December 8, 2005 9:25 PM   Subscribe

Go Filter: The Interactive Way To [Learn] Go. Beginner's Go Questions Answered. How to Teach Go. Get taught at the Go Teaching Ladder. Browse Sensei's Library, a Go Wiki, or the Go Database Gobase.org. Play online at Kiseido Go Server , Dragon Go Server or The Internet Go Server. Try some Go problems. Play at home with GNU Go or Igowin, free strong 9x9 game. Learn more with a Guide to Go Books. Read up on The Integration of A Priori Knowledge into a Go Playing Neural Network or the Intelligent Go Foundation Overview of Computer Go. Also discussed here, here, and here.
posted by MetaMonkey (32 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Hope that wasn't overkill. I know some links have been posted before, but there's some useful new stuff and it's nice to have it all in one place.

Would very much like to hear from any Go-playing Mefites. Also, curious if there is any interest in a forum for organising online go games (and I suppose other online games), or some existing tool to do this. Or maybe I'll submit a feature request...
posted by MetaMonkey at 9:25 PM on December 8, 2005

If you're going to be using GNU Go, might I suggest Jago as a graphical front-end? I've used it myself, and it's quite nice.
posted by paladin at 9:31 PM on December 8, 2005

It's almost pub-o-clock, so this is going to have to wait, but THANKS!
posted by pompomtom at 9:43 PM on December 8, 2005

Cool. I've always wanted to learn more about this. Thanks.
posted by slogger at 9:47 PM on December 8, 2005

Great post! I haven't played Go in years, but your post might be just the thing to get me back into it. Thanks!
posted by Pecinpah at 9:58 PM on December 8, 2005

Go is an awsome game, but Igowin is easy to beat with a standard stratagy once you get used to it.
posted by Paris Hilton at 10:02 PM on December 8, 2005

I just may have time to explore this. It has been years since I played... maybe I could get good(fair). Thanks MM.
posted by pointilist at 10:04 PM on December 8, 2005

Don't forget that you can play go with other people at Yahoo games.
posted by borkingchikapa at 10:04 PM on December 8, 2005

Go is the best abstract strategy board game.
posted by Nelson at 10:05 PM on December 8, 2005


Link collections:

Go Links


Japanese Prints and the World of Go
by William Pinckard [this is big]
The Internet Go Server Art Gallery [large]
Yutopian Online Art - The most beautiful Go Arts for your enjoyment!
Stone-arrangement painting on the board of 35 points by 35 rows, and art work by Hideki Nakazawa [interactive]
posted by MetaMonkey at 10:43 PM on December 8, 2005

Here's a hopefully functional link to some of the articles from the Daily Yomiuri's English Language column "The Magic of Go"
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 10:45 PM on December 8, 2005

Great post! here is a another Go for beginners link.
posted by hortense at 10:53 PM on December 8, 2005



Philosophy and Go at Sensei's Library
What is Go? Viewpoint at Kiseido
Go: Life Itself at Kuro5hin
Essays on the Game of Go at Kiseido including Go and the `Three Games' by William Pinckard


Go Proverbs at Sensei's Library GoProverbs
Go Proverbs at Gobase.org proverbs/
posted by MetaMonkey at 11:00 PM on December 8, 2005

I am a recovering Go fanatic (by which I mean that I now attend to things I used to think were trivial at my Go-Obsession-Peak -- things like food, water and shelter.) This linkfest is wonderful and hits lots of great stuff on the web.

One of my favorite things about the game are the many great Go Clubs in many medium and up sized cities in the U.S.A.. The LA Go Club would make one of my top 10 favorite places to be trapped for the rest of my life (It is (or was when I lived in LA) open 24 hours / 7 days a week. One Thanksgiving I decided I'd rather play Go than travel half the country to have Turkey with the family. I watched + played about 20 hours of games that Thursday while eating disgusting McDonald's since everything else in Los Angeles was closed. Oh, it is true, I was a sad case :-)

I have also been to Go clubs in another half dozen cities in the States and they all have been really quirky and wonderful. Some just meet once or twice a week (i.e. Portland, at Powell's Books) and some have standing locations (i.e. NYC, Seattle.) I'd highly recommend-- for anyone who is even moderately interested in the game-- step away from the wifi or cat-5 cable and check out your local Go club. The folks there are more than happy to teach newbies and it is always a rush for very mediocre players (me!) to watch great players make sublime moves.

For what it is worth, the reason I stopped playing (now I only play once or twice a month which by my old standard is "stopped") is that I hit a wall. I could not get past 10-13k no matter how much I studied games, how much I played, or even how many lessons I took. For someone spending that much effort on go, 10-13k is pretty lame. There were people who had been playing 9 months or a year who were passing me by and shooting right up to 9k, 6k and better. I am still unsure if whether my inability to progress is just an unfortunate function of my brain wiring (I have always been very weak at spacial puzzles / problems, tragic/ironic for someone who loves go so much) or rather a function of a blind, obstinate commitment to bad shape and fighting. Alas, now that I don't care about improving I can enjoy playing once in a while which is nice. But I'll always wistfully watch Dan level players and despair that I couldn't get close. See you all at the Go Club!
posted by limitedpie at 12:07 AM on December 9, 2005 [1 favorite]

limitedpie, I had a similar experience. I played for a while, I got lessons from Yang Yilun (pro 7 dan), and I stayed around 14-15k for a long time. What helped me out in my case wasn't lessons or studying games, but studying books. I highly reccomend "Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go", and I've also gained a lot from Kiseido's Elementary go series, Volumes 1, 5 and 6 ("In the beginning", "Attack and Defense", "The Endgame"). Studying those, while still playing games and studying them, brought me up to about 10k pretty fast, but then I stopped playing. I'm sure I'll end up playing again at some point, I don't think I can stay away forever.
posted by splice at 3:18 AM on December 9, 2005

Not sure if it's nestled somewhere in the above links but Hikarunix is an entire operating system for Go.

