I met Ruth sometime in the early 1970’s before she married her first husband, “Wild” Bill Orton. From reading what others have written about her she began playing in 1969. I do not know if that was the year she played in her first USCF rated game or when she began playing the Royal game. My first USCF rated game was in 1970, so we began playing Chess about the same time. This picture from Wiki is how I will always remember Ruth because when one grows old one invariably “sees” the person they knew earlier as they were, not as they now appear:
Back then Ruth was a trip; a real good one.
Ruth Haring and Nigel Short at the Batumi Olympiad. Photo courtesy: Nigel Short.
“I grew to appreciate her immensely,” Short said. “She was very positive and someone I could depend on. She was really looking forward to changing things within FIDE. She was a wonderful woman.
“[She] could not stand chess politicians who only cared for their own advancement.”
Current US Chess president W. Allen Priest said, “I have always looked up to Ruth as a mentor and treasured her as a friend. I was honored to serve with her on the board and was inspired by her efforts to change the culture of US Chess.”
The MSA page of Allen Priest at the USCF website shows he is rated 701 and has played a total of only 45 games in his LIFE.