Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: New Go player

  1. #1
    Khahan Guest

    Default New Go player

    About 2 years ago my Sensei introduced me to Go. We played I think 2 games. I got a Go set for Christmas 2 years ago and my wife and I played 1 time.
    We were both rather confused by the scoring and dealing with a couple of situations we ran into and kind of gave up on it.
    For the past few weeks I've been following links from this forum and reading various tutorials on Go (thank you all, by the way, for posting very helpful information).
    Last night I went to yahoo games and played my first 2 games of Go (getting royally whooped), but luckily found somebody who was willing to take some time and patience and teach me as we went.
    My question is this: How long does it usually take to pick up basic understanding of simple strategies for a 9x9 board?
    I learned a few things last night, but really didn't get any better.
    If I'm going for a week and still haven't really picked anything up is it hopeless for me? A month?
    Or this the type of thing that could commonly take months just gain a basic understanding?
    Just looking for some advice on my own self encouragement.
    Thanks all.

    Greg Hoover

  2. #2
    Khahan Guest

    Default

    Actually, I have a 2nd question about Go. What is the best way to learn offense?
    I feel pretty comfortable getting my own corner of the board and just getting my own territory secure. I've gotten a little better at dealign with people invading my territory and think I have enough to progress in that area on my own.
    But what about invading other people's territory? Any helpful tips or hints on that?
    My past few games I've been able to secure enough territory to give my opponent a good run for their money at the end when points are added up, but usually the captured pieces are like 10 to 1 or 18 to 2 or some such out of whack proportion.
    Thank you,

    Greg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    131
    Likes (received)
    0

    Arrow

    Howdy Greg!

    Welcome to the world of Go! Watch out ... once it has you in its grasp you'll never get loose!

    Lots of questions ... . I'll try to answer a few from my perspective.

    How long does it usually take to pick up basic understanding of simple strategies for a 9x9 board?
    Playing on a 9x9 board tend to help with localized TACTICAL situations (not alot of strategy used compared to a full sized board). Also helps with familiarity with endgame type moves and such. The advantage is that a game on a 9x9 takes only a few minutes and many games can be played in a short time. If you want to start trying out more of the STRATEGIC aspects of the game without getting lost on a full 19x19 board, then try a few games out on a 13x13 board. On a 13x13 board, strategic concepts like thickness, influence, joseki, attack and defense (strategic and tactical), etc. start to come into play. The advantage is that a game on a 13x13 takes only a few minutes and many games can be played in a short time.

    I learned a few things last night, but really didn't get any better.
    If I'm going for a week and still haven't really picked anything up is it hopeless for me? A month?
    Or this the type of thing that could commonly take months just gain a basic understanding?
    Play many games! Experiment with your own ideas. Try to figure out why certain bad things happen over and over again. One of the main purposes of 9x9 games is to familiarize yourself with some of the basics. It doesn't take long and you'll never be "hopeless".

    After several games and you feel like you're getting a handle on scoring, endgame type moves, etc., then move on to 13x13. Approach it the same way ... Play many games! Experiment with your own ideas. Try to figure out why certain bad things happen over and over again. 13x13 games is simply another building block for familiarity. Then you'll feel ready for the full 19x19, which IS go.

    Actually, I have a 2nd question about Go. What is the best way to learn offense?
    I feel pretty comfortable getting my own corner of the board and just getting my own territory secure. I've gotten a little better at dealign with people invading my territory and think I have enough to progress in that area on my own.
    But what about invading other people's territory? Any helpful tips or hints on that?
    I think you're still refering to a 9x9 board. Studying life and death can help ... there are many life and death problems on the net that you can try. Sometimes somewhat easy life and death problems can be difficult when beginning Go, since a beginner may not be very familiar with the VERY basics (eye space, etc.).

    Becoming more familiar with life and death will help you in determining whether you CAN invade or not (whether there is enough space, etc.), as well as in the timing of your invasions.

    BTW, playing on a bigger board allows more opportunity to experiment with invasions vs. reducing moves.

