Craig Daniel

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I'm a beginning go player, 24 kyu according to Igowin, 29 kyu on IGS (where my username is Craig)

I'm using this page to ask questions, but right now I'm not sure what to ask.

If you leave your questions and their answers on the page (or move them somewhere else to another page) - they will be available to other people as well, which may come along later and ask the same questions....

Okay, some old questions and answers.

I don't know anyone who's better than I am. How do I find people to practice against? I'm assuming watching other amateurs does not give me the best insight into the finer points of strategy.

One good place is an online go server (I like NNGS.) Look in the LinkCollection.

Confused: I think for beginners KGS is more friendly and more rewarding.

tartuffe: KGS has wonderful teaching services with varying levels of organization, from the beginners' room to the KGSTeachingLadder.

sjd123: If you ask politely enough, you'll easily get a teaching game on KGS. You could even find a mentor using the KGSMentoringScheme

How do I interpret people's rankings? What are dan and kyu, and what do the numbers mean?

Roughly, kyu are beginner ranks and dan are strong (with both amateur and professional dan ranks.) 30k is rank beginner (can recognize board, remembers which color he is playing.)

I've never played in a tournament, so do I have a ranking? If so, what is it?

Somewhere between 30k and 20k, I expect. If you can, get on a Go server and play a few 9x9 games with a 25k or so player: that will give you a good estimate of your approximate rank.

tartuffe: The 30k-20k ranks seem to be more meaningful on KGS, though IGS is a great server, too. You're probably 20k when you stop saying "I'm pretty new at this."

How do you remember all those tesuji?

Beats me, the question is almost like asking programmers how they remember all those algorithms.

Confused: By falling for them over and over and losing many stones, until you start associating those pattern with pain and death.

What speeds up the process is reviewing your games on your own games after your done. Just walk through them quickly and look for your two worst moves. Then try to figure out if you find a better one or can avoid the situation completly. If you crushed your opponent, try to find his erally bad moves and see how well you'd have fared against them. This takes usually 10 or 15 minutes, and you can lay that game to rest afterward.

tartuffe: Do the 'easy' problems at until they are easy for you. Great site!

How do I interest my friends in Go?

Tell them that Go is the glass bead game in the book, Magister Ludi, and that if you master go you will understand the secrets of the Universe. Well, some of the them, anyway. ;-)

Seriously, play with them and have fun. May I suggest that you start out on the 9x9 or 13x13, so the games will be quick and not so overwhelming.

tartuffe: Introduce them two at a time (they play against each other) on a 9x9 board. First tell them that whoever captures the first stone wins. Try not to intimidate them with technical terms. If you play them let them win once so they can wonder 'how did I beat him that time?' Make them watch Pi. Also tell them that chicks dig guys who play Go.

Which tesuji should I learn first?

The ladder.

Confused: The one that hurts you most. That could be the ladder, the snapback or simply how to protect cuts on the second line.

tartuffe: Learning the net yields quick results (connection and eye shape) and is quite simple.

sjd123: I'd say the ladder is most important, if you don't know the ladder, youll waste loads of stones trying to play out of it.

What are the best go books?

tartuffe: Personally, I think the ElementaryGoSeries is fantastic. Bozulich's Second Book of Go is also definitely worthwhile. Going through books of problems will certainly make you stronger if you find problems appropriate for your level. Personally, I think all introductory books are about the same, so find one at a library if you think you need one.

Those you enjoy. :-) See WhatIsYourFavoriteGoBook.

Craig Daniel last edited by Phelan on January 26, 2009 - 07:28
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