GO weiqi igo baduk

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Re: GO....

Postby btilly » Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:56 pm UTC

Benitosimies wrote:Alright thanks. I've never played chess or anything (only D&D) so I don't know how my brain is supposed to work.

OK then, I'll tell you the very basic principles behind playing strategy games well. Including chess, checkers and go.

First, you must plan on the other person playing well. What I mean by that is do not rely on your opponent blundering. In short play as if the other person sees everything that you do. Yes, it is true that people do blunder. But if you rely on it and they don't, then you're stuck.

Secondly you need to understand is the difference between tactical thinking and strategic thinking. Tactics is the "tit for tat" thinking out of chains of "I do this, he does that, I respond like so...". Strategy is the higher level understanding of what is likely to happen without thinking things through in detail. The general rule is that to be good you need to be consistent on tactics and improve on strategy. Remember that your ability to do tactics is limited by the fact that you can only look at a limited number of positions, and there are diminishing returns from looking at more. (Computers use tactics more heavily, but they can look at more positions. Even so they hit diminishing returns in go.) However there is no limit to how good you can become at strategy.

There are a number of basic principles for tactical thinking. The biggest is to try to find moves that do 2 things. If your move does 2 things, it is hard for your opponent to deal with both of them. For instance in go there are a lot of ways to connect up groups of stones. It is important to know about these different ways because sometimes one way of connecting will accomplish some other goal. It will connect up to another stone, threaten something, claim territory, whatever.

The second principle is to look at forcing moves. Forcing moves are moves that your opponent has to respond to or else something bad happens. The reason to look at forcing moves is that you can figure out those sequences several moves out. And the end result may be very good or very bad for you.

The third principle is to never make plans based on your opponent's mistake. Those plans aren't tactical thinking, they are wishful thinking. It may seem natural to think, "I do this, he thinks I am doing that so he responds over there then I trap him over here!" But if he's as good as you are, he'll probably see the trap and not fall into it. And then you'll have made bad moves for no gain.

And the fourth principle is to recognize the difference between an urgent threat and an important one. For instance in chess if your opponent threatens to take your pawn now and your queen in 2 moves, protect the pawn now then the queen next turn. Doing it the other way around loses you a pawn for no good reason. But be careful that when you put off an important move that you don't forget to play it later! (People make a lot of mistakes where they see a threat, put it off, then forget about it later.)

Strategic thinking involves recognizing general principles that pertain to the game. For instance in chess if I can trade my bishop for my opponent's rook, it is probably a good thing to do. I don't have to work out the exact sequence of moves which proves this, it suffices to know that rooks are generally more useful than bishops.

Now strategy gets more complicated than that, very quickly. For instance in chess if it is easy for me to move all of my pieces to an area, then it is natural for me to try to attack there and I should think about targets. Likewise my opponent should think about defense. (It may suffice for him to decide, "Yeah, I can handle that" then do something else.) Neither of us may know whether an attack there is really a good idea, and neither of us can work out all of the possible combinations that may happen, but we should both know .

The two are connected. Because without strategic thinking you'll never have tactical opportunities. Conversely all the strategy in the world won't help you if you can't take advantage of the tactical opportunities that your strategy gives you. And frequently the goal of a tactical combination is some strategic advantage.

For example in go an important decision to make is about whether a group of stones is worth defending or not. Generally if you spend energy defending a group, your opponent is free to spend an equal amount of energy attacking it. If the group can't survive, the end result is that you spend a lot of energy strengthening your opponent. By contrast the strategic decision to stop defending and instead focus elsewhere draws your opponent to other parts of the board. Now your abandoned group of pieces is a potential weakness inside your opponent's position. If you can work another group close enough to the abandoned group, you may find tactics where your opponent is forced to choose between letting you rescue the group, or else doing damage elsewhere.

So you made a strategic decision to abandon the group. Based on strategy you knew that working back towards that group. You used tactics to help accomplish that strategy. And then the strategy resulted in a good tactical combination.

Oh, and one final point. The reason why we do this is that it is fun to challenge ourselves. It is not really about winning and losing. It is about playing your best. (Else we wouldn't hand out handicap stones.)
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Re: GO....

Postby zed0 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:18 am UTC

zed0 wrote:I've just talked to someone with experience in the matter and apparently you have to get 5 or 6 people to join a room at once and then ask an admin to make it permanent, otherwise it disappears when it becomes empty.


