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Bobby Fischer / Leonard Barden vs Jonathan Penrose / Peter Clarke
Consultation game (1960) (exhibition), London ENG, Nov-??
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. Keres Attack (B81)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-31-10  garrykasparov: I thought the white side would've won.
Sep-29-11  Xeroxx: strange
Mar-23-12  AlanPardew: This game could do with some background. I think I have an article about it somewhere.
Mar-23-12  TheFocus: Consultation Game on Radio

This game appeared on British radio on the BBC’s Third Network and appeared in print in <Chess Treasury on the Air>, pages 124-132, edited by Terence Tiller. The two consulting teams appeared in different studios and their discussions were recorded and broadcast.

Fischer’s partner, Leonard Barden, was joint British Champion in 1963 and represented England in several Olympiads. Jonathan Penrose was, for many years, England’s best player. He is now ranked among the world’s best at correspondence chess. His teammate, Peter Clarke, was one of England’s top players in the 1960s, and is the author of several excellent books on the game – <The Unknown Bobby Fischer>, page 68.


The game was recorded in 1960 and broadcast in 1961. After being unfinished after eight hours, it went for adjudication.

Leonard Barden tied for first place in the 1958 British Championship but lost the play-off match to Penrose 1.5 – 3.5. He played for England in the 1952, 1954, 1960 and 1962 Olympiads. He has published a weekly chess column in The Guardian from 1956 – 2009, and The Financial News from 1976 – 2009. His column in the London Evening Standard is the longest-running daily column in the world from 1956 – 2009.

Jonathan Penrose won the British Chess Championship ten times. He is an emiritas Grandmaster and an International Correspondence Grandmaster. He represented England in the 1952, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1968 and 1970 Olympiads.

Peter Clarke became a Grandmaster in 1980 and represented England in the 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966 1nd 1968 Olympiads – <TheFocus>.

Mar-23-12  AlanPardew: Here's one I prepared earlier...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: "The broadcast was recorded in September or October 1960.

I had become friendly with Bobby Fischer during the Leipzig chess Olympiad of 1960 and was a contributor to the Network Three programme, hence the idea of a consultation match.

Bobby was paid £50, which pleased him. He had come to London to buy a Savile Row suit, and this covered the costs of the suit.

I was nominally Bobby's consultation partner, but my true function was to get him to talk.

He was fluent and articulate for the whole of the session, which lasted eight hours and only stopped when the studio time ran out.

Bobby was annoyed at the end when Penrose and Clarke would not resign."

Leonard Barden.

Sadly there is no known recording of this programme.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The dates of the Olympiad were 26th October - 9th November 1960, so unless Barden is completely mixed-up, November is the likely month.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: At the time he was to asked to recall this event Mr. Barden was 84 years old. Not too bad considering.

"Chess Treasury on the Air" just gives 1961 as the broadcasting date.

" The game and commentaries were broadcast over many weeks on the BBC Network Three weekly chess programme during 1961.

I don't recall when the final position was sent to Euwe, probably not until well into 1961.

In mid-1962 Euwe's analysis of the final position was published in a chess magazine, I think Schach-Echo, and was extremely thorough and detailed, covering several pages before concluding that the final position was drawn.

I took a copy of the magazine to the Varna Olympiad in autumn 1962, and on one of the first evenings there I showed it to Bobby in the hotel lounge.

He looked it over, seemed taken aback by its completeness then, after a couple of minutes without looking at any of the lines in detail, he tossed the Schach-Echo back to me, and said "Why do they have to publish such boring analysis?"

During 1963 I received a letter from Bobby (the only time he wrote to me) where he told me that some (unnamed) player had contacted him claiming to have found a hole in Euwe's analysis."

Mr Barden, English Forum 2013.

The site has a quite a few anecdotal nuggets from Mr Barden.

(I'll save Miss Nit-Picker Knickers a search. The Varna 1962 Olympiad was 15th September - 10th October 1962. Autumn.)

Nov-20-17  offramp: <Sally Simpson: "... "Why do they have to publish such boring analysis?">

That is very funny. Fischer must have known that the position was a dead draw right from the start. There is no way for White to make progress.

He must have been amazed that such a position was analysed in any detail.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Sally Simpson: ...

Bobby was paid £50, which pleased him. He had come to London to buy a Savile Row suit, and this covered the costs of the suit.>

£50 was a lot of money in those days. It could buy one Savile Row suit, or 5000 pairs of socks.

I guess Fischer didn't need a lifetime supply of socks, so he chose the suit.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <thegoodanarchist:

I guess Fischer didn't need a lifetime supply of socks, so he chose the suit.>

Fischer never wanted to think about defeet.

(Defeet, ironically a real brand of socks!)

May-24-21  Nosnibor: <TheFocus> Peter Clarke never became a G.M. for otb chess , but a Correspondence G.M.
Nov-09-21  Z truth 000000001: The most details about this game I could (quickly) find is archived here:

Given that this game wasn't really played via radio, but was broadcast much later, I think the comment in the game is misleading. See the link above, and <TheFocus>'s comment.

I think the game's PGN could benefit by just adding a short explanation of the actual setup instead.

Nov-09-21  Nosnibor: I had the pleasure of listening to the original broadcast on Radio 3 of the B.B.C. Bobby made a lot of comments during the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: They certainly dragged it out, didn't they? It first featured on the programme on January 1st 1961, and then every Sunday until April 16th:
Nov-09-21  Z truth 000000001: Lucky you, <Nosnibor>, that's quite a claim!
Nov-10-21  RookFile: The game may end in a draw because black more or less has a fortress but there is no doubt white is better in the final position.
Nov-10-21  Nosnibor: <Z truth 000000001> Thanks for that. I also remember listening to a B.B.C. report of the 1959 Candidates Tournament. This was given weekly I believe by Golombek.

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