I found this server some months ago and started to play on it almost exclusively for sometime.
The most attractive thing in this server is the style of go that is played there. It's a Go Fight Club! Every game is a hard fought and you will see your opponents Continue while dozens of points behind still hoping to make a comeback in a fight.
It is very good to sharpen your knife (reading) and learn how to face overplays and daring moves. After spending a few months on it, I became a dragon slayer (yes... big dragons never die...). Also, forget about joseki. Dashn is about fighting.
I liked its ranking system that is clear and simple, based on ELO rating system. Although most of the players there speak only korean, there is the avatars that allow some primitive communication and that are also fun.
This server has its own weakness too. The interface only run on Microsoft Windows OS with IE 5.5 or better installed. It's designed to run on 1024x768 resolution and is unusable on lower resolutions. This usually happens on other korean sites. I don't know if it's possible to run it on Wine, perhaps someone else can tell us about it.
The board interface (on 1024x768 resolution...) is very nice to play, but some go terms are not well translated (try to find the pass button...).
Overall, its a very good server to practice fighting. One of the strongest amateur (he is korean BTW) in my country once said: "If both players play the fuseki well, he who is good at fighting wins."
Finally, it seems that they want to promote the server outside Korea. Alexandre Dinerchtein 1 dan pro is promoting it and it seems that there are some free pro lessons and free pro commented games! Give it a try and go there to fight!
I played the first time on Dashn today. Good things first:
And then the bad things:
And the most stupid thing (ok, not as bad as the Exhange MAPI bug that occurs only on Athens and Helsinki time zones, but still):
Anyways, it looked like a good place to visit once in a while. Maybe not so interesting for beginners or middle kius, though.
I like the aggressive style of play. I'm sure soccer fans remember the Korea vs. Italy game from the 2002 World Cup. Remember how tenacious the Korean team was and how their passion and fighting spirit even led to dubious referee calls and how they finally turned the game around and won at the last moment?
Well, this is the go version of that game. You get to go through it every time you play at Dashn! If you play on this server, I am sure you will become stronger, faster than any other place. I'm surprised more international players aren't playing here.
Pajaro: I have been trying Dashn lately. There is now an "Universal Lounge", that is, a room where you are supposed to speak English. Go and give it a try!
Nacho: I tried it, but it's always empty. And apparently you can't challenge people in the Korean Lounge when you are in the Universal Lounge, so it seems it will be empty for a long time...
Hikaru79: Empty? o_o... I think you did something wrong with the client. Dashn is anything but empty... if you were referring to just the Universal Lounge, it is because an oddity of the client. When switching between the two lounges, it takes abouta minute for the user list to catch up. If you wait a bit, you'll see a sudden flood of the users in the Universal. :)
mdhI agree with Nacho. I just signed up and tried the client (compact version, no Inter patch) and I waited about 5 minutes and nothing showed up in the Universal Lounge. One person's name popped in and the popped out but no lists. Do you need the Inter Patch?
mdh Tried my first games on Dashn. I started as a 18k because ,well, I am not very good at tight fighting. First thing that came to mind. Not many really low level players to play at least on a weekend morning (USA Central Time). In both games, the other player tried to talk with me but of course it all comes out as strange gibberish since my client does not show Korean very well. But they kept trying. Second thing was both tried to cancel the game after a certin number of moves. The first game was about 60 moves before the Cancel request came. The next game was at the end of Yose and that Player asked to cancel the game. I didn't understand, I said no since it looked like a close game. I lost by 12 points so it wasn't that close. But is that a normal thing? Do other people get cancel requests frequently? (Jackalope on Dashn)
Floris: Something I do not like about DashN is the way it deals with ratings. A few months back i created a 3k account there. Played six games, three wins, three losses. Recently however I have taken on playin there again. So far I've won 13 games and lost 3, but I only got a promotion once. DashN works with rating points, slightly (mind you, slightly) like the EGF system and you are awarded points for each win. Personally I believe one should get more points per win for each consecutive win after winning three games in a row. The same goes for losing multiple games consecutively.