Ok, I'm having another go at this,
I'm going to try and be on all day in a new room called "xkcd". Please join if you can so we can try and get a permanent room.
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Re: GO....

Postby Alpha Omicron » Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:42 pm UTC

btilly wrote:post

Awesome post. Concise and clear.
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Re: GO....

Postby CrackTheSky » Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:13 pm UTC

This thread got me interested in the game so I learned it yesterday via Wikipedia and KGS. My nick on the server is "crackerz". May pop in sometime tonight, though I played about 20 or so games against igowin last night and won only two of them :/
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Re: GO....

Postby eds01 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:16 pm UTC

My KGS is eds01, and I'm currently rated 8 kyu.

A good source for learning about go is sensei's library: http://senseis.xmp.net/ It's a wiki about go, and a number of strong players (e.g. Charles Mathews, who wrote the "teach yourself" volume on go, "teach yourself" being a series of self help books) contribute regularly. Also, finding a good group of people in real life to play against is good. You can check on the AGA website (http://www.usgo.org/) for clubs in your area.
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Re: GO....

Postby Qoppa » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:28 pm UTC

I got really into it a while back, but never got very good. It is fun though.
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):0;%>O(x,l)??<_='['/7;{return!(x%(_-11))
?x??'l:x^(1+ ++l);}??>main(){t=&O;w=a();}
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Re: GO....

Postby zed0 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:29 pm UTC

There is also a club map for the UK.
If anyone lives around Leamington they should come along to our local club.
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Go / Weiqi / Baduk - Anyone play on KGS?

Postby Sam Weir » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:45 am UTC

Hi there -

I attempted to search for a pre-existing conversation about go, but it's a difficult search term. :-)

I am a beginner at go, ranked somewhere around 20k, and have played a bit here in the Boston area at a local go club.

Do any of you play go? Do you play on servers like KGS?

-sw
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Re: Go / Weiqi / Baduk - Anyone play on KGS?

Postby JayDee » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:56 am UTC

Sam Weir wrote:I attempted to search for a pre-existing conversation about go, but it's a difficult search term. :-)
Found it for you.
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Re: GO....

Postby Supergrunch » Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:29 pm UTC

As I've said earlier in the (now merged) thread, I'm BAZI on KGS, and am on the borderline between double digit kyu and single digit kyu. If you're weaker than this, feel free to message me and ask for a teaching game. We need more xkcd people on KGS!
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Re: GO....

Postby Pyrotix » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:04 am UTC

hehe, I recently heard people could still beat computers and decided I wanted to learn to play.

I now know the rules (I think...) but not much else. Played a couple of games, but I'm still in the strategically lost category. I'd play online with anyone willing to give a beginner a shot.

Also, what is a beginner anyway, 30 kyu?
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Re: GO....

Postby Supergrunch » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:06 am UTC

Well technically 30 kyu is defined as random play, so if you know the rules you'll alreagy be a bit better than that - maybe 27 kyu or something. As for actually learning the rules, the best tutorial I've come across is the interactive way to go - very much worth going through even if you think you already know them.
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Re: GO....

Postby zahlman » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:40 pm UTC

I am on KGS as Zahlman, ranked 1k there, and I teach obsessively in the Beginners' Room. :) Did the XKCD room end up actually getting created? I'll have to look for it...

BTW, 30k is NOT defined as "random play". It's simply the *assumed* starting rank of typical new players, and typical new players do a lot of reasoning that random play doesn't - like, for example, deciding whether or not there are still profitable plays, attempting to capture or avoid capture (very clumsily and wrongly of course, but the *idea* is there), etc. The actual strength of "random play" has been estimated by Aloril on KGS at about 110k (based on experiments with playing bots against each other, varying the randomization settings and playing many trials trying to find fair handicap and komi), but that depends on your exact definitions, anyway (in particular, what is the probability of passing at any given time?).

In short, 30k is a fair value to put for people who know the rules and even who have played a couple of games. This is based on the idea of rank tied to the handicap system (one rank diference = one handicap stone) and an estimation of how far it is from beginning play to "mastery" (in the "black belt", "now you can begin learning" sense ;) ). But it's not worth trying to measure a rank to the stone for players 20k and under - they are highly volatile. When I teach, I bin my beginner students into 20k, 25k and 30k categories, based on the *understanding they have demonstrated*. (After you "graduate" from the 20k class, you should then consider playing on the full size board, IMHO. You can try 13x13 as well, but I don't think the 13x13 board really teaches anything extra... although some students will find it more comfortable to transition gradually, so YMMV.)

But it should be noted that the 30k "floor" is far from universal. Traditionally the Koreans didn't measure rank below 18 "gup", IIRC, and 1-gup corresponds to the strongest amateur players who would be 6d or 7d in other systems! I've also heard of people starting at 40k (especially for children). You should know about this if you're recommending "the interactive way to go", anyway... after all, doesn't it start you off at 50k and promote you to 30k when you've learned the rules? ;)

@Pyrotix: People can still utterly destroy computers. On the full-size board, anyway. On 9x9, they're competitive with professional players now. Not too surprising, since IIRC the 7x7 game is considered solved now.

@btilly: I agree: awesome post.
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Re: GO....

Postby Yakk » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:32 pm UTC

zahlman wrote:@Pyrotix: People can still utterly destroy computers. On the full-size board, anyway. On 9x9, they're competitive with professional players now. Not too surprising, since IIRC the 7x7 game is considered solved now.


7x7 is solved?
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Re: GO....

Postby crazyjimbo » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:44 pm UTC

I play on http://www.dragongoserver.net/ . It is nice since games are not played in real time and so it feels more laid back, which I like. My username is crazyjimbo there and I would glady accept a game from anyone. I am still just a beginner although I have a basic grasp of strategies etc, and played for about 6 months before stopping for a year. I'm trying to get back into it now, but it is hard to find people to play except once a week at my local go club.

Feel free to start a game with me on http://www.dragongoserver.net/ or PM me if you would like to play and want me to start a game (it can be a little awkward to figure out).
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Re: GO....

Postby Supergrunch » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:28 am UTC

zahlman wrote:I am on KGS as Zahlman, ranked 1k there, and I teach obsessively in the Beginners' Room. :) Did the XKCD room end up actually getting created? I'll have to look for it...

BTW, 30k is NOT defined as "random play". It's simply the *assumed* starting rank of typical new players, and typical new players do a lot of reasoning that random play doesn't - like, for example, deciding whether or not there are still profitable plays, attempting to capture or avoid capture (very clumsily and wrongly of course, but the *idea* is there), etc. The actual strength of "random play" has been estimated by Aloril on KGS at about 110k (based on experiments with playing bots against each other, varying the randomization settings and playing many trials trying to find fair handicap and komi), but that depends on your exact definitions, anyway (in particular, what is the probability of passing at any given time?).

In short, 30k is a fair value to put for people who know the rules and even who have played a couple of games. This is based on the idea of rank tied to the handicap system (one rank diference = one handicap stone) and an estimation of how far it is from beginning play to "mastery" (in the "black belt", "now you can begin learning" sense ;) ). But it's not worth trying to measure a rank to the stone for players 20k and under - they are highly volatile. When I teach, I bin my beginner students into 20k, 25k and 30k categories, based on the *understanding they have demonstrated*. (After you "graduate" from the 20k class, you should then consider playing on the full size board, IMHO. You can try 13x13 as well, but I don't think the 13x13 board really teaches anything extra... although some students will find it more comfortable to transition gradually, so YMMV.)

But it should be noted that the 30k "floor" is far from universal. Traditionally the Koreans didn't measure rank below 18 "gup", IIRC, and 1-gup corresponds to the strongest amateur players who would be 6d or 7d in other systems! I've also heard of people starting at 40k (especially for children). You should know about this if you're recommending "the interactive way to go", anyway... after all, doesn't it start you off at 50k and promote you to 30k when you've learned the rules? ;)

@Pyrotix: People can still utterly destroy computers. On the full-size board, anyway. On 9x9, they're competitive with professional players now. Not too surprising, since IIRC the 7x7 game is considered solved now.

@btilly: I agree: awesome post.

I'd agree that KGS 30k is probably better than random, but I just remember reading on Sensei's somewhere that 30k was considered random... Anyway, my point was that although 30k is the "weakest" rank, a total beginner could easily be stronger than it. (I remember one guy who was KGS 18k on 19x19 after going through the interactive way to go, but I think he was a special case)
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Re: GO....

Postby alexgmcm » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:35 pm UTC

I started playing a bit over my last summer break and it was pretty awesome although it is more intimidating than chess at first because there is such a great variety of moves and strategies. I'll have to start learning and playing some more I think I got to ~16k in ranking so I never progressed much beyond being a total nooblet.

It'd be cool to play with some XKCD'ers as some of you seem pretty experienced and seem nice people as well so would be good to learn from :)
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Re: GO....

