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Somebody told me that until the twentieth century Marco Polo was the strongest westerner ever to play go (weiqi). Is this true? I can't find any reference to it. Googling Marco Polo and go doesn't seem to bring up anything.

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Could somebody please re-tag this problem. I can't find any good tags –  dspyz Apr 8 '13 at 10:31
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"somebody told me" - is there a source for that, or is that just hallway gossip? Sometimes knowing the source of the original assertion can help guide the research. –  Mark C. Wallace Apr 8 '13 at 13:43
    
I'm sure that he was one of the only western players of go until the 20th century. –  Russell Apr 9 '13 at 0:27
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given that the very existence of Marco Polo is now in question, and his ever having traveled to China almost certainly discarded as a fable, I'd be inclined to say no. Of course the author now known by the name may have laid hands on a set of rules somehow and learned to play from that, but lack of opponents would have prevented an Italian in that era from ever becoming a strong player. –  jwenting Apr 9 '13 at 13:43
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