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The Primaval Hindu Chess,
With the Pieces arranged on the Board as they stand at the commencement of the Game.
HISTORY OF CHESS,
FROM THE TIME OF THE
EARLY INVENTION OF THE GAME IN INDIA,
TILL THE PERIOD OF
ITS ESTABLISHMENT IN WESTERN AND CENTRAL
DUNCAN FORBES, LL.D.,
PROFESSOR OF ORIENTAL LANGUAGES IN KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON.
WM. H. ALLEN & Co., 7, LEADENHALL STREET.
SIR FREDERIC MADDEN, K.H., F.R.S.,
KEEPER OF THE MSS. IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM,
HOWARD STAUNTON, Esq.,
OF STREATHAM, SURREY.
There are two excellent reasons why I should have dedicated to you the following chapters on Chess. In the first place, you have, each of you, done the Good Cause, " some yeoman service," and, if I well recollect, you have promised to do something more. Secondly, you are, in a remote degree, the authors, or, at all events, the prompters of this work of mine; barring, of course, its faults and shortcomings, which are all my own.
You will recollect, that, some six years ago, I drew up, at your suggestion, a few Essays on the Eastern origin of the Royal Game, which, from time to time, appeared in the columns of the "Illustrated London News." Those hasty sketches were then favourably received, by the lovers of Chess literature, both in this country and abroad. They were subsequently reproduced in our own "Chess Player's Chronicle;" and
were even deemed not unworthy of being translated into the manly and energetic language of our kinsfolk of Germany.
Within the last two years, I have, at leisure times, carefully revised my original sketches; and, to use the words of Dr. Johnson, I have endeavoured "to make them better," in three ways,-" by putting out, by adding, and by correcting." The adding process, (whether an improvement or not, I must leave you to judge), is certainly the most conspicuous; for the octavo tome now before you is at least seven times the size of the original brochure. I am quite sensible, however, that the work has still many faults, both of omission and commission and all I can say is, that I believe the design to be good. I think I have proved that the GAME OF CHESS was invented in India, and nowhere else, in very remote times; and from that source I have endeavoured to trace its diffusion throughout the various regions of the Old World.
In my account of the "Modern Oriental Chess" (chapters XVI. & XVII.), you will perceive that there still remain some blanks to be filled up. For obvious reasons, I have been unable to procure any reliable description of the game as now played in the Japanese Empire, which, for more than two centuries, has been closed against all good Christians. I may say the same respecting the vast regions inhabited by the Tartars and Mongols, extending from the Caspian Sea to the Great Chinese Wall; also of the countries situated between India and China (with the exception of Burmha), which, though not absolutely forbidden ground, are rarely