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Leonard William Barden
Number of games in database: 146
Years covered: 1945 to 2010

Overall record: +42 -48 =55 (47.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (19) 
    B47 B94 B42 B73 B48
 French Defense (10) 
    C02 C05 C19 C17 C03
 Ruy Lopez (8) 
    C75 C84 C89 C97 C90
 King's Indian (7) 
    E95 E80 E78 E61 E89
 Nimzo Indian (5) 
    E25 E41 E21 E52
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (5) 
    C84 C90 C89 C97
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (20) 
    B56 B68 B59 B58 B72
 King's Indian (18) 
    E60 E89 E80 E88 E69
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (6) 
    B68 B65 B62 B67
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Young vs L Barden, 1945 0-1
   L Barden vs W Adams, 1950 1-0
   L Barden vs R C Murphy, 1972 1-0
   L Barden vs J Penrose, 1959 1-0
   L Barden vs O Sterner, 1958 1-0
   G Abrahams vs L Barden, 1951 1/2-1/2
   L Barden vs Golombek, 1950 1/2-1/2
   Fazekas vs L Barden, 1958 0-1
   Golombek vs L Barden, 1951 1/2-1/2
   W Fairhurst vs L Barden, 1951 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1957/58 (1957)
   Hastings 1960/61 (1960)
   Hastings 1961/62 (1961)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1957/58 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1960/61 by Phony Benoni
   Hastings 1951/52 by suenteus po 147

   Marjanovic vs Keene, 1980
   S Odendahl vs Keene, 1979

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(born Aug-20-1929, 91 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
Leonard William Barden was born in Croydon, London, England. He was joint British Champion in 1954 and was 1st= in 1958 but lost the play-off. In 1952 he was 1st at Paignton ahead of Daniel Abraham Yanofsky and at Bognor 1954 he was 1st= with Alberic O'Kelly de Galway. He played in four Olympiads between 1952 and 1962 but then shifted emphasis to writing (he is chess correspondent for The Guardian newspaper), grading and junior chess. He has also authored a number of chess books.

Wikipedia article: Leonard Barden

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 146  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Young vs L Barden 0-1201945corrC58 Two Knights
2. Rossolimo vs L Barden 1-0541949SouthseaE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
3. G A Thomas vs L Barden  ½-½261949SouthseaC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
4. L Barden vs P N Wallis  0-1361949SouthseaC02 French, Advance
5. Unzicker vs L Barden  1-0201950Hastings 1950/51D07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
6. L Barden vs Golombek ½-½181950Hastings 1950/51B10 Caro-Kann
7. A R B Thomas vs L Barden  ½-½401950Hastings 1950/51C50 Giuoco Piano
8. Tartakower vs L Barden 1-0281950SouthseaE20 Nimzo-Indian
9. Golombek vs L Barden ½-½251950SouthseaD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
10. Bogoljubov vs L Barden  ½-½241950SouthseaD02 Queen's Pawn Game
11. L Barden vs W Adams 1-0271950Hastings 1950/51C57 Two Knights
12. L Barden vs Rossolimo 0-1381950Hastings 1950/51B85 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Classical
13. O'Kelly vs L Barden 1-0281950Hastings 1950/51E01 Catalan, Closed
14. L Barden vs G Berriman  ½-½301951OxfordC17 French, Winawer, Advance
15. Wade vs L Barden  ½-½661951OxfordC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
16. W Fairhurst vs L Barden  ½-½211951OxfordE45 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Bronstein (Byrne) Variation
17. L Barden vs Yanofsky  ½-½231951OxfordD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. W Heidenfeld vs L Barden 1-0211951OxfordE00 Queen's Pawn Game
19. L Barden vs A Phillips  ½-½641951Hastings 1950/51E02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
20. J Penrose vs L Barden  ½-½371951Hastings 1950/51B59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
21. V Castaldi vs L Barden  1-0701951Hastings 1950/51B65 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...Be7 Defense, 9...Nxd4
22. Euwe vs L Barden  1-04119511st Autumn CongressE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
23. Golombek vs L Barden  ½-½201951Hastings 1951/52E10 Queen's Pawn Game
24. L Barden vs S Popel 0-1651951Hastings 1951/52E95 King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, 8.Re1
25. G Abrahams vs L Barden  ½-½491951Hastings 1951/52A54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 146  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Barden wins | Barden loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: He will soon reach the 59th year mark on his column! Kudos :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Savor your $5000 young man
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: "Play better chess" is one of my most favourite chess books ever.

It is like getting a snapshot in time of the British and wider global chess scene with Nigel Short as a junior.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Happy birthday, dear Mr. Barden, congratulations and many more chess columns to come!

