Tag Archives: People

Ninety today : Leonard Barden

Leonard Barden (Linda Nylind of the Guardian)
Leonard Barden (Linda Nylind of the Guardian)

Ninety today is Leonard Barden, born August 20th, 1929.

From Wikipedia :

Leonard William Barden (born 20 August 1929, in Croydon, London) is an English chess master, writer, broadcaster, organizer and promoter. The son of a dustman, he was educated at Whitgift School, South Croydon, and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. He learned to play chess at age 13 while in a school shelter during a World War II German air raid. Within a few years he became one of the country’s leading juniors.[1] He represented England in four Chess Olympiads. Barden played a major role in the rise of English chess from the 1970s. As a chess columnist for various newspapers, his column in London’s Evening Standard is the world’s longest-standing chess column.

Leonard Barden
Leonard Barden

In 1946, Barden won the British Junior Correspondence Chess Championship, and tied for first place in the London Boys’ Championship.[1] The following year he tied for first with Jonathan Penrose in the British Boys’ Championship, but lost the playoff.[1][2]

Leonard Barden & "Assiac" (Heinrich Fraenkel)
Leonard Barden & “Assiac” (Heinrich Fraenkel)

Barden finished fourth at Hastings in 1951–52.[1] In 1952, he won the Paignton tournament ahead of the Canadian future grandmaster Daniel Yanofsky.[2] He captained the Oxfordshire team which won the English Counties championship in 1951 and 1952. In the latter year he captained the University of Oxford team which won the National Club Championship, and he represented the university in the annual team match against the University of Cambridge during his years there.[1] In 1953, he won the individual British Lightning Championship (ten seconds a move). The following year, he tied for first with the Belgian grandmaster Albéric O’Kelly de Galway at Bognor Regis, was joint British champion, with Alan Phillips, and won the Southern Counties Championship.[1][2]

Leonard Barden vs Victor Korchnoi, Leipzig Olympiad, 1960
Leonard Barden vs Victor Korchnoi, Leipzig Olympiad, 1960

He finished fourth at Hastings 1957–58, ranked by chessmetrics as his best statistical performance.,[1][3] In the 1958 British Chess Championship, Barden again tied for first, but lost the playoff match to Penrose 1½–3½.

Leonard Barden (centre) with Raaphi Persitz, JB Sykes, OI Galvenius and DM Armstrong, Ilford, May, 1953
Leonard Barden (centre) with Raaphi Persitz, JB Sykes, OI Galvenius and DM Armstrong, Ilford, May, 1953

He represented England in the Chess Olympiads at Helsinki 1952 (playing fourth board, scoring 2 wins, 5 draws, and 4 losses), Amsterdam 1954 (playing first reserve, scoring 1 win, 2 draws, and 4 losses), Leipzig 1960 (first reserve; 4 wins, 4 draws, 2 losses) and Varna 1962 (first reserve; 7 wins, 2 draws, 3 losses). The latter was his best performance by far.[1][4][5]

Barden has a Morphy number of 3, having drawn with Jacques Mieses in the Premier Reserves at Hastings 1948–49.[6] Mieses drew with Henry Bird in the last round of Hastings 1895,[7][8] and Bird played a number of games with Paul Morphy in 1858 and 1859.[9][10]

Leonard Barden (far right)
Leonard Barden (far right)

In 1964, Barden gave up most competitive chess to devote his time to chess organisation, broadcasting, and writing about the game.[1][2] He has made invaluable contributions to English chess as a populariser, writer, organiser, fundraiser, and broadcaster.[11]

Leonard Barden
Leonard Barden

He was controller of the British Chess Federation Grand Prix for many years, having found its first sponsor, Cutty Sark. He was a regular contributor to the BBC’s Network Three weekly radio chess programme from 1958 to 1963. His best-known contribution was a consultation game, recorded in 1960 and broadcast in 1961, where he partnered Bobby Fischer against the English masters Jonathan Penrose and Peter Clarke. This was the only recorded consultation game of Fischer’s career. The game, unfinished after eight hours of play, was adjudicated a draw by former world champion Max Euwe.[12][13] Barden gave BBC television commentaries on all the games in the 1972 world championship. From 1973 to 1978 he was co-presenter of BBC2’s annual Master Game televised programme.

Leonard Barden (left of Korchnoi)
Leonard Barden (left of Korchnoi)

As of 2010, his weekly columns have been published in The Guardian for 54 years and in The Financial Times for 35 years. A typical Barden column not only contains a readable tournament report, but is geared toward promoting the game.[14] His London Evening Standard column, begun in summer 1956,[15] is now the world’s longest running daily chess column by the same author, breaking the previous record set by George Koltanowski in the San Francisco Chronicle. Koltanowski’s column ran for 51 years, 9 months, and 18 days, including posthumous articles.[16][17]

Leonard Barden
Leonard Barden

Leonard reveals this his best game was

Leonard has authored or co-authored the following books.

A Guide to Chess Openings (1957),

A Guide to Chess Openings
A Guide to Chess Openings

How Good Is Your Chess? (1957),

How Good is Your Chess ?
How Good is Your Chess ?

Chess (1959),
Introduction to Chess Moves and Tactics Simply Explained (1959),

An Introduction to Chess Moves and Tactics Simply Explained
An Introduction to Chess Moves and Tactics Simply Explained

Modern Chess Miniatures (with Wolfgang Heidenfeld, 1960),
Erevan 1962 (1963),
The Ruy Lopez (1963),

The Ruy Lopez
The Ruy Lopez

The Guardian Chess Book (1967),

The Guardian Chess Book
The Guardian Chess Book

An Introduction to Chess (1967),

An Introduction to Chess
An Introduction to Chess

The King’s Indian Defence (1968),

The King's Indian Defence
The King’s Indian Defence

Chess: Master the Moves (1977),
Guide to the Chess Openings (with Tim Harding, 1977),

Guide to the Chess Openings
Guide to the Chess Openings

Leonard Barden’s Chess Puzzle Book (1977) (a collection of his Evening Standard columns),

Leonard Barden's Chess Puzzle Book
Leonard Barden’s Chess Puzzle Book

The Master Game (with Jeremy James, 1979),

The Master Game
The Master Game

How to Play the Endgame in Chess (1979),

How to Play The Endgame in Chess
How to Play The Endgame in Chess

Play Better Chess (1980),

Play Better Chess
Play Better Chess

Batsford Chess Puzzles (2002),

Batsford Chess Puzzles
Batsford Chess Puzzles

One Move and You’re Dead (with Erwin Brecher, 2007).[1][2][18]

Happy Birthday to Peter Charles Griffiths

Peter Charles Griffiths
Peter Charles Griffiths

Happy birthday best wishes to Peter Charles Griffiths on this day, August 15th, in 1946.

Peter was a strong player active from the 1960s until 1989. He played in the British Championships more than once and was a professional coach. He wrote the column “Practical Chess Endings” which appeared in the British Chess Magazine. He wrote Exploring the Endgame

Exploring the Endgame
Exploring the Endgame

and co-authored Secrets of Grandmaster Play with John Nunn.

Secrets of Grandmaster Play
Secrets of Grandmaster Play

and wrote Improving Your Chess

Improving Your Chess
Improving Your Chess

and Better Chess for Club Players

Better Chess for Club Players
Better Chess for Club Players

Happy Birthday Peter !

Peter Griffiths (far left)
Peter Griffiths (far left)

Malcolm : Happy Birthday to You !

IM Malcolm Pein
IM Malcolm Pein

We wish IM Malcolm Pein the very best wishes on his birthday.

