BAIRD, Mrs W. J.

The Twentieth Century Retractor, Chess Fantasies, and Letter Problems.

Being a selection of three hundred problems.

London: Henry Sotheran & Co., 1907 Stock Code: 139853
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One of "the most elegant chess books ever to appear"

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 2,000 problems which were noted for their soundness" (Hooper & Whyld 27), with remarkably few errors detected in her body of work. 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. The Twentieth Century Retractor, is one of the first known collections of such problems. Each of the three hundred problems in this book is handsomely presented and introduced by a number of Shakespearean quotations designed to enrich the solving experience as well as provide hints towards the solution. An uncommon and handsome title.

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Octavo. Red cloth, titles to spines, triple-line border and chess roundel to front board in gilt and to rear board in blind, patterned endpapers, all edges gilt.


Portrait frontispiece with tissue guard.


Spine ends rubbed, wear to corners and edges, a few white blemishes to covers but binding square and firm, contents clean throughout; a very good copy.


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