The maestro himself on the longest running chess column: (10/25/2014)

Hommage from Frederic Friedel on Leonard Barden's Evening Standard column: (3/6/2015)

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Happy birthday to Leonard Barden! <diagonal> That's amazing that his chess column has been going on that long uninterrupted! He's a very dedicated man w/ a good work ethic.
Aug-20-16  Nosnibor: I first met Leonard Barden at the Spalding Open in 1970. He was a very nice gentleman. I believe he finished just outside the prize list in a very strong event. Here is an early game ,which is not in the d.b. played when he was just 17. Played in the National Correspondence Chess Club Premier Tournament,1946-7. White L.W.Barden,Black J.K.Ault. Giuoco Piano 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Nxe4 9.d5 Na5 10.Bd3 Nf6 11.Qa4 b6 12.Ba3 Nb7 13.0-0 Nc5 14.Rfe1+ Kf8 15.Qd4 d6 16Re2 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 Bg4 18.Rae1 Bxf3 19.Qxf3 Qd7 20.Bc1! Qg4 21.Qxf6!! Qxe2 22.Rxe2 gxf6 23Bh6+ Kg8 24Re3 1-0 The position after Black`s 20th move would make a good problem for the day. Happy birthday Leonard.
Aug-20-17  Ironmanth: So honored to wish you a happy birthday, Leonard Barden! Your love and respect for chess came through in your writings, and like many, formed the basis of my earliest library of chess books and learning. Be well sir!
Aug-20-17  gars: Happy Birthday, Mr. Barden. Your book "How good is your chess" is simply wonderful!
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Mortimer played Znosko-Borovsky and (most notably) Tartakover at Ostend 1907 which blows up Morphy 3 as a finite one-hand number...>

Mortimer also played George Alan Thomas before WW1, who, in turn, was another who continued active play until after WW2, so that's another possible avenue.

If <> were to arrange another <The World> match with Barden, we could all be Morphy#4s.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Happy Birthday!
Aug-20-19  Nosnibor: Happy Birthday Leonard on this your big 90th.
Aug-20-19  Cardinal Fang: Happy Birthday Leonard Barden, and thank you for all the work you've done for chess over the years.

In England in the 70s I remember well how Leonard Barden would appear at junior tournaments with a roll of paper, and put up handwritten posters with up-to-date ratings of junior players - not just the top ones, but all the way down through the rating levels. He was well aware that the six- or twelve-monthly rating lists got out of date very quickly, and wanted us young players to see how rapidly we were improving and be inspired by it. Great memories.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Happy Birthday!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: **

Hi Cardinal,

Hope you don't mind but I have posted your kind word on the ECF forum where Mr.Barden appears to frequent more than here and the 90th Birthday tributes are flooding in. (Geoff)


Aug-20-19  Cardinal Fang: <Sally Simpson> You're welcome to. Thank you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Leonard Barden vs M O'Hara, Varna, 1962

White mates in 4.

click for larger view

Solution (in reverse)
3.Qg8+ Kh8 2.Nxh6+ Kg8 1.Nf7+

Premium Chessgames Member
  mckmac: Leonard Barden's excellent chess column and problem have been a constant fixture in the NZ Listener magazine for many years now. A belated Happy Birthday Mr Barden!
Sep-20-19  JimNorCal: A nice 90th birthday tribute to Mr Barden

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: C.N. 11695: <‘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.’>
Jan-27-20  Cibator: No reasons given, I see. Anyone able to enlighten us?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Cibator: No reasons given, I see. Anyone able to enlighten us?>

I really think it is just a case of old age. However, the circulations of British newspapers have been falling for decades, and it is possible that the Evening Standard wanted to save some money. Barden's column may have been online only, but he was presumably paid in real cash.

It is strange that so few modern newspapers have a chess column. Chess is very popular across all age ranges and the space needed for a column is tiny.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I think Len's taking a well-earned sabbatical. I could do with one of those, too!
Jan-28-20  spingo:
<If I had known the job was only temporary I'd never have taken it on.>
Jan-30-20  Granny O Doul: I didn't really process the "daily" in my original reading of the chesshistory report. I still (as of last weekend) check out Barden's weekly column that appears (appeared?) in the Financial Times. Skimming The Guardian's website just now, it is not the same column as appears there, so I have hope. To me, Barden's FT column is the best of its type out there.

So maybe it is just a question of the daily grind. On the other hand, I remember when my favorite sports columnist as a kid, Red Smith, wrote a column wherein he explained that thenceforth he's be writing just twice a week and not thrice as he had been. This proved to be his last-ever piece.

Feb-12-20  Granny O Doul: So Barden has not laid his pen to rest: .
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