Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

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Paul Cooksey
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Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by Paul Cooksey » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:25 pm

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/inde ... g_Standard
Leonard Barden (London) informs us:

‘The daily chess column in the Evening Standard will finally reach its end on Friday, 31 January 2020. I have given the starting-date as Monday, 4 June 1956 since although I am not totally sure of the exact date I recall that it was early June and some time after Whitsun, which was in May that year. The total is thus 63 years, 7 months and 27 days without a day missed. The final puzzle is a Carlsen win from the 2019 world blitz championship.’
I decided to look at the database to see if I could find one of Leonard's own games suitable for the finale. In truth, flashy attacks were not entirely typical of a positional style. But my feeling is the win against Penrose below is one of Leonard's prettiest games, albeit I suppose his win against Phillip's might be a fonder memory. It was part of his British Championship playoff win.




David Sedgwick
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:29 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:25 pm
But my feeling is the win against Penrose below is one of Leonard's prettiest games
Leonard himself chose it:
Leonard Barden wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:03 pm
My favourite game now would be against Penrose at York 1959, although this, too, has its weak spots.
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=10016&start=45

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by Paul Cooksey » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:10 am

Thanks David. It would have saved me some time if I had been following the Hastings thread!

I did notice the game against Weaver Adams also discussed in that thread, because it has a nice final position. I did not include it because of my own prejudice against that sort opening, and because I was embarrassingly unaware Adams was a strong player. Wiki has corrected me. So posted below

To Leonard's own point about weak spots, I did briefly computer check the games I posted, so as not to post something with a major blunder. It did not like Nh8 in the Penrose game, albeit white is still much better. But as a human, definitely a move you would want to play.


Leonard Barden
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by Leonard Barden » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:08 pm

John Henderson reminded me of another candidate game, which he plans to use in a future obituary.

It may be better quality than the three mentioned above, although the occasion was less significant:
[Event "Ilford Premier"]
[Site "Ilford"]
[Date "1960.06.03"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Barden, Leonard William"]
[Black "Kottnauer, Cenek"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B94"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "1960.06.03"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "5"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Bc4 e6 8.
O-O h6 9. Bh4 Ne5 10. Bb3 Qc7 11. Qe2 Be7 12. f4 Ng6 13. Bg3 Qc5 14. Rad1 e5
15. fxe5 dxe5 16. Bf2 exd4 17. Bxd4 Bg4 18. Bxf7+ Kf8 19. Qxg4 Nxg4 20. Bxg6+
Kg8 21. Bxc5 Bxc5+ 22. Kh1 Ne3 23. g4 Nxf1 24. Rxf1 Rf8 25. Rxf8+ Kxf8 26. Nd5
Bd6 27. Kg2 Be5 28. b3 Bd6 29. h4 h5 30. gxh5 Rh6 31. Kf3 Rh8 32. Kg4 Rh6 33.
Kf5 Bg3 34. Ke6 Bxh4 35. c4 Bg3 36. Kd7 Be5 37. Kc8 {Source: BCM, July 1960,
p213} 1-0 Thanks to John Saunders for supplying the score.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by Michael Farthing » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:53 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:08 pm
John Henderson reminded me of another candidate game, which he plans to use in a future obituary.

It may be better quality than the three mentioned above, although the occasion was less significant:
Thanks to John Saunders for supplying the score.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:28 pm

I hope there are plans to mark this in some way (surely the ECF will include it in their news), and I hope the reporting of this record is not lost in the plethora of headlines about the other event taking place that day. Huge respect to Leonard for such an amazing record of longevity and quality chess journalism. Dare I ask if there are any plans to work on memoirs in the possibly freed-up time available, or is your work on the Guardian and Financial Times chess columns still continuing?

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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:57 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:08 pm
John Henderson reminded me of another candidate game, which he plans to use in a future obituary.
I'm delighted that you continue to show no inclination to allow anyone to do that.

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John Saunders
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by John Saunders » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:50 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:28 pm
...I hope the reporting of this record is not lost in the plethora of headlines about the other event taking place that day.
It is is pleasing to note that my tweet mentioning Leonard's stint at the Evening Standard (posted on Twitter prior to this thread starting) has garnered far more retweets and likes than any of my posts about the Gibraltar Festival.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:03 pm

I must join the general acclamation! Now we've seen the obituary game, there's no hurry to read the obituary. With the Guardian column, what an incredible record, which I'm sure will never be equalled.

Daniel Gormally
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by Daniel Gormally » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:42 pm

I noticed the other day there was a big backgammon column in the times 2 section, but the chess column had been reduced to just one puzzle. Perhaps a reflection of the lack of regard chess is held in these days compared to earlier times. I must admit I cut my teeth on Barden's evening standard columns and the puzzle part of it as I grew up in London.

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John Clarke
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by John Clarke » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:17 pm

A very entertaining game, that one against Kottnauer! Discovered it wasn't on chessgames.com, so I've just submitted it there. Strongly reminiscent of Kupferstich-Andreasen (Copenhagen 1953), which can be viewed here.
Last edited by John Clarke on Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:36 pm

When I read some of today's other news, it struck me that Leonard's service on the London Evening Standard was longer service than that of Nicholas Parsons on Just a Minute. Which is quite an achievement!

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John Clarke
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by John Clarke » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:50 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:36 pm
When I read some of today's other news, it struck me that Leonard's service on the London Evening Standard was longer service than that of Nicholas Parsons on Just a Minute. Which is quite an achievement!
... and longer even than Alistair Cooke's Letter From America, which clocked up not-quite 58 years.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)


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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:58 pm

Leonard says "dedicated to SJF" - would it be a breach of etiquette to ask who this is (or should it be obvious)?

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