    Anyway ... after playing several games (9x9 and 13x13), should you still feel completely lost ... then you could start with some basic Go books to help point out some basic simple concepts that would help immensely. You'll eventually want to start a Go library anyway to study various areas that interest you. The Second Book of Go and The Magic of Go (very basic, but excellent)are very helpful books while still learning Go (both available from www.kiseido.com). There are many other beginning books by other publishers too, but I'm not as familiar with them. Maybe someone else can comment on beginner books by publishers other than Kiseido (like Samarkand, Yutopian, etc.). Eventually you may want the Elementary Go series by Kiseido as well as other books that interest you.

    BTW, you'll know when its time to move on to 19x19 boards.

    I must point out that there is always something more to learn and it can take a lifetime of enjoyment in learning Go. That's one of the attractions of Go. Just remember not to get discouraged, since you don't need to be a professional to enjoy Go. From the day you start, win or lose, you can play many enjoyable hard fought games. Enjoyment is not dependent on your skill level.

    Ooops ... this is getting longer than my big winded self is used to ... Hope this helps.

    Enjoy!

    mikehansen

    P.S. I'd be happy to play some games with you ... then we could discuss different aspects of the game as they come up.

  4. #4
    Khahan Guest

    Default

    Thanks for the reply Mike. I did discover, rather quickly, that the 9x9 board can be somewhat smothering. I already prefer playing on the 19x19 board (having skipped the 13x13).
    If you get onto yahoo go at all, I am there with the handle khahan_gunn.
    I tried a few other online Go sites listed in this forum, but none of them really worked for me. I can usually be found in the evenings (eastern standard time) and weekends.
    I'm going to try and get a few books and will look into those 2 you recommended.
    By the way, could you explain Joseki to me? I've seen the term before but exactly what this is has evaded me.
    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    131
    Likes (received)
    0

    Post

    Greg,

    To define "joseki", I'll refer to Toshiro Kageyama's book ...Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go (another kiseido book).

    He says, "... stones played in accordance with a fixed formula in the game of go." and "Joseki's are composed of the best moves for both sides, or of essentially equal variations. Moves that depart from joseki are usually bad and deserve to be punished."

    In other words, joseki are established patterns (usually, but not limited to corner patterns) that result in equally satisfying results for both black and white. If the results weren't equal, then either black or white (whichever is getting the raw end of the deal) wouldn't play a bad variation and the pattern wouldn't be established as joseki.

    There are literally thousands and thousands of joseki and new ones are created all the time (at least amongst pros). New board positions may require new variations and therefore new joseki. Joseki aren't really to be memorized and played as a memorized pattern, since every situation is different and different joseki (or departure from joseki) may be appropriate in any given game.

    Attached below is an example of a short, simple and common joseki (starts with a kogeima-small knight approach to the 4x4 point). Of course there are variations.

    Anyway ... not something for beginners to worry about. Typically, everyone picks up many of the common joseki by just playing. When you become interested in studying joseki, I would highly recommend first reading Chapter 7 of Kageyama's book that I quoted from above. It puts joseki and the study of joseki in proper perspective. Should you study joseki improperly you'll more than likely become weaker, rather than stronger. Kageyama's book is excellent by the way and everyone should read it at least once (beginner to expert).

    I'll have to try yahoo out and play some go with you!

    Enjoy!

    mikehansen

Similar Threads

  1. Baseball player thinks he's a ninja
    By Baio in forum Ninpo and Ninjutsu
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 27th January 2009, 20:33
  2. Best of Kuzushi Thread
    By kimiwane in forum Aikido
    Replies: 208
    Last Post: 20th March 2006, 00:34
  3. The Poker Thread
    By CEB in forum Member's Lounge
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 11th January 2006, 17:45
  4. Getting slightly worse
    By unagi in forum Member's Lounge
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 15th April 2004, 00:12
  5. Player, Judoka, Judoshi.
    By dakotajudo in forum Judo
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 31st May 2001, 18:07

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •