New record for Leonard Barden, grandmaster of newspaper chess columns
The Guardian’s columnist has written weekly for the newspaper for 61 years as well as running a daily column at the London Evening Standard for 60 years
The Guardian’s chess columnist, Leonard Barden, has recently broken another record, according to a report on Chess Base.
It points out that Barden’s 61-year stint as the paper’s columnist – uninterrupted since September 1955 – has overtaken the 60 years and six months record set by Tom Widdows, who wrote weekly for the Worcester News from October 1945 until April 2006.
Barden, 87, had already secured the record as the longest continuous daily chess columnist. He wrote his first London Evening Standard column in June 1956, which remained in print until July 2010 (54 years, 1 month) and has run ever since on the paper’s website.
In so doing, he overtook the one written by George Koltanowski for the San Francisco Daily Chronicle, which lasted 51 years 9 months, until his death.
Chess Base’s Frederic Friedel believes Barden’s Standard column may well be the longest running daily column by a single journalist in any field of journalism. Challenges to this claim are, of course, welcome.
Of Barden’s weekly Guardian chess column, Friedel writes:
“Leonard’s observations on the contemporary chess scene are well written and meticulously researched, and each column contains a game and, very enticingly, an entertaining and instructive chess puzzle Visit the Guardian chess page on Friday – you will never regret it”.
At the risk of irritating everyone with an outrageous pun (but I can’t help it), Barden’s columns never go stale, mate. Sorry.
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