Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pestaño: Legendary chess journalists

Thursday, November 6, 2014

AFTER having been involved with the game for more than half a century, I came across several names of chess journalists long before the advent of the internet. They are the legends of chess journalism.
George Koltanowski, who wrote more than 19,000 chess columns for The San Francisco Chronicle, died at the age of 96 in 2000. His column ran for almost 52 years daily without interruption and was once the longest-running daily chess column in history for a long time.
“Chess is an international language,” he once said. “Everyone in the world can understand and enjoy it.”
Leonard William Barden (born 1929 London) is an English chess master, columnist and author. He began writing for the London Evening Standard in 1956 and is now the world’s longest running daily chess column, breaking the previous record set by George Koltanowski. Also, he has weekly columns in The Guardian for 54 years and in The Financial Times for 35 years.
Barden says “I have never missed a week in 54 years, and as a result the Guardian holds the world record for the longest continuous chess column of (currently) 54 years 3 months.” He is also the author of more than two dozen books.
In recognition of his efforts, Barden was offered an OBE, but declined it. Brian Walden has written that “Barden has done more for British chess than anybody since our famous 19th century champion, Howard Staunton.”
Gregory Koshnitsky had a 59-year weekly column for the Sydney Sun from 1935 to 1994 (although in this case, there was a 10 year break at one point). He was the 1933 and 1939 Australian champion.
English columnist Tom Widdows wrote weekly in the Worcester News from October 1945 to April 2006 or 60 years and 6 months. Allowing for breaks he wrote for 53 years.
Former Irish champion Jim Walsh wrote weekly in the Irish Times from April 1955 up to September 1972, where it became daily without a break up to now.
Hermann Helms was an American chess player, writer, and promoter. He served as the chess reporter for The New York Times for over 50 years until 1962.
Helms founded the American Chess Bulletin in 1904, and would publish and edit this journal until his death in 1963. Helms wrote chess columns for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from 1893 until the paper folded in 1955. Helms also wrote chess columns for the New York World for 15 years, for the New York Post for 10 years, and for the New York World and Telegram for 10 years.
Helms was formally recognized in 1943 by the United States Chess Federation as the “Dean of American Chess,” and was called “the most important journalist in American chess history” by Arnold Denker and Larry Parr, Haije Kramer (died 2004) is a Dutch chess master and theoretician who wrote a weekly chess column in de Leeuwarder Courant, a daily newspaper in Friesland. He started writing in 1938 until 1998 or about 60 years (with a break during the war). From 1947 until 1969 ( 22 years) he also wrote a weekly column for the Algemeen Dagblad, a national newspaper.
Gert Ligterink has written for 26 years in de Volkskrant and Lex Jongsma for 36 years for de Telegraaf, both Dutch national newspapers.

No comments: