Hand Of Paper
I started playing Go around Feb. 10-12(?) of 2004. I have had a few highlight games so far (maybe I'll include these later).
On April 12, 2004, I set up a KGS account with the name D239500800. As it says in my KGS user info, 239500800=12!/2. Therefore 239500800 is the order of the alternating group on 12 letters. D is my first initial and D239500800 is the dihedral group of order 2*239500800 which, like the symmetric group on 12 letters, has a subgroup of index 2 and order 239500800.
Sometime in May, I got an account on gobase.org, choosing the username HandOfPaper. My reason for choosing this username is as follows:
In Hikaru no Go, everyone talks about "obtaining the hand of God", by which they mean learning enough and practicing enough to have the strength to play optimally (i.e., as God would play). The Japanese word for God is kami, which is also the Japanese word for paper. Additionally, it is possible to joke that, since paper is good at covering things very efficiently and it is very flexible, this also represents my ambitions to become better at getting myself out of trouble and building large moyos (thanks to those on KGS who participated in this discussion).
It does not represent intentions to be easily cut, burned, or things like that which can be read from the word paper.
As for me, I learned of a Go club at MIT last term, but I did not get to attend because their meeting time conflicted with my class schedule. Now I am back in Miami, Florida, far from Go clubs I know about and the only reason I am not starved for Go is KGS. Well, theoretically, a game could be played on this website (for instance, in the Sandbox), but I don't know how people would react to the idea...
Notochord: There appears to be a Miami Go Club: http://www.usgo.org/usa/chapclub.asp#FL If you haven't already investigated AGA chapters, they are a pretty good way of finding clubs. If you are keen on the idea of playing go in a browser sort of a la sensei's, there is DGS. There are other real-time go servers too, aside from just KGS...
I know about IGS. I have also heard of NNGS. The reason I don't play on IGS is that that my only computer access currently comes from my family's Windows 98 computer which crashes very often. IGS would require the downloading and full installation of yet another program and I would be desperate to do that, were I not already playing go online with another program. Since I have KGS, I will not download yet another program. Thanks for telling me about a Miami Go Club, Notochord. Thanks for telling me about the Ongoing Games page, Mef.
Notochord, the Miami Go Club, if it still exists, does not meet at the Monday time and place described on the website. I know this because I tried going on the 12th of July.
For fun, here are some basic reasoning exercises to give to beginners to see if they understand the rules of go:
1. Black has a group in atari. It is White's turn. Yet White may not capture that group of Black's. How many stones are in Black's group?
2. I played an opponent. At the end of the game, I had a lower prisoners + territory total than my opponent and yet I won. Why? (By the way, I really have played a game like this on a 9x9 board. This is one of my highlight games, and I do plan to post this one sometime.
News as of 7/16/2004: I have also lost a game this way. There were no captures and no dead stones in this game and I made one more territory point than my opponent did.)
1. Black's group contains 1 stone. It was placed in atari by capturing an isolated stone of White's on the most recent move. Therefore White must wait a turn before recapturing. How to reason it out:
The only rule in go (assuming the most basic ruleset) that can prevent the capture of an opponent's group is the ko rule.
2. I was white, and the game was close enough that I won on account of komi.
Here I thought I would include a strange seki I find interesting (two eyes are given to the black group on the outside just to make it absolutely clear it is alive):