Clipped From The Westminster Budget
AN INTERVIEW WITH "THE QUEEN OF CHESS." A LADY WHO HAS COMPOSED 650 .PROBLEM^ An interview with Mrs. W. J. Baird, the " Queen of Chess," appears in the Woman's Signal. Mrs. Baird is a young and pretty woman, and was married at twenty to Deputy Inspector-General W. J. Baird, M.D.,R.N. Her husband's prolonged absences from home in connexion with his professional duties have left her with much leisure. She has devoted it to the rearing and training oi her only child—and to chess. " It is very unusual for a woman to devote time to chess ; it always seems to have been specially a man's game. How do you account for that, Mrs. Baird?" "Frivolous and fashionable women would begrudge the time and thought it requires ; busy mothers of families could not, of course, spare time for it, and the great majority of unmarried girls have not, I am afraid, the necessary patience. Then, loo, it is, I must confess, an unsociable game. It is most suitable, for quiet and reflective people,- and for invalids. It seems always to have attracted clever strategists like military and naval commanders, and also great politicians. I wish girls would take to it more, because it is such excellent mental discipline, and brings out one's patience. It would also be a useful corrective to the tendency to jump at conclusions which many women have. The great charm is that it is a home accomplishment. A woman is not compelled to leave her fireside for the sake of chess. It is a stable kind of amusement for which she never need sully her womanliness or her good reputation. Many of the outdoor sports, innocent and healthful enough in themselves, lead to a great deal of flirtation and general irivolity." "When did you compose your first problem ?" " It was not until 1888, some years after I was married. I spent just over 100 hours on one of my first problems." " Some sleep in between, I hope, Mrs. Baird?" "Well, yes, but I kept a note of all the time I spent over it, and it amounted to just 100 hours. I was too wise, however, to tel? the editor to whom I sent it how long it had taken me. Now I can often turn out a problem in half an hour." " How many have you composed?" •"T think it must be about 650. I am intending to publish a book of problems very shortly. . I have contributed problems to the chess columns in the periodicals of all parts of the globe. Between thirty and forty have appeared in the Illustrated London A r ezus, which has the leading chess column. I have contributed also to the Times Weekly Edition uprn the art of problem composing, also to the Christmas number of the 'British C/iess Magazin:, and to many other periodicals." STORIES TWAIN AGAINST A;FAMOUS MARK. Mark Twain is once more on this side of the Atlantic, and a friend informs the London correspondent of the Manchester Courier- that the great American humorist does not stand very high in the estimation of his bright daughter Clara. Asked the, otheivday about one of her father's books, this young hopeful calmly replied: "Really, I can't give an opinion. Papa's books bore me terribly. I haven't read half of them. Fapa ;s the nicest thing in the world as papa, but, oh dear, I do wish he was not a famous funny man." This frank expression of opinion has tickled Mark Twain so tremendously that he tells •it-to everybody, following it up by this confession: "For years l bave derived pleasure from the knowledge that my wo.ks were almost the only thing which Mr. Darwin read during the last year of his life. Now that pleasure has been taken away, for I am told that during the period in question Mr. Darwin suffered from a kind of mental atrophy, and was forbidden to read anything but absolute drivel." A GUIDE TO LONDON AND ITS HISTORY TOLD IN PICTURES, 'S LATEST SIGHT.-THE TOWER BRIDGE• D*>«^ RES. See "WESTMINSTER POPULAR No 9 J *Kinab ]e Price One Penny, b^postThree Half-pence. .The " TOWER,BRIDGE GU \VE ST MINST£R of any newsagent,-bookseller, at the railway bookstalls, or from the Publisher, vv GAZETTE Office, Tudor-street London, E.C.