Leonard Barden

Leonard Barden

Leonard William Barden (born 20 August 1929, "Croydon", "London") is an English chess columnist and promoter. The son of a dustman, he was educated at Whitgift School, South Croydon, and Balliol College, Oxford. He was a strong player, jointly winning the British Chess Championship in 1954 at Nottingham and representing England in the Chess Olympiads of 1952, 1954, 1960 and 1962. He also tied first with Jonathan Penrose in the 1958 British Chess Championship, but lost the subsequent play-off match by 1½-3½. He gave up playing chess in the early 1960s to concentrate on writing and journalism. He has made invaluable contributions to English chess as a populariser, writer, organiser and fundraiser. He was controller of the British Chess Federation Grand Prix for many years, having found its first sponsor. With his keen eye for talented youth, he has been credited with almost single-handedly having brought the standard of English chess from nowhere to Olympiad medal winners during the 1980s. In recognition of his efforts he was offered an Honour, but declined it. For half a century he has presented a daily puzzle in the London Evening Standard and a weekend chess column in both The Guardian and The Financial Times. He once chose as his favourite game his win against Weaver Adams at Hastings 1950.

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