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Maybe it’s because I am a chess columnist myself, but one of my heroes in the world of chess is Leonard Barden of England.

At 93, Barden is the dean of chess journalists worldwide. He holds the record for the longest-running daily chess column: 63 years, seven months and 27 days without missing a day.

That feat was performed for the London Evening Standard between 1956 and 2020. It almost certainly makes him the longest-running newspaper columnist on any subject ever. But it’s far from Barden’s only chess writing gig.

He remains the Guardian’s weekly chess columnist, a post he has held without interruption since 1955. And in his spare time, he also writes a weekly column for the Financial Times, as he has done since 1974.

Barden was a strong player in his younger days, becoming British champion in 1954 and vying for first place in several tournaments with soon-to-be Canadian grandmaster Abe Yanofsky. He represented England in several Olympiads.

By the 1960s, however, he focused on chess writing and commentary, publishing more than a dozen books and establishing himself as one of the media’s go-to chess experts.

His Guardian columns remain some of the most up-to-date and authoritative chess writing today.

Young v. Barden, Correspondence, 1945

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How does Black finish off his opponent?

Black played 16…. Bxg2+ and after 17.Kxg2 Qa8+ 18.f3 Rg6+ 19. Kh1 Qxf3+ 20.Rxf3 Rg1 is mate.

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