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India emerges as pivotal point of modern Great Game

The Russian Empire and the combined strength of the British, French, and Ottoman Empires engaged in the first “Great Game” for control of Central Asia in the middle of the 1800s. The British were afraid that their biggest colony India will face an attack by Imperial Russia via Afghanistan. The Ottomans, though in decline, wanted to guard against Russian incursions into their Balkan possessions.

The Great Game began on January 12, 1830, when Britain’s Lord Ellenborough issued an edict establishing new trade route from India to Bukhara, using Turkey, Persia, and Afghanistan as buffer against Russia to prevent it from controlling any ports on the Persian Gulf, according to report by Kallie Szczepanski.

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In the meantime, Russia desired to create neutral area in Afghanistan so they could continue to use vital trade routes.

The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907, which split Persia (Iran) into three zones—