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Game of the Week: Torre, Byrne

Game of the Week: Torre, Byrne

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Robert Byrne has passed away, one week short of his 85th birthday. One of the legends of U.S. chess history, Byrne was inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame in 1994. Byrne spearheaded nine US teams in the Olympiad and won seven medals. He won the US Championship in 1972. He surely would have won a few more if not for Bobby Fischer dominating the Sixties. That title in 1972 was significant for me; it was the year I learned how to play chess, and the tournament book, “Title Chess,” was one of the first chess books I owned. Byrne followed with a top finish in the Leningrad Interzonal which made him a championship candidate. Alas, he went down at the hands of his friend and frequent tennis opponent, Boris Spassky. This week I will examine a game from Leningrad, in which Byrne defeats Eugenio Torre. Forty years later Torre is still playing at a good level, but back then he was just starting his long career. Robert Byrne was a good friend, and I will miss him dearly.

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