From Wikipedia :

Pein earned the title of International Master (IM) in 1986.[1] According to IM Lawrence Trent‘s introduction at the start of the round one commentary at the 2013 Chess Candidates Tournament in London, Pein has not only been an influence in British chess for over thirty years, he has engaged in several chess organizing activities. He is CO of Chess in Schools and Communities which is a UK chess charity focusing on chess for youth, Director of the London Chess Classic tournament, and runs the London Chess Centre. Pein also writes a daily chess column in The Daily Telegraphnewspaper and is the executive editor of CHESS magazine, a monthly publication with an international readership. He is also the representative to FIDE for the English Chess Federation and in October 2015 was elected as ECF’s International Director.[2]

IM Malcolm Pein
IM Malcolm Pein

From Wikipedia :

In addition to his newspaper column and magazine editorial, Pein has written a number of chess books and booklets, including:

Grunfeld Defence (Batsford, 1981) – ISBN 978-0713435948
Blumenfeld Defence [with Jan Przewoznik] (Everyman, 1991) – ISBN 978-0080371337
Daily Telegraph Guide to Chess (Batsford, 1995) – ISBN 978-0713478143
The Exchange Grunfeld [with Adrian Mikhalchishin] (Everyman, 1996) – ISBN 978-1857440560

Guide to Chess
Guide to Chess
Malcolm Pein & Dominic Lawson
Malcolm Pein & Dominic Lawson

Happy Birthday Bill !

IM William Hartston
IM William Hartston

On the “glorious twelfth” of August we celebrate the birthday of IM William Hartston.

From Wikipedia :

William Roland Hartston (born 12 August 1947) is an English journalist who writes the Beachcomber column in the Daily Express and a chess player who played competitively from 1962 to 1987 with a highest Elo rating of 2485.[1] He was awarded the title International Master in 1972, but is now best known as a chess author and presenter of the game on television.

Soft Pawn
Soft Pawn

At the 19th Chess Olympiad, held at Siegen 1970, he won the gold medal for best score on board 3 (78.1%).[2] He won the British Chess Championship in 1973 and 1975. In international competition, he had many fine performances, but failed by the closest possible margin to achieve the results required for the formal award of the title of International Grandmaster. During his time as a PhD student at Cambridge, Hartston became the first person to stack the pieces from an entire chess set on top of a single white rook.[3][4] He studied mathematics at Jesus College, Cambridge but did not complete his PhD on number theory as he spent too much time playing chess.[5]

William Hartston
William Hartston

Since the early 1970s, he has made many TV appearances for the BBC,[6][7] usually in the role of expert commentator and analyst on world title matches, including Fischer-Spassky ’72, Karpov-Korchnoi ’78, Kasparov-Short ’93 and Kasparov-Anand ’95. He twice won the BBC Master Game competition before taking over from Leonard Barden as its resident expert. During the 1980s he presented the BBC series Play Chess. In recent years he has diversified into a number of creative areas, running competitions in creative thinking for The Independent newspaper and the Mind Sports Olympiad. He writes the off-beat Beachcomber column for the Daily Express and has authored books on chess, mathematics, humour and trivia. He has also been a regular guest on the BBC Radio 4 and occasional TV programme, Puzzle Panel and appeared in Series 8 of The Museum of Curiosity also on Radio 4.[citation needed]

Aside from his chess and media-related activities, Hartston is a mathematician and industrial psychologist. He was educated at City of London School and Jesus College, Cambridge, where he studied mathematics. During the 1980s, he was recruited by Meredith Belbin, at the Industrial Training Research Unit in Cambridge, to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team researching the dynamics of team roles. While continuing to write the Beachcomber column and other features for the Daily Express, he has also been behind the launching of the wakkipedia.com Internet site of useless information. His latest publication is Even More Things That Nobody Knows (Atlantic Books), a further discussion of 501 unanswered questions ranging from science to history, including a good supply of typically quirky items.[8]

Hartston was the first of three British chess champions to be married to Woman Grandmaster Dr Jana Bellin (née Malypetrova). With his second wife, Elizabeth, he had two sons, James and Nicholas.

On 2 April 2013 it was reported that Hartston had “perfected” a formula for predicting the winner of the Grand National horse race, in a study commissioned by bookmaker William Hill.[9][10][11] The story of the winning formula has since been widely thought to be an April Fools joke that many have fallen for.[12]

In 2013 Hartston and his friend Josef Kollar became regular ‘viewers’ on the Channel 4 programme Gogglebox.[13]

The King's Indian Defence
The King’s Indian Defence

Many Happy Returns Angus !

Everyone at the BCN Office sends IM Angus Dunnington best wishes on his birthday !

IM Angus Dunnington
IM Angus Dunnington

From Wikipedia : “Angus Dunnington (born 9 August 1967) is an English poker and online gambling specialist and former professional chess player with the title of International Master (IM). Dunnington is most known for his extensive work in chess opening theory, as well as the psychological aspects of both chess and poker. He stopped playing competitive chess in 2003 in order to spend more time writing,[1] has been a recipient of a Chess Journalists of America award, penned over 1000 articles and is the author of over 20 books, subjects including chess psychology, unorthodox chess openings and online gambling.[2]”

The Ultimate King's Indian Attack
The Ultimate King’s Indian Attack

From Wikipedia :

“This game was played in Scarborough England in 1999 between Charles Storey and Angus Dunnington. Dunnington played Black in a Caro-Kann Defense:
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Be3 Bf5 6.Nf3 Qb6 7.Qd2 e6 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Bxc5 Qxc5 10.b4 Qb6 11.Na3 Nge7 12.Nb5 0-0 13.Nbd4 Be4 14.b5 Nxd4 15.Nxd4 f6 16.exf6 Rxf6 17.f3 Bg6 18.a4 e5 19.a5 Qd6 20.Nb3 e4 21.Be2 exf3 22.Bxf3 Qe5+ 23.Kf2 Be4 24.Qd4 Qf4 25.Ra4 Qh4+ 26.Ke2 Rf4 27.Kd2 Nf5 28.Qg1 Qh6 29.Ke1 Bxf3 30.Rxf4 Re8+ 31.Kf2 Qxf4 32.gxf3 Qh4+ 0–1

This game, between Nielsen J Fischer and Angus Dunnington, was played at the 1990 Groningen Open. Dunnington played Black in a rarely seen Rat Defense:
1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.Nf3 e4 4.Nfd2 f5 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.e3 c6 7.d5 c5 8.b3 g6 9.Bb2 Bg7 10.Ne2 0-0 11.h4 Nxd5 12.Bxg7 Nb4 13.Nf4 Kxg7 14.Qc1 Qf6 15.a3 Nc2+ 16.Qxc2 Qxa1+ 17.Nb1 Nc6 18.Be2 Qe5 19.Nc3 Be6 20.0-0 Bf7 21.Rd1 Nd4 22.exd4 cxd4 23.Ncd5 Bxd5 24.Nxd5 d3 25.Bxd3 exd3 26.Qxd3 Rae8 27.f4 Qe2 28.Qc3+ Kh6 29.Rf1 Re4 30.Qb4 Rf7 31.Qxd6 Rd4 32.Qd8 Rd1 33.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 34.Kh2 Qxb3 35.h5 Qxa3 36.hxg6 hxg6 37.Qh8+ Rh7 38.Qe5 Qc5 39.Qc3 Qd6 40.g3 Rf7 41.Qh8+ Rh7 42.Qc3 b5 43.Nf6 Rf7 44.Nd5 bxc4 45.Qxc4 Rh7 46.Kg2 Rd7 47.Ne3 Qd2+ 48.Kf3 Rd3 49.Qc5 Qd1+ 0–1”

IM Angus Dunnington
IM Angus Dunnington

Today in Torquay…

BCN has joined the action in wonderful Torquay at the Riviera Centre.

British Championships in Torquay
British Championships in Torquay

On Board four we have IM Richard Pert vs GM Nick Pert (Richard won the game) :

IM Richard Pert
IM Richard Pert
GM Nick Pert
GM Nick Pert

and on board three : GM John Emms vs GM Justin Tan (the game was drawn) :

GM John Emms
GM John Emms
GM Justin Tan
GM Justin Tan

and on board two : IM Richard Palliser vs GM Stephen Gordon (the game was drawn) :

IM Richard Palliser
IM Richard Palliser
GM Stephen Gordon
GM Stephen Gordon

and on top board we have GM David Howell vs GM Michael Adams (the game was drawn) :

GM David Howell
GM David Howell
GM Michael Adams
GM Michael Adams

Follow the action at Twitch with GM Danny Gormally and IM Adam Hunt

Best Wishes Nigel !