ilanpi I have played a little on Dashn with mixed results. I like the board interface and the instructions for scoring are easy to understand. In almost all cases, Korean opponents make an effort to greet me in English. There have been problems with the game freezing up on me, which happened on two occasions. Basically, the screen does not echo my move, opponent responds, and any attempt at a further move gets an error message "is not your turn." I ended up resigning those games. On one other occasion, it seemed fairly clear that my Korean opponent had some similar problem, which was resolved by the "cancel" feature (which I had not noticed on the other occasions). It seems very hard to challenge an opponent, you have to wait to be challenged. The only person who accepted a challenge was from Holland. I did get the definite impression that refusing to pass when your opponent passes is not appreciated. This, despite the never say die attitude described above. Perhaps the best feature of Dashn is the Life and Death game. There are 15 problems in 3 stages of 5. You have one free life + one extra life for each stage you complete, plus some random bonus life questions. If you fail to solve a problem, you fail the test. If you restart a problem you lose a life. In that sense, it is quite similar to a real life game and also similar to the goproblems.com time trial. The problems are rated by difficulty, starting at 15K. If I understand it correctly, you get 60 seconds per problem if the level is at or below your rating, and 90 seconds if it is higher (or maybe 2 ranks higher). I found many of the problems difficult, for example a 7 move under the stones problem at the 12k level. On the other hand, I believe that a week of 4 hours a day (starting at 15k and working up to 7k) improved my life and death skills more than any other method I had previously tried. There was one incorrect problem (correct solution was refused).
A few days ago (I think it was May 31, 2004), the server automatically installed a new version of the program. This version finally allows me to connect directly to the playing area without having to go through Internet Explorer! It says it is version 3.66 of the program. I am still using Windows Me though (yuck!).
The Dashn software does not automatically understand all neutral points since one of my opponents was given an extra point by automatic scoring. The problem is that the exact territory is not shown until after the game is officially over! It therefore seems like a good idea to fill all neutral points which require your opponent's extra connection. So far, only the KGS software seems to recognize all neutral points correctly.
ilanpi I finally figured out (by reading the instructions that pop up when you click scoring) that you can declare neutral points during scoring by simply clicking on them. This resolves the above problem.
Does any one know how to become a premier member on Dash. The recent change in the client has disabled many of the features except to premier members. I can not find any information on the webpage or in the help and no one on the server has known. Thanks.
ilan: It turns out that on Dashn, if the game is less than 20 moves old, than it does not count. In particular, I just played someone who resigned the game on move 17, just when I was feeling really good about having an early victory. Looks like KGS has it right by setting the limit at 10 moves. From now on, I will try to save my crushing moves till the 20th move.
BobSmith: It seems that a relatively high level of play is required to play on dashn. Around what level should one be to really begin to gain strength by playing on dashn?
ilan: I think that between 10K to 15K KGS level is a good time to start. You will quickly learn the "rules of engagement", that is, how to conduct running fights, and you will quickly forget all your false notions about "influence".
Rich: what are common false notions about influence?
IanDavis: Up until 10k I thought influence was somethig you jumped into and stole from your opponent.
ilan: Sorry, I meant true notions, as you would you read in professional game commentaries, but which have no meaning at this level of play.
muhihi?: I tested the server today and put my KGS rank (about 3k) as a starting point. Thinking now, I should have put 1d or 2d at least, I was crushing the low kyu people with hundreds of points. It was a blatant overplay festival, anyone who has enough confidence not to respond to every senseless move can get good results easily. Sacrificing a few stones to get huge influence feels almost like cheating. I don't think I saw any joseki sequences longer than 1 or 2 moves before branching out into overplaying. I think I'll enjoy the experience more with a correctly rated account...
To expand on this... I've now played some games there as a 3d* and still haven't lost a single one. Reading Attack and Defense for the first time in a while, I noticed page 21 has a very accurate description of how it works in Dashn, "One must not let oneself become obsessed with killing and capturing, like a certain player we knew whose sole purpose in the game was the destruction of enemy stones. This player was perhaps an extreme case. Territory meant nothing to him unless it contained a dead group. He mastered all forms of the eye-stealing tesuji and terrorized weaker opponents, but he generally fared badly against players of equal or greater strength." Also I think the difference between Dashn 3k* and 3d* is no more than two to three stones, leaning on the former.
--My korean father, who is a pretty strong casual player, was telling me that a handicap stone is worth 20 points. I thought they were worth only about 10 (indeed, a 1 stone difference corresponds to 6 points komi). I guess the fighting style lends itself to large swings, and that's why you have the smaller gaps than expected.