Robert Eugene Byrne is a leading American chess player, a Grandmaster, and a chess author. He won the U.S. Championship in 1972, and was a World Chess Championship Candidate in 1974. 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 on November 12, 2006. Byrne worked as a university professor for many years, before becoming a chess professional in the early 1970s.