Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

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O.G. Urcan
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Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by O.G. Urcan » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:19 am

In his Evening Standard column on 30 June 2016 Leonard Barden wrote:
"Today's puzzle marks a record 60 years of the Evening Standard chess feature, the longest running daily column on any subject by a single individual in the history of journalism."
Olimpiu G. Urcan

Keith Arkell
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by Keith Arkell » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:03 am

Congratulations to Leonard. This is a tremendous achievement!

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:25 am

Probably a record that won't be surpassed any time soon! Congratulations.

soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:00 pm

congrats.
His book, Theory of Chess, was the first book I read.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:16 pm

Amazing. Well done. This really is a case where you run out of superlatives!

Colin Patterson
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by Colin Patterson » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:31 pm

Incredible achievement. And I dare say I'd struggle to find a daily chess column better written.

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David Grobler
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by David Grobler » Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:05 pm

I (sort of) met Mr Barden once . It was at some Junior tournament in the mid 70s . I wasn't playing...I was with a very strong junior...acting as a second (well...third really....the elder brother was the second ) . Anyway...I remember it very well . I plucked up the courage to approach the great man...and I asked him "who are the two Russian players who are playing at Hastings this year? " . He replied....I didn't have a clue what he said (it was probably "Beliavsky and Vaganian"...or maybe "Vaganian and Beliavsky"...cos I'm pretty sure they were the two Russians) . I said thank you...and sneaked away ...very aware of how much the difference was between a wood pusher like myself and a VERY strong player .
A great man...and an amazing achievement.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by Geoff Chandler » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:17 pm

An incredible record and it was done on my 65th birthday!

Here is the puzzle from 30th June 2016.



"Anuar Ismagambatov v Wen Yang, Chinese League 2012. White (to play) has sacrificed a bishop to reach
today’s puzzle diagram, but that was just the start of a brilliant concept. How did White finish in style?"

Maybe some lad can unearth the very first puzzle.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:45 am

Leonard used to give an estimate of playing strength depending on how long one took to find the solution. I remember at 17 we used to tease him about how easy the task was. Of course the Evening Standard, Guardian and Financial Times columns are all forces for good in chess. His influence on young players in the 1970s and 1980s was one of the main factors in The English Chess Explosion. His advance publicity for forthcoming events surpasses the efforts of the younger columnists.
Making the Evening Standard column available only on line was an act of vandalism.

Leonard Barden
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by Leonard Barden » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:30 am

Geoff Chandler wrote: Maybe some lad can unearth the very first puzzle.
The chances of that are between nil and zero.

I began the Evening Standard column around mid-June 1956 but could not recall the exact starting date, so adopted 30 June to avoid any argument.

A few years ago Edward Winter tried to establish the exact date via the then British Newspaper library at Colindale which had filed copies of all publications. It emerged that whoever at the Evening Standard was responsible for sending a daily copy to Colindate always sent the very first, midday, edition of the relevant day. At that time, mid-1950s, the Standard published six days a week and five editions a day-midday, lunch, late, final, and late final. The midday edition was geared to providing full racecards for the then numerous London greyhound tracks, and it also published horse racing cards. These took up 16 pages in the middle of the paper and meant that chess, bridge, and other features only appeared from the lunch edition onwards and therefore were not published in the editions filed at Colindale. This only changed around 1959 when the midday edition was scrapped along with Saturday publication and the lunch edition, including the chess column, became the first of the day.

Actually the 60 years duration record for a daily newspaper column by a single individual on any subject is less impressive than it sounds. I wouldn't call it 'fantastic' since the competition by definition is very limited, and the energy demands are less than, say, working for 60 years in the family fish market business, which some people do.

George Koltanowski's previous chess record in the San Francisco Daily Chronicle of 51 years 9 months and 18 days (including posthumous columns) was a relatively modest stint, but it may well also have been a historical record for all journalism. Gardening, astrology, bridge and crossword daily columnists might continue for decades, but overall there aren't many subjects suitable for a long unbroken individual run of daily writing.

Hermann Helms's world duration record for a weekly column, 61 years 5 months and 15 days, is more competitive and harder to surpass, although there have been a few near-misses. Several journalists have managed 55+ years, though in some cases (including Helms, who was sacked then reinstated) there were breaks en route. Helms was unlucky, too. His column only stopped when the Brooklyn Daily Eagle ceased publication. If that hadn't happened, his record would be an unbeatable 69+ years, since he continued as an active journalist right up to his death at age 93 eight years later.

MJMcCready
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:21 pm

Modified accordingly.
Last edited by MJMcCready on Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

MJMcCready
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:24 pm

Modified accordingly.
Last edited by MJMcCready on Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:59 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
O.G. Urcan wrote:In his Evening Standard column on 30 June 2016 Leonard Barden wrote:
"Today's puzzle marks a record 60 years of the Evening Standard chess feature, the longest running daily column on any subject by a single individual in the history of journalism."
Olimpiu G. Urcan
That's a rather bold claim. Do you have any evidence to support it other than the chessbase publication two years ago that you presumably lifted from. 'The history of journalism' - there is no such thing as 'The History of journalism', there are various accounts of what can and cannot be considered journalism in different institutes and across different nations; and their sometimes documented beginnings but in academia these are always open to revision and ambiguity.

I don't wish to detract from the efforts of Mr.Barden but if you wish to make such grandiose claims you need to do a bit more than type a few unsupported half-hearted lines on a forum. Hopefully you are correct but there's no evidence of research here whatsoever...'please understand what you have written before you post it'...deja ju fully intended because you deserve it. In future when someone comments on something you have posted I suggest you make the effort to try and understand what they have said. If basic literary skills are problem, or you lack the patience to read thing properly I suggest you seek help.
Sorry ... but, what? :?

OG Urcan has copied verbatim from something Leonard Barden wrote in the Evening Standard, and confirmed above in the most immediately before you, explaining his rationale.

Am I missing something?

Martin Crichton
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by Martin Crichton » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:35 am

excellent achievement Leonard.
Member of "the strongest amateur chess club in London" (Cavendish)

my views are not representative of any clubs or organisations.

David Gilbert
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Re: Leonard Barden's fantastic world record

Post by David Gilbert » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:26 am

Around 30 years ago I spent the entire commute home trying to solve an Evening Standard mate in one puzzle. Surely even I couldn't fail to clear this up. A frustrating thirty-five minutes later I alighted from my train no nearer the answer. So I took a peep at the solution, as you do. Black had nine pawns on the board, remove any one of them and there was mate in one. It was the first of April - I’d been April fooled!

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