If you enjoy this video, please donate at . The Portico Library is a charity, free to visit for the public six days a week, with arts, heritage, literacy and learning activities throughout the year.
During their 2021 exhibition ‘Fun & Games: playtime, past and present’, The Portico Library hosted this online event on the Indian, Persian and Arab roots of the world’s most famous game of strategy, chess. This was a pay-what-you-can event in association with MACFEST Festival of Muslim Arts & Culture supporting The Portico Library’s free public arts and education programmes.
Dr Sushma Jansari is the Tabor Foundation Curator: South Asia, at the British Museum. She was instrumental in the redevelopment of the British Museum’s Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia which opened in 2017 and is currently lead curator in the team developing the Manchester Museum South Asia Gallery in partnership with the British Museum (opening 2022). Sushma is also writing a book for UCL Press titled ‘Chandragupta Maurya: the creation of a national hero in India’.
Irving Finkel is a Senior Curator in the Middle East Department at the British Museum, where he is in charge of the cuneiform tablet collection. He is also a specialist in the history of ancient board games and edited ‘Board Games in Perspective’. He deciphered the rules for the Royal Game of Ur, the national board game of Ancient Mesopotamia.
‘Opening Moves: The Extraordinary Origins of Chess’ was hosted by The Portico Library’s Exhibitions and Programmes Curator James Moss.
You can enjoy the online version of the full ‘Fun & Games’ exhibition at .