GM Nigel Davies
GM Nigel Davies

We send best wishes to GM Nigel Rodney Davies on his birthday, this day (July 31st) in 1960.

the trompowsky
the trompowsky

From Wikipedia :

Nigel Davies (born 1960) is an English chess Grandmaster, chess coach and writer.

Davies won the British (Under-21) Boys Championship in 1979[1] and the British Rapidplay Chess Championship in 1987.

In July 2015 Davies transferred his FIDE registration from England to Wales and will become eligible to represent them internationally.[2]

Davies is also a keen practitioner of Tai Chi and Qigong, and is a registered instructor with the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain.[citation needed]

Davies, Nigel (1998). The Chess Player’s Battle Manual. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-7043-7.
Davies, Nigel (1998). The Power Chess Program. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-8415-2.
Davies, Nigel (2002). The Grünfeld Defence. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-239-3.
Davies, Nigel (2003). The Veresov. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857443356.
Davies, Nigel (2004). The Dynamic Reti. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857443523.
Davies, Nigel (2005). The Trompowsky. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1857443764.
Davies, Nigel (2008). King’s Indian Attack. Hamburg: ChessBase. ISBN 978-3-86681-071-6.
Davies, Nigel (2008). Starting Out: The Modern. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857445664.
Davies, Nigel (2009). Play the Catalan. Gloucester Publishers plc (formerly Everyman Publishers plc). ISBN 9781857445916.

Nigel Davies
Nigel Davies

Happy Birthday Richard !

Richard James, Chess author and writer
Richard James, Chess author and writer

BCN is delighted to send birthday wishes to Richard James, today, July 28th.

The Even More Complete Chess Addict
The Even More Complete Chess Addict

Member of Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club since 1966.
Active tournament and occasional county player 1966-1977.
I started teaching chess informally in 1973 and in 1975, together with Mike Fox, founded Richmond Junior Chess Club. When Mike moved to Birmingham in 1979 I took sole charge of the Club – where I remained until July 2006. In September 2006 Peter Sowray took over the top section of the Club while I continued to run the lower group until July 2007. I returned to Richmond Junior Club in April 2012 and am currently teaching there along with Marie Gallagher and Mark Josse.
Author of chess books (on chess for children and chess trivia) and magazine columns.
Recipient of the British (now English) Chess Federation President’s Award in 1996.
I have also worked on various chess editing projects, and am now writing for Right Way Books. My book Chess for Kids is a best seller on Amazon, receiving very positive reviews, and the companion volume for parents and teachers, The Right Way to Teach Chess to Kids was published in June 2013.

Chess for Kids
Chess for Kids

Employment:
I worked as a computer programmer in the Market Research Industry 1972-1986, writing programs to analyse market research data.
Between 1986 and 1997 I continued computer programming work on a freelance basis while working on chess projects. I was working for the Richmond Chess Initiative from its foundation in 1993 until its closure in 2005, and at some point in the mid 1990s I started being paid for running Richmond Junior Chess Club. I have been involved in running school chess clubs since 1993, and, because of my dissatisfaction with the traditional lunchtime or after-school chess club, I am always interested in hearing from schools who want to try a different approach and are prepared to listen to my views.
I was working at Hampton Court House from 2002 to 2013, providing one-to-one chess tuition, teaching reasoning and logic to Y4 and Y5 and preparing children for 11+ Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning tests.

I left Hampton Court House in Summer 2013, due to declining interest in chess at the school, and, more generally in the Richmond area. I’m now branching out into schools in the Hounslow area, where children currently have fewer opportunities for extra-curricular activities, and where there is, by and large, less academic pressure.

I’m also the curriculum consultant for Chess in Schools and Communities, a charity putting chess on the curriculum in state primary schools, and am hoping to be able to help some schools in the Borough of Hounslow in this respect in future.

The Right Way to Teach Chess to Kids
The Right Way to Teach Chess to Kids