Postby goblin_subway » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:43 am UTC

I would suggest playing against real people whenever possible and start on a 9x9 then work your way up. Yahoo games has a Go room, its a decent intro. KGS is the way to go once you get comfortable. I dont really play online anymore, I conned enough friends into playing.
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Re: GO....

Postby semicolon » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:33 am UTC

goblin_subway wrote:Yahoo games has a Go room, its a decent intro.

NEVER play Go on Yahoo games. I've never been there, but from what I've heard, you could find more civility in bathroom stall vandalism. This is from the Sensei's Library article's discussion page on Yahoo: "I get stuck playing on yahoo every now and then when i cant get kiseido to work on the computer i am using. by the end of my game, i normally have thoughts of quitting go altogether."

Just play KGS. It's very newbie-friendly.
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Re: GO....

Postby Supergrunch » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:59 am UTC

Let me reiterate this point - Yahoo go is an abomination. I had heard it was bad, so I went there to check it out, and my God the rumours were right. Not only are the players rubbish, arrogant and rude, the graphics are horrible, and the rules aren't correctly implemented. And people exploit the holes in the rules to win. The rating system is also a mess.

So yeah... I suggest KGS.

Edit: Also guys, I think we should see about getting that xkcd room, and making it permanent. I'll need a few of you to join it at a particular time, and then I'll ask Javaness or someone to solidify it.
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Re: GO....

Postby Simius » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:16 pm UTC

Supergrunch wrote:Also guys, I think we should see about getting that xkcd room, and making it permanent. I'll need a few of you to join it at a particular time, and then I'll ask Javaness or someone to solidify it.


If we can agree on a Europe-friendly time, I'll be there. Perhaps Saturday evening 20:00 GMT or something like that? That'd be early afternoon for most americans.
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Re: GO....

Postby integral » Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:12 am UTC

I really like the concept of Go. Feels a bit like WC3 with all the surrounding and stuff. I really like how it can make a strategic game out of a few simple moves. Feels much more like war than chess or checkers.
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Re: GO....

Postby goblin_subway » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:56 am UTC

I am terrible at citations, but great at the story. As I remember, chess and go were both developed for the same reason. They were both opposed tactical simulations for military leaders. Go does a bit better job IMO as it also employs fortifications and supply lines. Just a thought.
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Re: GO....

Postby Supergrunch » Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:36 am UTC

goblin_subway wrote:I am terrible at citations, but great at the story. As I remember, chess and go were both developed for the same reason. They were both opposed tactical simulations for military leaders. Go does a bit better job IMO as it also employs fortifications and supply lines. Just a thought.

Whatever you heard about the origin of go is almost certainly apocryphal - nobody really has any idea how it started, though the equipment was probably used for divination before the game was invented, perhaps along the lines of casting stones across the board to predict astral arrangements, hence the star points. Anyway, at some point a game could have developed from this. Among the less feasible tales origin is one about an ancient Chinese (possibly divine) king inventing the game to strengthen the mind of his son. Either way, I don't think the associations with warfare were really thought of until westerners compared the game to chess, which is obviously some sort of battle simulation.

Anyhoo, anyone up for trying to make an xkcd room on KGS at a GMT friendly time tonight?
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Re: GO....

Postby Simius » Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:32 pm UTC

I'm at KGS at the moment. I'll make the room and then we'll see if we can get enough players to make it permanent.

EDIT: 2 xkcd'ers there now. Come on, people.

EDIT2: ah well, too late.
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Re: GO....

Postby semicolon » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:33 pm UTC

I started another XKCD room on KGS, I'll idle in there for a while and see how much activity it gets.
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Re: GO....

Postby no-genius » Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:34 pm UTC

crazyjimbo wrote:Feel free to start a game with me on http://www.dragongoserver.net/ or PM me if you would like to play and want me to start a game (it can be a little awkward to figure out).

I PM'd you. (Actually, I'm okay with a 13x13 game, 9x9 does look like it would be a bit teh suxxor.

Also, I don't really wanna play in real time, so I'm not that interested in KGS, but I don't mind helping you get the room permanent (seeing as I probably would use it at some point).
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Re: GO....

Postby zed0 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:01 pm UTC

I've put a room up again, I should be on for a good few hours.
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Re: GO....

