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We were going to start this week's column with a preview of the coming Anand-Carlsen world title match when word came over the weekend of the passing of New York GM Robert Byrne at the age of 84.
Chess is witnessing the passing of its own "greatest generation" of luminaries who came of age in the years after World War II and would reshape and dominate the game for decades. In the past few years, we've lost two world champions — Bobby Fischer and Soviet star Vassily Smyslov — as well as such notables as German GM Wolfgang Unzicker, American Larry Evans, and the British player and author R.G. Wade.