American Go E-Journal

Go Spotting: “The Memory Palace of Mateo Ricci”

Wednesday January 10, 2018

“The Memory Palace of Mateo Ricci” includes a reference to a European coming across go in China, reports Jose Santiago. 2018.01.07_The Memory Palace of Mateo Ricci On page 157 of Jonathan D Spencer’s book (Penguin Books, 1984 ed.), is a section describing a memory method used by the Jesuits and previously by Greek and Roman scholars referred to as Memory Palaces:

“Hortensius recalled every price of every item sold at auction, while Chen Jian recalled each detail of his accounting books and the produce of his looms. Scaevola, riding back to his home in the country, could replay in his head every move of the pieces in the board game he had lost, while Wang Can could do the same with the game of Chinese checkers (weiqi) where he had been only a spectator.”

“I recall my friend Victor Chow 5p being able to recall five games he played simultaneously in Oxford,” Santiago adds. “I can do about 50 moves with difficulty!”



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