Sign up ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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.

share|improve this question
Could somebody please re-tag this problem. I can't find any good tags – dspyz Apr 8 '13 at 10:31
"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
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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.