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Forbes, Duncan

Duncan Forbes (1798-1868) was a Scottish professor of Oriental languages and the author of various articles and books on chess history.  He taught in Calcutta for several years before returning to England in 1826.  From 1837 to 1861, he was  Professor of Oriental Languages at King’s College in London.  During this time, he also worked at the British Museum cataloging their collection of Persian mansuscripts.  In 1860 he wrote A History of Chess (he dedicated his 400-page book to Howard Staunton).   He advanced the theory that a four-handed dice-chess game was played in India as far back as 3000 BC.  Today’s chess historians says that chess originated in India around 500AD, and that the four-handed dice-chess games was just an unsuccessful variant.

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