I am not even a Go player yet. I have only played a few face-to-face 9x9 and 13x13 heavily handicapped games against humans. I have played perhaps a dozen 9x9 and 13x13 games by email or on IGS against humans, and have only ever won when heavily handicapped and my opponent was careless. I am approaching my 100th game against computers but I am not close to losing my first 100 games against people. I have beaten the odd robot or SmartGo program here and there when handicapped, but certainly not with any kind of consistency and never when it was playing near its own maximum strength.
I find Go extremely frustrating and very depressing. Even a sense of positive humility would be a step up for me.
- tapir: hi raganwald, it is the same for everyone. most important of all, it is no shame to take handicap. i play for three and a half year now, and there are still some people around who can give me up to 9 stones on 19x19. my advice: play against humans as often you can. try to learn something from each game. take a look at BeginnerStudySection. don't play too slow, better play more often (if you helplessly behind, resign instead of suffering). ask what occurs to you after the game. see you.