Robert Byrne, born April 20, 1928, is a Grandmaster (1964) and a graduate of Yale who became a philosophy teacher, then gave it up to become a chess professional. He won the 1972 U.S. Championship and was third place finisher at the 1973 Leningrad Interzonal (behind Karpov and Korchnoi). As a result, he became only the third American (after Fischer and Benko) to ever qualify for the Candidates. He was 45 at the time. He was a chess correspondent for the New York Times. He retired in November, 2006 after 34 years. He is the only American born chess player to have beaten Bobby Fischer since 1957, when Fischer was 14.