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RIP Robert Byrne 1928-2013

  • SonofPearl
  • on 4/13/13, 8:09 AM.

phpvwtvZO.jpegThe great American chess Grandmaster and writer Robert Byrne has passed away at 84 years of age.

Robert Byrne was one of the strongest American players of his generation, and the chess columnist for the New York Times from 1972 to 2006.

Byrne earned the International Master title at the 1952 Olympiad in Helsinki and went on to represent the USA at a total of 9 Olympiads, winning seven individual and team medals. He became a Grandmaster in 1964.

Byrne graduated from Yale University in the same year and became a professor of philosophy at Indiana University.

Robert Bryne was born in New York in 1928 and learnt to play chess at 8 years of age. Despite being only a semi-professional chess player until the 1970s, he had a distinguished chess career.

His peak achievement was arguably qualification for the 1974 Candidates thanks to his third place finish at the 1973 Interzonal Tournament in Leningrad, behind Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi.  His Candidates hopes were ended by the might of former champion Boris Spassky.

Robert Byrne was a popular player on the US chess scene for many decades and will be sadly missed. Rest in Peace.

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5311 reads 40 comments
6 votes

Comments


  • 16 months ago

    diogens

    You are right and my guess why he wasn't and only GM Lombardy is pure speculation. I just wanted to point out a historical chess note, that Fischer wasn't at all interested in RByrne analysis during the Petrossian match.

    I think he just didn't trusted soviets and to which point they were able to reach to kick out him from his desired route. We know how a couple of journalist ended their days under Putins regime and even Carlsen looked very stressed after Kramniks two consecutive and first wins vs. his friends, Grischuk and Svidler (Londons Candidates 2013). These russians are tough guys Undecided

  • 16 months ago

    diogens

    BleedDodgerBlue

    Well, Fischer played 3 candidate matches that cycle. Taimanov (think was Vancouver), Larsen in Denver and Petrossian in Buenos Aires. According Kasparovs My Great Predecessors vol.4, his assitsant or one of them in the final was Robert Byrne (I doubt he had more than a single). If you don't agree, blame our 13th WC sources. I can't help you with this issue Frown

                        

  • 16 months ago

    diogens

    I'll answer my own question.

    Yes (My Great Predecessors vol.4), it was Robert Byrne who assisted Fischer in that match by means of the USCF.

    In the adjournment of game 6, this conversation was held between RByrne and Suetin (one of Petrossian assistants).

    "I don't know why they are paying me 2000$ for being here. I've been working all night in analyzing the endgame and morning I knocked Fischers door. His answer: "you can deliver me your notes after the game but meanwhile, don't bother me again with my own analysis"".

    After 9 games and a 6'5-2'5 score, Fischer prepared his luggage and flew to Reyjkavik with another assistant: his friend and priest, GM William Lombardy.

    I'm just guessing but I think he believed the only uncorruptable assistant he could rely was a man more engaged with God than humans weaknesses.

  • 16 months ago

    restinpeace

    another star just faded and die. rest in peace.

  • 16 months ago

    drumdaddy

    It was GM Byrne's column in the New York Times that got me hooked on chess. Peace to you, Robert, and thank you so much.

  • 16 months ago

    diogens

    Was him or his brother who assisted Fischer in the Candidates final vs. Petrossian?

  • 16 months ago

    darwinna70

    RIP

  • 17 months ago

    NM GreenLaser

    I was saddened, but not surprised, to read of the passing of Robert Byrne. He was not playing in events I used to see him at for around ten years and gave up his column in The New York Times. I knew Bob for about 50 years and always found him to be a nice man.

    The game with Evans that some are mentioning was the subject of one of my articles and can be found at http://www.chess.com/article/view/robert-byrne-sacs-the-poisoned-pawn-and-a-bishop-as-evans-takes-the-gambit.

    For those mentioning Fischer, Bobby had famous wins against both Robert and Donald, most notably: Donald Byrne in New York 1956, 41 moves and Robert Byrne in New York at the US-ch 1963, 21 moves.

  • 17 months ago

    Luidefunes

    That is so sad that he died, but his games were great!

  • 17 months ago

    williamwiseman

    I have the candidates book when Byrne played Spassky and his views and reporting were first class. Never did he say a negative thing about the other players. Rest in Peace Mr. Byrne.

  • 17 months ago

    TKACHS

    Not only a great chessplayer, but an sophisticated analyzer of the game. Many a Times his chess column was the high point of my day!

  • 17 months ago

    DaveEwart

    Glad to see the Master Game video of his game against Nigel Short. I remember watching this when I was about 10 years old, to hear Byrne describe Short as a "brat" on TV :-)

  • 17 months ago

    badrilal

    byrne  was  great  player  of america and  deep  sorrow  tobyrne

  • 17 months ago

    gregdocot

    Rest in peace with the Lord.

  • 17 months ago

    NimzoRoy

  • 17 months ago

    lewisself

    R.I.P

  • 17 months ago

    dartking

    i manned the wallboards at the '65-'66 us championship .I HAD BYNRE -EVANS AND FISCHER-RESHEVSKY. BYRNE SACS 3 PCS AGAINST EVANS IN a siclian poisonen pawn variation.

  • 17 months ago

    BCG1

    It was a pleasure watching Robert defeat the great Sammy Reshevsky in their playoff for the 1973 US Championship in Chicago. Sammy resigned, after a blunder in his usual time scramble, by slamming his fist on their table  and then rushing out of the room! Robert then graciously went over the game for all of us revealing the trap he set, in an inferior position, which Sammy fell into. He remarked that "It was good to survive after being chased around the board by Sammy all night!" He was a gentleman, a great player and a fine columnist. RIP

  • 17 months ago

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    Very sad news. R.I.P. Robert.

  • 17 months ago

    Am1nOS

    Robert Byrne was one of the very few players who had a close result to Bobby Fischer :

    Classical games: Robert James Fischer beat Robert Eugene Byrne 2 to 1, with 6 draws.

    -www.chessgames.com

    US & and The world has lost one of his brilliant Chess players.

    RIP


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