A 9x9 board is the recommended board for beginners (or any Go player looking for a quick game, e.g. during coffee break...). The reduced size allows for shorter and simpler (not easier) games. It is a convenient size because it can be played on the lines of a (Western) chess board.
Tengen, the middle of the board, is an obvious first move. In 9x9 Go tactics are important. Strategy doesn't really apply. Less complex than 19x19 Go, it still makes an interesting challenge for professionals.
PlatinumDragon: In my opinion and experience, the difference between a 25-kyu and 1-kyu is less than 1 stone on a 9x9 board.
Balance138: I don't know what the difference is, but I give 4 stones to 25 kyu players and I am only 12 kyu.
- If you are wondering about 9x9 handicap and komi, see Handicap for smaller board sizes
- 9x9 Openings
- 9x9 Tengen openings
- 9x9 strategy
- The Art of 9x9 Go
- In a discussion of 9x9 games, a KGS player, Alexanro, suggested that there is a principle of maximum number of groups: Alexander's Law of 9x9
- It may sometimes be convenient to use a chess or checker board as an impromtu Go board. It has 8x8 squares so 9x9 lines.