Yes. An operating system.
posted by jeremias at 5:22 AM on December 9, 2005

Very nice post, as well as a great set of subsequent links and comments. I've played a little bit, and I am not good. Not good at all.
posted by OmieWise at 6:02 AM on December 9, 2005

Great post! I'm a Go fan but dont have anyone in my podunk city of Jacksonville FL to play with. If only I had more free time, I'd start a club.

Thanks for the killer links everyone! Yet another MeFi comments page I have bookmarked. Any other members wanna play online sometime (after 6pm tonight which is when my final paper is due) let me know!
posted by Dantien at 6:29 AM on December 9, 2005

Awesome collection, bookmarked, indeed. Thanks
posted by nostrada at 6:41 AM on December 9, 2005

Goban is a really nice client for Mac. You can connect to the Internet Go Server and play online.
posted by callicles at 7:11 AM on December 9, 2005

I've been wanting to learn GO for years. Maybe this post will inspire me. Thanks, MetaMonkey!
posted by shoepal at 7:41 AM on December 9, 2005

It's the greatest game. Two reasons (among many):

1) Like mathematics, it feels discovered rather than invented. There's an endless taxonomy of shapes, sequences, patterns -- all following from the simplest imaginable rules. As Emanuel Lasker said, "if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe they almost certainly play go."

2) A go game reveals your patterns of thought. You can look down at the board and see where and when you were imprecise, overly aggressive, methodical, etc. It tells you more about the workings of your mind than art, journal writing or meditation, IMHO.

But yes, one danger is the addictiveness. I'm currently trying to balance being a father and everything else while keeping up with a few games a day and getting through 1001 Life and Death Problems at top speed. Not easy.
posted by argybarg at 8:09 AM on December 9, 2005 [1 favorite]

There are some go blogs out there, but they all seem to be by relative beginners:

The Axis of Heaven, A River of Stones, and ChiyoDad Learns Go

As for working your way up (down?) the Go ratings, I highly recommend the Graded Go Problems for Beginners series.

argybarg: But yes, one danger is the addictiveness.

Another danger is that it suddenly starts looking reasonable to pay hundreds of dollars for a Go set. In extreme cases, people are known to pay well over a thousand. (You can get cheap ones, but there's a huge culture of fancy go equipment, some of which is truly beautiful.)
posted by callmejay at 8:33 AM on December 9, 2005

jeremias, thanks for that link! While I run linux natively, I discovered lots of cool tools there that I didn't know about. I might just start playing again because of it.

For those without clubs, I suggest you get a client (Jago is quite good) and hop onto IGS or KGS. You'll usually find players at any level ready to play. Your rank gets calculated automatically, so after a few games it'll have an idea of how good you are, and so will you. It's easier to pick opponents then, as you see their rank too.

I prefer KGS, myself. I don't know if you can on IGS, but on KGS I can view games from any user at any time, along with rank graphs. For example, right now I could download the teaching games I played with Yang Yilun. Some people who study with him also made their games viewable, so I can also see teaching games by him with people of other ranks (including comments, of course). Very nice teaching tool if you can find someone near your rank there.

BTW, Mr. Yang's page on Sensei's Library is here, and his archive on KGS is here. Notice most games aren't viewable (this is paid instruction, after all), but some are, and I'm sure they're all quite interesting.
posted by splice at 8:44 AM on December 9, 2005

callmejay's suggestion about Graded Go Problems for Beginners is quite good. I cut my teeth on those, it's an essential tool in your learning arsenal.

He also makes a good point regarding go sets. I haven't played go in a while, but I know that once I get a house, one thing that will go in will be a nice go board (the table style, of course), and I'd love it to be kaya. Then there's the bowls, and the stones themselves... Nice silky clamshell. Sure to get me playing, and just looks great.

And I just discovered that Hikarunix includes a local copy of Sensei's Library. Well then, that settles it. This really is a well thought out LiveCD, I might make copies for some friends.
posted by splice at 8:51 AM on December 9, 2005

Great resource, splice. Thanks!
posted by callmejay at 10:10 AM on December 9, 2005

anyone up for a game? look me up on dragon go server. onegaishimasu!
posted by paradroid at 11:58 AM on December 9, 2005

I'm on dragon, too, and open to games. Userid noah.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:18 PM on December 9, 2005

Dantien, while looking for clubs in Tampa, I did see that the American Go Association does list a Jacksonville chapter. I don't kow how update the info is or how active the chapter, but they do have contact inof on the site -- http://www.usgo.org/usa/chapclub.asp
posted by Quip at 7:13 PM on December 9, 2005

I second Goban for Mac OS X. I've only just started to play and it really is very addictive. My SO bought me a board and stones for xmas and we've been playing it every night since.
posted by bouncebounce at 5:15 AM on January 6, 2006

great post + great thread. Thanks!
posted by dabitch at 5:54 AM on January 6, 2006

Since this thread has been well recieved, I've taken the idea a bit further and started putting together a website that will hopefully become a useful Go resource.

You can find it here: The Go Link Explorer.

Its still rough-round-the-edges, but there are quite a few good Go links already. The format is currently very utilitarian also, but it should be prettied up soon.

It may be up and down a bit the next day or two while I sort things out.

I would really appreciate emails if you have any comments, suggestions or good Go links (use the email on the site).
posted by MetaMonkey at 11:35 PM on January 7, 2006

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