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Saturday, April 13, 2013

American Chess Legend Robert Byrne is No More; Memorial Service April 20

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hello everyone,

RIP: American chess legend Robert Byrne. We have this sad news. World Chess Championship Candidate-1974 and US Chess Champion-1972 Robert Byrne is no more. His wife Ursula (Maria) Byrne announced late Friday that Robert Byrne passed away after a long illness, eight days short of his 85th birthday. 

The memorial service will be on Saturday, April 20, at 1 PM at Dorsey Funeral Home, 15 M Wilton Place, Ossining, NY 10562. Attendees are welcome. RSVP to ( Also welcome are verbal messages that can be read out.)

Byrne's dear friend Anthony Saidy says, "Robert Byrne was a pillar of American chess. I would add that uniquely, in mid-career, Robert Byrne switched from the Queen Pawn to the King Pawn, tantamount to a Ford driver taking on a race car, or an internist learning brain surgery. It took him close to the summit of world chess. R.I.P. a great American player and a friend whose example taught me much."

Byrne represented the United States nine times in Chess Olympiads from 1952 to 1976 and won seven medals. He was the chess columnist from 1972 to 2006 for the New York Times, which ran his final column (a recounting of his 1952 victory over David Bronstein) on November 12, 2006. Byrne worked as a university professor for many years, before becoming a chess professional in the early 1970s. Read the complete Wikipedia entry on this great American chess player here.

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