16 C04 C00 C01 C15
 Sicilian Najdorf (30) 
    B90 B93 B92 B91 B97
 English (23) 
    A15 A10 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
   Robert E Byrne vs Kotov, 1954 1/2-1/2
   Fischer vs Robert E Byrne, 1965 0-1
   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)
   Lugano (1970)
   Monte Carlo (1968)
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Wertheim Memorial (1951)
   Moscow (1971)
   US Championship (1966)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Haifa Olympiad (Men) (1976)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1946 US Open, Pittsburgh, PA by RonB52734
   Hastings 1971/72 by suenteus po 147
   Vidmar Memorial by FSR
   Amsterdam IBM 1969 by suenteus po 147
   Lugano 1970 by Phony Benoni
   US Championship 1978 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1980 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. H Yanofsky vs Robert E Byrne 0-1191945Ventnor CityD85 Grunfeld
3. Robert E Byrne vs M Green 1-0281945Ventnor CityB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
4. Santasiere vs Robert E Byrne  1-0291945Ventnor CityC34 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Robert E Byrne vs B Keltz  0-1351945Ventnor CityA15 English
6. W Suesman vs Robert E Byrne  ½-½271945Ventnor CityC47 Four Knights
7. Robert E Byrne vs W Adams 1-0421945Ventnor CityC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
8. M Stark vs Robert E Byrne  1-0331945Ventnor CityD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
9. E S Jackson vs Robert E Byrne  1-0621945Ventnor CityC41 Philidor Defense
10. Robert E Byrne vs A Regen ½-½511945Ventnor CityC78 Ruy Lopez
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 H Fajans 0-144194647th US OpenD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
14. Robert E Byrne vs B Price  1-040194647th US OpenB01 Scandinavian
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. M Aleman Dovo vs Robert E Byrne  0-144194647th US OpenC41 Philidor Defense
25. Robert E Byrne vs A Gordon 1-050194647th US OpenC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
 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
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-14-13  arrigato: what can I say? Robert Byrne was a fine chess master and a real gentleman along with his brother Donald they formed one of the strongest brother combination in chess annals he will be greatly missed first evans , now Robert Byrne
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Very sad news!
Apr-14-13  waustad: Like many others I read his column for many years. I'm sorry to hear of his demise.
Apr-14-13  hellopolgar: RIP Robert Byrne!
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: <HeMateMe> Thanks for the link to fine the NY Times obit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: And as to that top five list, why wasn't Pillsbury mentioned? Robert Byrne was certainly not in the top five, but was most certainly a very strong and often underrated player, and a very fine and important American chess journalist.
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Interesting idea, of course, to offer one's list of the top 5 American-born and bred players. Mine? Fischer, Morphy, Pillsbury, Fine, and I'm at a loss for a definitive 5th.
Apr-14-13  hellopolgar: "American-born and bred": Larry Christiansen, Joel Benjamin, Nick de Firmian, Patrick Wolff, Walter Browne, Larry Evans, just to name a few. Just look at these names
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: A great guy, so happy he lived so long. I will never forget the surprise and delight of so many Americans when he finished high up in the '73 Interzonal to become a candidate.

For years his column was the class of weekly chess writing. He was consistent and even handed in his reporting.

He is from the great bygone era of very strong New York GMs and IM players who grew under the teaching of John Collins.

Farewell Robert, I hope to see you on the other side.

Apr-14-13  RookFile: At his best he was like Petrosian, very hard to beat. Yet in many games he also played crazy tactical games, like Tal. At the end of the day, he was an entertaining, strong player who got a lot of enjoyment out of chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: R.I.P. GM Byrne.
Apr-14-13  waustad: <hello> Walter Browne is from Australia originally.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <andrewjsacks:> I would put Seriwan in the list. I think he was born in Syria or Lebanon, but didn't learn how to play chess *gasp!* until his mid teens. His chess development took place in the USA, so I think he is a product of USA chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: ...Nakamura too, under this definition. That still leaves Byrne in the top ten, plenty good.

Robert and Donald Byrne, tough brothers!

Ok, not as tough as the Kray gangsters of mod London, or the Kiletchko chess-boxers, but still...

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: <HeMateMe> Thanks for the follow-up. I always value your comments. You know, Frank J. Marshall was plenty good, too, erratic though he could be... And Isaac Kashdan, for a few years, was a top 5 world player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: R.I.P. G.M. R.E. Byrne
Apr-14-13  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.
Apr-15-13  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.
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