Brian Walden

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Leonard Barden
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Brian Walden

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun May 12, 2019 8:09 pm

Brian Walden, former presenter of ITV's Weekend World, died on Thursday at age 86. He was a strong player as a teenager, won the 1948 Staffordshire championship, and played for the West Bromwich team which won the top division of the Birmingham League.

He gave up chess during his university and early political career during which he was MP for Birmingham Ladywood and a junior minister in the Wilson government, but became involved again in promoting English chess in the 1970s when his son Philip was a serious player. He was one of the speakers at the Karpov clock simul of 1977 which launched Lloyds Bank sponsorship, and took an active and helpful interest, particularly in junior chess, for several years after that.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Brian Walden

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sun May 12, 2019 8:15 pm

Actually for most of his parliamentary career he was MP for Birmingham All Saints (1964-74) and then the redrawn Ladywood until he resigned as an MP in 1977 to pursue his media interests.

He was strong enough as a chess player to take part - and perform decently - in the 1951 World Junior Championship qualifying tournament.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Nick Ivell
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Re: Brian Walden

Post by Nick Ivell » Sun May 12, 2019 8:33 pm

Sad news.

I've no idea how good a player Brian was. I do remember him speaking at the Karpov simul in 1977. He said 'your games, Mr Karpov, will survive as long as the game is played'.

He was right there!

Leonard Barden
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Re: Brian Walden

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun May 12, 2019 8:39 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:15 pm

He was strong enough as a chess player to take part - and perform decently - in the 1951 World Junior Championship qualifying tournament.
Seems he totalled 4.5/9 including a win against Norman Littlewood.

John Swain
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Re: Brian Walden

Post by John Swain » Mon May 13, 2019 11:10 am

In its obituary (13 May 2019) The Times comments on the role of Brian's mother Dora, who sadly died when he was just 14: 'He liked chess but she stamped on his hopes of becoming a professional player, warning it was better to get a "proper" job or even become a priest. … The passion for chess and reading remained with him for the rest of his life.'

John Swain
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Re: Brian Walden

Post by John Swain » Mon May 13, 2019 11:40 am

Leonard Barden wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:09 pm
Brian Walden, former presenter of ITV's Weekend World, died on Thursday at age 86. He was a strong player as a teenager, won the 1948 Staffordshire championship, and played for the West Bromwich team which won the top division of the Birmingham League.

He gave up chess during his university and early political career during which he was MP for Birmingham Ladywood and a junior minister in the Wilson government, but became involved again in promoting English chess in the 1970s when his son Philip was a serious player. He was one of the speakers at the Karpov clock simul of 1977 which launched Lloyds Bank sponsorship, and took an active and helpful interest, particularly in junior chess, for several years after that.
Philip Walden played board 7 for Oxford University in the 1980 Varsity match:

http://saund.co.uk/britbase/pgn/198003vars-viewer.html

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JustinHorton
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Re: Brian Walden

Post by JustinHorton » Mon May 13, 2019 2:28 pm

I knew Phil a bit when we both lived in Oxford (as I believe he still does). He gave up chess a long time ago, and when I bought a few secondhand books in Chess and Bridge some years back, I noticed some were signed P Walden.
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Nick Burrows
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Re: Brian Walden

Post by Nick Burrows » Mon May 13, 2019 2:52 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 2:28 pm
I knew Phil a bit when we both lived in Oxford (as I believe he still does). He gave up chess a long time ago, and when I bought a few secondhand books in Chess and Bridge some years back, I noticed some were signed P Walden.
There is a strong player called Andrew Walden who played a few games for Cowley 3 or 4 years ago. I wonder if he is related?

O.G. Urcan
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Re: Brian Walden

Post by O.G. Urcan » Mon May 13, 2019 5:29 pm

Edward Winter has added some information about Brian Walden in his feature article "Chess and the House of Commons"
(http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/commons.html).

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