Dobkin was born in Russia. He immigrated to Palestine (British Mandate) in 1924 and studied chemistry at the Hebrew University. He did his Ph.D. thesis, and joined the Department of Physiology. He was an accomplished chess player, received the international Master degree.
In April 1935, he tied for 3rd-5th in Tel Aviv (the 2nd Maccabiah Games, Abram Blass won). He played for Palestine/Israeli team in two Chess Olympiads; at third board (+2 –7 =6) in the 6th Olympiad at Warsaw 1935, and at first reserve board (+2 –5 =2) in the 12th Olympiad at Moscow 1956.
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