Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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Stephen Saunders
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Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Stephen Saunders » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:29 pm

There's a query on CG about the source of this game, which appears in R.N.Cole's book "Epic Battles of the Chessboard"

As it clearly wasn't played in the main tournament, I assume it was played in a subsidiary and/or swiss at Hasting that year.
Can anybody confirm that, or offer any other information? TIA

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:14 pm

There is certainly one person on the forum who should know...

Leonard Barden
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:08 pm

I don't have the Coles book and I was Black, not White, against O'Kelly in round 2 of my first Premier which was in 1950-51, not 1948-49. From memory, it was a Catalan which I handled in clueless style and was crushed in about 30 moves. That was my first game against O'Kelly.

I was second to HG Rhodes in the Premier Reserves Major of 1948-49. O'Kelly was not at Hastings that year. If I saw the game I could possibly give a correct identification of it.

If I was White against O'Kelly in the game listed above and it is a Sicilian with White doing a Tal-like sac on d5 but messing up with three extra pawns in time trouble and losing all three pawns for a draw, that game was from Bognor 1955, not Hastings.

Edit: Since writing the above I found the Coles book online and it is indeed the Bognor 1955 game misquoted as being played at Hastings.
Last edited by Leonard Barden on Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Stephen Saunders
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Stephen Saunders » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:23 pm

Many thanks for that swift reply, Mr Barden. I don't have the book eiher but that does sound like the game in question. I'll pass it on to the CG people.

Saw your edit - many thanks once again.
Last edited by Stephen Saunders on Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Stephen Saunders
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Stephen Saunders » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:37 pm

You may be able to see a snippet of the game in this link:-

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2lK ... gs&f=false

Leonard Barden
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:34 pm

Ach, my ancient memory betrayed me. It was Southsea 1951, not Bognor 1955.

Here's the crosstable:

http://www.belgianchesshistory.be/tourn ... -southsea/
Last edited by Leonard Barden on Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Stephen Saunders
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Stephen Saunders » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:49 pm

Thanks again, Mr Barden! Very much appreciate your help.

John McKenna
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by John McKenna » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:29 am

Splendid work by Leonard and Stephen - this is the icing on the forum cake.
Leonard always tells it like it was (and is) with (his) best bits and (his) worst bits.
It is the kind of sweet treat (as opposed to tweet) that makes this a special place.

(I believe that GM O'Kelly was mentored by the great Akiba Rubinstein, by the way.)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Tim Harding
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Tim Harding » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:12 am

John McKenna wrote:(I believe that GM O'Kelly was mentored by the great Akiba Rubinstein, by the way.)
I refer to an article by Belgian correspondence player Paul Clement (who knew O'Kelly well) for Chess Mail 10/1999, page 5.
Clement says that during WW2, when Rubinstein lived sometimes in Antwerp and sometimes in Brussels, O'Kelly and Rubinstein became good friends and played hundreds of games together. They also analysed many opening variations; he mentions Cordel's Variation of the Ruy Lopez and the O'Kelly variation of the Sicilian.

"Mentored" might not be the right word. O'Kelly (born 1911) was already a strong over-the-board and correspondence player by then. He had won the Belgian OTB championship in 1937 and 1938.

I met O'Kelly once and had a short conversation with him. That was during the Monaco congress of 1968.
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

Barry Sandercock
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Barry Sandercock » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:02 am

Interesting to see Leonard Barden's cross table for the Southsea Congress 1951. I see No.17 on the list is John Poole. I had many good games with him at his home and in the Harrow Summer tournament and Battle of Britain tournaments in the late 50`s and early 60`s. Does anyone know if he is still around ? I haven't heard anything about him since those days.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:38 am

Barry Sandercock wrote: Does anyone know if he is still around ? I haven't heard anything about him since those days.
He's an ECF Life member, but hasn't played since 1999.
http://ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php?f ... de=117279H

He had moved to High Wycombe and played in the Bucks League around 25 years ago.

His most recent club is shown as Eastbourne which rather suggests he retired to Sussex.

John McKenna
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by John McKenna » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:58 pm

Tim Harding wrote:
John McKenna wrote:(I believe that GM O'Kelly was mentored by the great Akiba Rubinstein, by the way.)
I refer to an article by Belgian correspondence player Paul Clement (who knew O'Kelly well) for Chess Mail 10/1999, page 5... [edited by JM - see above for details.]

"Mentored" might not be the right word. O'Kelly (born 1911) was already a strong over-the-board and correspondence player by then. He had won the Belgian OTB championship in 1937 and 1938.

I met O'Kelly once and had a short conversation with him. That was during the Monaco congress of 1968.

Yet more icing on the cake from Tim, above.

1968 was too late to get the cherry, an introduction from GM O'Kelly to Rubinstein, since the great old master died in 1961 in Antwerp.

GM O'Kelly, born in Brussels (1911), was the third (1959-62) World Correspondence Champion, and has been styled "Count Alberic O'Kelly de Galway".
I bow to Tim's superior knowledge, and accept that my choice of the word 'mentored' was not really accurate in respect of the O'Kelly-Rubinstein relationship. 'Collaborator' is a better word, but seems somewhat inappropriate given its unfortunate connotations due to the proximity of WWII to their lives and times.

I wonder if Mr. Barden had any mentors in his youth, or if he was a 'self-starter'?
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Tim Harding
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by Tim Harding » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:11 pm

If you can track down the Clement article, you will see he refuted the "Count" thing about O'Kelly.
I don't recall much about my meeting with O'Kelly (except that Bob Wade introduced us) but I think we talked about the Najdorf poisoned pawn, so I missed the chance to ask O'Kelly about his CC career. However O'Kelly's book "34-mal Schach-Logik" covers that well.

Now over to you Leonard...
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

John McKenna
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Re: Barden v O'Kelly, Hastings 1948/49

Post by John McKenna » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:15 am

Thank you for those golden nuggets, Tim.

I'll look into them with my brother - a former CC player - at the weekend.

My question to Mr. Barden about his 'mentors' was only speculative, and an answer not necessarily expected. Anything additional from Mr. Barden on this topic would be very welcome, particularly on my part, of course.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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