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BAIRD, Mrs W. J.

Seven Hundred Chess Problems.

Published: London: Henry Sotheran & Co., 1902

Stock code: 98154

Price: £875

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition, first impression of one of “the most elegant chess books ever to appear” (Hooper & Whyld 27). Edith Baird was a well-known figure in the chess world during the early twentieth century. She was a regular contributor to British Chess Magazine and the leading newspapers of the day, and established herself as a problem composer of the highest calibre. In her career she “composed more than 2000 problems which… were noted for their soundness” (Hooper & Whyld 27), with remarkably few errors detected in her body of work. This volume presents 700 classic chess problems, each handsomely presented and finely printed with a board diagram in red and blue. Baird was also one of the first to create multi-move retractor problems, chess puzzles in which the solver must work backwards, taking back a specified number of moves before a forward mating move can be performed. Uncommon.

Octavo. Original blue cloth, spine lettered gilt, triple line border and chess roundel to boards gilt, patterned endpapers, all edges gilt. Portrait frontispiece with tissue guard. Ink stamp to rear pastedown. Spine darkened, extremities rubbed, tips worn, some stains and discolouration to boards, internally clean and bright; a very good copy.

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