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^ #1 2015-10-21 04:03:37

Khelly
Division 6 keysmasher
From: Not Virrat
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 1,451

A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

This is the best introduction OP ever so I'm never not going to copy and paste it.

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Go is "the surrounding game".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irGmbwqqUNs

Xyven posted:
Go is one of those games where you don't win because you played better, but simply because you made less horrible fuckups than your opponent.

Under 15 posted:
People do worse online because they're usually smashed from drinking alone. This is because go is the most depressing game.

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Fig. 1. A typical scene from a game of Go

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Welcome to a thread about the most venerable and ancient art of igo or just go, also known as weiqi in Chinese, and baduk in Korean. Go is an ancient (estimated 2000-5000 years old) two-player board game from China which has simple, elegant rules but a vast, unfathomable complexity. It is also mainly about crushing your opponents spirit, whilst retaining the calm demeanour of a placid lake in springtime. Go enjoys great status in Japan, Korea and China but lives in the shadow of Chess in the west, which is a shame. It's a deeply aesthetically pleasing game.

Some reasons why people like go:

0. From simple rules comes elegance, beauty and complexity
1. You don't have to memorize loads of crap, you can rely on intuition and clever thinking
2. You can improve quickly by just playing (and losing!)
3. The vast possibilities mean you can play all kinds of different styles and allow your creativity to flourish even at beginner ranks
4. Do cool kung-fu sounding shit like Crane's Nest, Patting The Raccoon's Belly and Getting Mad As All Hell, Not Going To Take It Anymore

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Fig. 2. A nice thick goban (playing board) makes a great clacking noise when you slam the stones down to let your opponent know who's boss.

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I will not give the rules here in any detail; as you follow through this thread you will see links that explain it far better than I could. But here is a rough summary: A typical game of go consists of a board with a 19x19 grid drawn on it (a goban). The players take turns to place stones at the intersections of the gridlines, with the aim to surround more empty space (territory) than their opponent. Once a stone has been placed, it does not move- unless it is captured. Stones are captured when you totally surround your opponent's stones. Essentially, players gain territory by capturing their opponents stones and stopping their stones from being captured.

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Fig. 3. All the black stones here are in "atari" (ring any bells??). They're almost completely surrounded, and if it's white's turn, she will be able to completely surround them and remove them from the board. Not cool for black imo

But go is more than just trying to capture stones. It's essentially a game about balance; trading positions on the board in a struggle to get ahead, get the edge on your opponent, like an elaborate swordfight. When we play, we talk about concepts like "beautiful shape" and the "flow of the stones" on the board. The thinking isn't always so sequential as "if this, then that" like you might find in Chess. The players trade, fight and defend for their standing on the board in a number of ways using both local and global strategizing. When both players cannot find another move, they will both agree to pass, which signals the end of the game. They then count the number of points on the grid that their stones surround; the person with the most points wins. This is the essence of go. This explanation is a little vague, but the rules of the game are incredibly simple.

Now, take a moment to reflect on these visual introductions. Don't try and think too much, just absorb the nature of such things. Feel the empty board as a mirror of the cosmos n shit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UAD5oRB_qU

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A good start is to visit THE INTERACTIVE WAY TO GO, which will guide you through the basics. There are also plenty of books for beginners, so try looking on Amazon or GoGameGuru. Another good way to learn is to get online and ask for a teaching game - there are goons around who are happy to indulge beginners in that, too (see below). There's also this fairly decent video introduction, but it does cover quite a few concepts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gECcsSeRcNo

Warming up with AI

DON'T WARM UP WITH AI IT SUCKS AND YOU WILL LEARN NOTHING. Get online and play 9x9 games with either beginners or people who will teach you (see below). If you're still scared, play The Interactive Way To Go a few more times.

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Fig. 5. Playing go can be a very peaceful, spiritual experience. Respect for your opponent is a must at all times.

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There are a number of popular servers:

KGS - The most popular English-speaking server. It is notorious for having terrible admins and an client that is never updated, but once you get used to that, it's the best place to find a game.
OGS - An up and coming in-browser server that is feature rich, but lacks a playerbase. Keep an eye on this, I hope that one day it replaces KGS. It offers both real-time and correspondence games.
IGS - A much older server, I personally don't like it because the old client was terrible, but apparently it's got a new one now. Maybe explore once you've checked out KGS and OGS.
GoShrine - A lightweight in-browser server that's great for just getting online and having a game with a friend.

Just to re-iterate the point that once you're fairly happy about the rules, you can stop playing bots. They are no substitute for the real thing. You'll want to play actual people who can give you advice and make delightful chat with you in the process. The best way to do this is join your fellow SomethingAwful go players on KGS (Kisedo Go Server) or OGS (Online Go Server). Note that there are other servers, but KGS is generally considered the best for English-speaking players, as well as the client being the most user-friendly, although that is set to change if OGS gets traction over the next few years.

How to get online:

1) Visit the KGS website. Here you can launch the KGS client in your web browser, or download it to your computer.
2) Register an account.
3) Log in, choose the following menu option: Rooms -> Room List
4) Under the "Social" tab, find the room "SA" and double click. This is our public room, but it's not where we usually hang out.
5) Ask for permission to join "<REDACTED>", our private room.
6) Once permission has been granted, you can join by going Rooms -> Room List, and double clicking <DOESN'T APPLY HERE> under the "Social" tab.

Don't worry if you don't get an immediate response, someone should notice your request eventually. Try again at another time (evenings is best) if there's still nothing happening, or ask in the Ask/Tell Go thread. There is also an SA channel on OGS, which I am spending a bit more time on, so visit that server too as I generally prefer it to KGS despite it being hard to get a game there. The channel is called SA - you'll know when you see it on the Groups list.

There are also real-life Go clubs in a lot of places; most cities will have at least one but again it's dependent on geography. A Google search is usually the best way to find a local club, and most national association websites may also have a club directory. Playing go in real life is a very different experience to playing online and I encourage anyone with an interest in the game to seek out their local club.

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Fig. 6. Go clubs are the cool places to hang out. You can find most of the cool people there. At Go club you can just chill and do whatever and totally relax. "Take it easy" is the Go motto, for example, that's how laid back it is there. Show up if you want to have a good time. Another good reason to show up is if you want to hang out with friends.


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Player ranks are split into two groups: kyu and dan. Kyu-level players are considered beginners and intermediates, whereas dan-level players are considered masters. The ranks are split up as so:

Double-digit kyu: 30 to 20 kyu                       Beginner
Double-digit kyu: 19 to 10 kyu                       Casual player
Single-digit kyu: 9 to 1 kyu                         Intermediate amateur
Amateur dan:      1–7d (where 8d is special title)   Advanced amateur
Professional dan: 1–9p (where 10p is special title)  Professional Player

Go is pretty merciless at first. You will start around 30k. There is a well known proverb: "Lose 100 games quickly". This means that the best way to improve is just to play, and accept defeat. Get playing games, lose them, and study your losses until you achieve your first victory. The members of ITGO are always on hand to review games and offer suggestions on how to improve.

When I first started, I consistently struggled to win games or even understand what the hell I was doing. I think on the third day I played, I did something insane like 20 games, of which I won 2. I started at 28 kyu in March 2010. By next March I had a ranking of 8 kyu. That's not even that fast, I have seen people get to 2-3 kyu in one year. <NOT KHELLY> My suggestion is just to play, play, play. Some people like to study books and play a few select, thoughtful games; others like to just play lots and lots of games and develop an instinct through losing and winning. Either way, Go accomodates all kinds of approaches, it's just a matter of finding one that suits you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TApyjEGf7E
Fig. 7. See ~2:00 to see a typical demonstration on how best to deal with losing at Go. Not so fucken smart are u now John Nash

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Books are an excellent way to improve. My reccomendation would be to start with "The Second Book of Go" by Richard Bozulich, which is designed for people who know the rules but still have no idea what to do next. That book will take you quite far if you study all of it, but after that you might want to start dipping into the Elementary Go Series, which should take you all the way to 1k and maybe beyond. Another book you will see mentioned a lot is Kageyama's "Lessons In The Fundamentals of Go" which is a book that can begun to be read at 15k, and one you will find yourself re-reading on your road to 1-dan.

Doing problems are another great way to improve your skills, and many players will tell you it's the most effective way. You can find a set of beginner, intermediate and advanced puzzles and problems here, as well as the weekly problems on GoGameGuru. There's also the book set "Graded Go Problems For Beginners" which you should look to buy at some point. Finally, it's important to do problems that are high quality and teach basic concepts well, rather than user submitted problems on sites like GoProblems.com which generally suck as most things not written by professional players are.

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Fig. 4. Another typical scene from the end-game of go. Note the opponent trampled underfoot won, but fell victim to the nuclear tesuji.





Batt's Go Livestream - Livestreamed Go commentaries
/r/baduk, a surprisingly OK reddit Go community.
Nick Sibicky's Go lectures, a boatload of lectures from a 5-dan amateur
A solid overview on what this game is all about, from Wikipedia.
Sensei's Library. The de-facto Go wiki, full of loads of information about getting started and improving your game.
KGS, the best English-speaking Go server.
KGS Analytics, will give you statistics on your KGS games!
Life in 19x19, a popular Go forum, but kind of full of terrible people as well.
SmartGo, an excellent app for mobiles.

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Fig. 8. Go.... (fuck yourself??)



A lot of terms for this game are in Japanese and if you don't speak the language it can be hard to remember what they are. Here are some commonly used terms, but note that a quick Google search will give you more in depth results if there's nothing mentioned here:

aji - where dead stones come to life to haunt the opponent
atari - a situation where one or more stones are a move away from capture
fuseki - the opening moves of a game
hane - a cut (through your opponents stones to break them up)
joseki - a well-known series of moves that benefit both players
goban - a board on which go is played
komi - points given to white at the end of the game to make up for the fact that black goes first
sente - a move that forces your opponent to respond (players who "keep sente", that is, continue to play sente moves, are usually dominating play)
gote - a move that does not require your opponent to respond (i.e. they have the chance of playing a sente move)
tesuji - local play, usually where stones are fighting to capture each other
tenuki - playing elsewhere on the board



Final notes

Feel free to ask any questions in this thread. If any existing Go players have anything they'd like to add or correct in the OP just say so.


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^ #2 2015-10-21 04:04:34

Khelly
Division 6 keysmasher
From: Not Virrat
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 1,451

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

I'm 4 kyu which means I'm pretty terrible, but I can give you some even worse low dan advice about the fuseki because apparently that's where my fuseki is at.

I just played 7 games in two hours or so on IGS and went 3 wins 4 losses fuck my life.

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^ #3 2015-10-21 04:04:58

abraker
Mad Scientist
From: Experimentation Site
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 576

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

dank shit


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^ #4 2015-10-21 04:06:01

Khelly
Division 6 keysmasher
From: Not Virrat
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 1,451

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

abraker wrote:

dank shit

I WILL TRAIN YOU IF YOU MESSAGE ME

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^ #5 2015-10-21 04:06:58

abraker
Mad Scientist
From: Experimentation Site
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 576

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

I played go once, and I was very bad at it


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^ #6 2015-10-21 04:07:31

Khelly
Division 6 keysmasher
From: Not Virrat
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 1,451

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

abraker wrote:

I played go once, and I was very bad at it

I played go hundreds of times and I was very bad at it.

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^ #7 2015-10-21 04:09:41

abraker
Mad Scientist
From: Experimentation Site
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 576

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

Then which of us is worse?


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^ #8 2015-10-21 04:11:23

Khelly
Division 6 keysmasher
From: Not Virrat
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 1,451

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

abraker wrote:

Then which of us is worse?

Play me and find out: https://online-go.com/user/view/180575

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^ #9 2015-10-21 04:32:58

Khelly
Division 6 keysmasher
From: Not Virrat
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 1,451

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

https://online-go.com/game/3082009 Somehow I lost connection to ogs so it wouldn't let me finish this game but I tried to make every move in under 2 seconds.

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^ #10 2015-10-21 06:52:51

B1rd
-
Registered: 2015-10-19
Posts: 1,109

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

Why would you play that filthy chink game when you can play the vastly superior and noble European equivalent: Chess.

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^ #11 2015-10-21 09:08:38

enet
Womanizer
From: Deep inside you
Registered: 2015-10-19
Posts: 1,734

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

B1rd wrote:

Why would you play that filthy chink game when you can play the vastly superior and noble European equivalent: Chess.

I know right?  And it's so much easier to understand.


latest?cb=20100923045834

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^ #12 2015-10-21 09:20:21

Aurelianus Augustus
Restitutor Orbis
From: Provincia Pannonia Secunda
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 1,786

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

B1rd wrote:

Why would you play that filthy chink game when you can play the vastly superior and noble European equivalent: Chess.

Except it's Indian......

lol


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^ #13 2015-10-21 12:45:18

Khelly
Division 6 keysmasher
From: Not Virrat
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 1,451

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

B1rd wrote:

Why would you play that filthy chink game when you can play the vastly superior and noble European equivalent: Chess.


Chess is way more boring.

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^ #14 2015-10-21 12:58:19

B1rd
-
Registered: 2015-10-19
Posts: 1,109

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

Gilgamesh wrote:
B1rd wrote:

Why would you play that filthy chink game when you can play the vastly superior and noble European equivalent: Chess.

Except it's Indian......

lol

Knights and castles are European, not Indian.

Checkmate atheists.

Also get your arse in the chess thread I made, you mongrel. I thought you liked strategy type stuff.

Last edited by B1rd (2015-10-21 14:27:18)

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^ #15 2015-10-21 13:05:20

Khelly
Division 6 keysmasher
From: Not Virrat
Registered: 2015-10-20
Posts: 1,451

Re: A thread about Khelly's other game: Baduk

Then he should pick a game with more depth.

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