Postby Nizzity » Tue May 20, 2008 1:20 am UTC

Hey, sorry if I'm resurrecting an older thread.
New forum member. Avid go player for almost 5 years. Nizzity on KGS also. I float around 1D there and currently have an AGA rating of 1.8.

If I'm online there, just PM me if you're interested in learning. I know actually enntwo from real life (went to same college and were both part of the go club).

I'm actually responsible for his nickname, I was the first Nick, thus his Nick-2 status.
Haha! Hi N2!
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Re: GO....

Postby Barthanatos » Thu May 22, 2008 4:39 pm UTC

If someone else lives in Kitsap county, and is inclined to play, let me know. I don't enjoy playing online much. I think the real-life version is much more enjoyable. I'm not terribly good, about 17k, I've been told.

I've made a trip to the Seattle Go Center, but it's really much too far to be worthwhile. Nice place, though. They have a HUGE library, especially of books written in Japanese (which, of course, I don't read).
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Re: GO....

Postby headprogrammingczar » Thu May 22, 2008 10:40 pm UTC

I'm in under the name juzz, but I have fewer wins than 4chan has nice people.
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Re: GO....

Postby zed0 » Sat May 24, 2008 11:47 am UTC

For the moment since it doesn't appear that everyone is getting on at the same time I suggest we use the "Mathematics" KGS room under Social since it sounds fairly apropriate as well as having a link to xkcd in the info. :D
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Re: GO....

Postby Xalerwons » Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:40 pm UTC

Another attempt at an XKCD room.

I'm in it currently, but I have some errands to attend to and I will probably be visiting the NYC Go Center later. So I'll probably get idle-kicked out of KGS.
I'll be in there all of the night and early morning (EST), though.


Ah and as for getting started:
What is Go?
Getting Started
Getting Started - Basic Go Problems To Solve
Discussing Go
More Go Problems
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Re: GO....

Postby Xalerwons » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:31 pm UTC

Bump.

Come on fellow go players. It's time to unburrow from the woodwork.
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Re: GO....

Postby ShaKri » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:58 pm UTC

i play on and off... but not very seriously...
the best i ever got was around 20k (mabe a little better)

but if it was more available to me (i dont like playing it on the computer ... otherwise KGS would be a soloution to this) i would be able to play much more often and improve ...

does anyone know if there are any largish clubs in or around Glasgow, Scotland ?
there is a club at my uni .. but the ppl there are like 2k and 1d and ... well im sitting there like this 0-0 ... so im wondering if there are any n00b friendly clubs in that area lol.

EDIT:
the reason i know roughly where i am is because there was a 16k guy there.. and the 2k guy told me his estimate on where i was based on how i played against him... but because of social situations... the 16k guy no longer looks at me .. let-alone plays with me ..
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Re: GO....

Postby zed0 » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:24 am UTC

The BGA (British Go Association) have a club map on their sitee which can be quite handy.
The only one I found in Glasgow was this one which I suspect is your uni one.
I play at St.Andrews Go Club when I'm home from university (probably most of the summer) and there are plenty of lower grade people there if you fancy a trek.

Personally I would just play handicap games against the higher grades in your club, maybe on 9x9 or 13x13 board if you still do badly. Make sure to get them to show you where you're making mistakes too.
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Re: GO....

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:00 pm UTC

Xalerwons wrote:Bump.

Come on fellow go players. It's time to unburrow from the woodwork.


Four and a half hours doesn't even come close to the acceptable time limit to bumping a post, nor does this post even come close to the requirement for doing so - namely that you are providing new information. Knock it off.
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Re: GO....

Postby ShaKri » Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:19 pm UTC

zed0 wrote:The only one I found in Glasgow was this one which I suspect is your uni one.

I play at St.Andrews Go Club when I'm home from university (probably most of the summer) and there are plenty of lower grade people there if you fancy a trek.

yeah that is the one :| .... i dont think i ever met the 6d tbh...

St. Andrews in Edinbourgh ?

if it is ... i might be able to make semi regular apearances there. (like 1-2 a month ... not weekly tho :( )
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Re: GO....

Postby zed0 » Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:33 pm UTC

No, St.Andrews in Fife (about 1 hours drive north of Edinburgh).
There is a club (linky) in Edinburgh though which I'm sure you'd be welcome at.
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Re: GO....

Postby Xalerwons » Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

So yeah, another try at the XKCD room.

It'll be under Rooms > New Rooms > XKCD

I'll try to stay logged on to KGS for a day straight, so people have a chance to drop by. With enough people, an admin can perm the room ^^
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