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Over the Board

The Essay, Checkmate Episode 1 of 5

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 13 December 2010

Dr Irving Finkel, Assistant Curator in the Middle Eastern Dept of the British Museum, is an expert on board games from the very earliest games of chance played in caves using knuckle bones of animals for dice to the development of chess. He is most famous for discovering the lost rules to The Royal Game of Ur which he found on a forgotten cuneiform tablet at the British Museum. He has studied how games evolve over time and are carried around the globe by religious mendicants, mercenaries and the like.


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