Called “yi” in ancient China, Weiqi is a strategic board game between two players respectively using black and white game pieces. With a history of over 3,000 years, the game can be regarded as the originator of all ancient chess games. The fantastic Weiqi embodies ancient Chinese philosophy and cultural profoundness and at the same time involves lots of flexible strategies.
According to ancient books, weiqi was invented by the legendary Chinese emperor Yao and his counselor Shun. This attribution indicates the incredibly early time the game originated. In the Spring and Autumn Period, people would use terms in weiqi like “ju qi bu ding” (meaning “holding a game piece but not sure what move to make”) to describe vacillation in politics. It’s quite clear how popular the game was at that time. Later, numerous talented weiqi players emerged in all dynasties and many emperors in ancient China were weiqi lovers, such as Cao Cao, Emperor Taizu of the Song dynasty and Zhu Yuanzhang. There were lots of interesting stories about weiqi in Chinese history. In the Yuan Dynasty, the famous book on weiqi Xuanxuan Qijing (The Classic of the Mystery of the Mysterious) came out. It was a glorious example of comprehensive weiqi works in ancient China.
The rules of weiqi are very simple but there’s plenty of choice to move the game pieces, with countless variations of strategies. This is where the charm of the game lies. The time for one round of weiqi can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as a few days. In most cases, though, it takes one or two hours to finish one round.
Weiqi is a game that combines science, art and competition. It’s perfect for intelligence boosting, personality cultivation and flexible strategy learning. It’s no wonder the game has been popular for thousands of years and is gradually becoming an international cultural game.