Hi, I'm a total newbie to Go. The Japanese manga series Hikaru no Go just started running in the US Shonen Jump magazine and playing Go is pretty much the focus of the story. I thought it would be helpful to learn a bit more about the game so that I'd have a better idea of what was going on in the manga. I also realized that this was a classic game and I didn't know how to play it so it would be good to learn. I don't know how far this new interest will go, but for now at least I would like to learn the basics and get a good idea of how the game is played.
Oh, I also registered on both IGS and KGS as Dronak. I mostly use them to watch games now and then and read observers' comments about them. I try to pick up some information and see if I notice situations I read about here and on the web in real games. I'm not sure I'm ready to play people, but I play my computer once in a while (and usually get slaughtered). Feel free to contact me if you see me on whether you'd like to help me out or just chat. Thanks. :)
P.S. -- In case you didn't guess, I don't have a rank/rating, but if I need one for whatever reason it would have to be the lowest possible (whatever that is).
Zarlan: I'll teach you a few things then:
1. Computer opponents are to be played against only if you do not have access to real opponents and then only if the computer opponent is stronger then you.
In other words: Stop playing against your computer and start playing people. There does not exist such a thing as someone, who knows the rules, who is not ready to play people! You should have more confidence.
2. Lose Your First 50 Games As Quickly As Possible. In other words: play a lot of games. Don't think that much, just play. You will propably do a lot of mistakes, but so what? and it isn't like your opponents won't do some (I recommend playing 30k-28k and see where you get from there). After 50 (or maybe 100 ...actualy less, since you have played a bit already, even if it is only computer go) games you will have an experience which lets you avoid many basic mistakes.
OK, yeah, if you know how to play, you can play people. Before computers, you'd have no choice. But the computer is stronger than me, so I didn't think it was a huge problem to play against it for a little practice. Basically I wanted to use the computer to teach me how to avoid idiotic mistakes so that I wouldn't make them when playing people a bit later on.
And yes, I know to expect to lose a whole lot in the beginning. The thing is, I'd like to practice and learn go like I did chess. When my father taught us (me and my siblings), he'd talk us through games and explain why each move was good or bad. In the beginning, we'd normally take back really bad moves after a demonstration of why they were bad. As we got better, he'd decrease the number of comments he made and start taking advantage of mistakes, forcing us to start seeing them for ourselves. Eventually we'd have enough knowledge and experience that we could play a decent game. I've been waiting to see if I could find someone willing to do that sort of heavy talk-through instruction with go. Yes, I could just struggle through on my own, but I generally learn better by instruction than trial and error.
hotcoffee - I'm unlikely to be on KGS for a week or so now, because my laptop died, but add my name to your buddy list, and ask for a teaching game or two! I'd be really happy to help you improve and gain confidence.
My interests always come and go because there are so many of them. At the moment, I'm looking into strategy board games again, so I'm looking at go a bit more again. I'm not sure how often I'll get on KGS, but I'll try to look for you there, if you're still willing to do some teaching games. My general goal, at least over time, is to learn enough to play a decent game. I don't really want or need to be an expert, but I think I'd like to be able to play without making totally idiotic mistakes. :)
rosswerner: Hi Dronak, I saw your comment over on SLoT, and I was wondering if you'd be willing to try out the new version of SLoT that I've put together? I'm looking for lots of feedback so I can improve the software and make it as easy to use as possible. Thanks in advance!