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 Post subject: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #1 Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:49 am 
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Hi
I like the idea of a "beginners" collection to work through.

There is so much information out there to get lost!

But I notice that the listed Links for Beginners are too advanced for me:
- I don't know any Go terms (I can look them up at SL, but the posts are so full of them, I do not get one sentence)
- I don't know basic shapes, and I see tsumegos are all about them
- I got slaughtered by a 24k bot because I really do not know what I'm doing

Where/how to start??
Play games without knowing shapes?
Learn shapes on a board? (Is there some king of shape trainer app?)
Read books (which first?) to learn the language?

I think my basic questions are: theory first or practice?

Thank you for your help!

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I'm a complete beginner. Please be patient if my questions are stupid.
Please also keep in mind that I'm not a native speaker of English: I might seem impolite or unclear without intending to. Thanks for all help, it is much needed and much appreciated!

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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #2 Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:54 am 
Honinbo

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Jika wrote:
I think my basic questions are: theory first or practice?


practice. i got really into go after watching hikaru no go, and i learned the rules, hired a teacher, read books, etc., for about 6 months. then i taught my roommate in college, and he beat me the first time he played the game. i didn't have enough practical experience.

if you enjoy the theory and stuff, then go for it. if you like problems, solve them. but practice playing games is the best thing to do when you're starting out imo.

it helps if you try to win, or if you have a rival, too, i think. it is very frustrating at first, especially when you keep losing. but that frustration is turned around into satisfaction once you start to progress. it'll happen, but it takes time.

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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #3 Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:56 am 
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Practice, practice, practice! Lots of beginners get way too hung up on theory before playing any games, and often they end up giving up on the game because it seems too complicated. In the end, it's just a game you play against someone else, not a theoretical subject you have to master for your midterm.

Ideally you'll play against someone who can give you some (very limited!) advice after your game, so you have some sense of how to get better, but even bots are okay.

I highly recommend starting on a 9x9 board.


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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #4 Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 12:52 pm 
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I do think that a little bit of reading when first starting out can help. The first time I tried to learn go, I tried playing without reading anything and I felt hopelessly lost. In particular, reading about which moves to play in the opening and a few basic living / dead shapes can prevent the first few moves from being overwhelming.

That said, just from what you've said here I don't think that's a problem for you. It sounds like you've already read through much of an introductory book, so the most important thing to do is play games. You'll learn a lot just from playing, even if you're losing a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #5 Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:14 pm 
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Here is the minimal theory you need:

  • Generally, the first four moves in a game are close to corners (most often 4-4, 3-4 or 3-3 points).
  • Most moves in the opening are on the third or the fourth line, because it's easier to make territory on the edge than in the center.
  • The one-point jump (tobi) and the knight's move (keima) are examples of good shapes.
    Click Here To Show Diagram Code
    [go]$$B good shapes for black
    $$ . . . . . . . .
    $$ . . X . . . X .
    $$ . . . . . . . .
    $$ . X . . . . X .
    $$ . . . . . . . .[/go]
  • The ripped tobi and the ripped keima are bad shapes.
    Click Here To Show Diagram Code
    [go]$$B bad shapes for black
    $$ . . . . . . . .
    $$ . . X . . . X .
    $$ . O O . . . O O
    $$ . X . . . . X .
    $$ . . . . . . . .[/go]

Now you are ready to play! More theory will come later, after a few weeks or months of practice. Apart from playing, continue to solve easy tsumego sets several times, until the solutions become intuitive.


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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #6 Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:24 pm 
Honinbo

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Jika wrote:
Hi
I like the idea of a "beginners" collection to work through.

There is so much information out there to get lost!

But I notice that the listed Links for Beginners are too advanced for me:


Yeah, beginner is often used for double digit kyu players. And there is a big skill difference among them. So a lot of "beginner" material can be rather advanced for a rank beginner.

Quote:
- I don't know any Go terms (I can look them up at SL, but the posts are so full of them, I do not get one sentence)


Yeah, that can be a problem. :(

Quote:
- I don't know basic shapes, and I see tsumegos are all about them


That's why I recommend not spending much time on any tsumego problem (at your level). You can use the problems to learn basic shapes. :)

Quote:
- I got slaughtered by a 24k bot because I really do not know what I'm doing


There is a saying about learning go: Lose 100 games quickly. The point is, you can learn a lot just by playing. :)

Quote:
Where/how to start??
Play games without knowing shapes?


Yes!

I highly recommend starting out by playing the Capture Game, where the first player to capture a stone wins. Then you can move up to Capture Two, Capture Four, Capture Seven. (The more stones you have to capture to win, the more the game is like regular go. :)) I don't know if an bots on servers play the Capture Game, though. Capture is one of the most basic concepts of go, and learning how to capture and how to avoid capture are basic, as well. :)

Play on small boards, like the 9x9.

Play a 24 kyu bot on a 9x9 board and get a game review here.

Play a human on the 9x9 who gives you 9 stones and get a game review here.

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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #7 Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 8:58 pm 
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If you are having trouble finding a computer opponent that you can win against sometimes, try the opponents below the rules explanation here (play right in your browser!)
https://www.crazy-sensei.com/location=rules

Note that in these games, the scoring rule used is "your score is the number of your stones on the board after both players pass". That's it.

It's not exactly the same way of scoring as either of the two most common rulesets, but it is a very legitimate way to play Go, and if you become comfortable beating the bot with these rules, you should have no problem transitioning to more difficult opponents and to more commonly-used scoring rules.


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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #8 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 2:10 am 
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lightvector wrote:
Note that in these games, the scoring rule used is "your score is the number of your stones on the board after both players pass".


So once the territories are closed, if you are 5 points ahead, don't pass 6 times in a row...


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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #9 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 2:45 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:


Quote:
Where/how to start??
Play games without knowing shapes?


Quote:
Yes!

I highly recommend starting out by playing the Capture Game, where the first player to capture a stone wins. Then you can move up to Capture Two, Capture Four, Capture Seven. (The more stones you have to capture to win, the more the game is like regular go. :)) I don't know if an bots on servers play the Capture Game, though. Capture is one of the most basic concepts of go, and learning how to capture and how to avoid capture are basic, as well. :)


While most Capture/Atari-Go links to play online are dead, there is an App that looks interesting:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.gowrite.hactarLite
Seems to be linked to/from SL, and sounds like a real enthusiast created it!
Great idea to play this first.

Quote:
Play on small boards, like the 9x9.


I think I'll do that on https://www.cosumi.net/en/. Can't tell how strong the AI is, but great to try different board sizes.

Quote:
Play a 24 kyu bot on a 9x9 board and get a game review here.
Play a human on the 9x9 who gives you 9 stones and get a game review here.


Thank you. But I need to learn how to record a game for that...

_________________
I'm a complete beginner. Please be patient if my questions are stupid.
Please also keep in mind that I'm not a native speaker of English: I might seem impolite or unclear without intending to. Thanks for all help, it is much needed and much appreciated!

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Post #10 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 2:57 am 
Honinbo
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Quote:
But I need to learn how to record a game for that...
Hi Jika,

There's Go software for many platforms.
( Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, etc. )
You can ask questions here about specific computers and phones,
and people can help you with Go software.
This forum has existing threads for these topics.



As for your feeling of overwhelmed, it is also natural:
it's like you want to learn a new foreign language,
or learn to play the piano ( without any prior music lessons ),
or pick up photography...
the amount of available resources today is indeed overwhelming. :)
That's part of life in 2019. :blackeye:

Patience. And take baby steps, one step at a time. :)

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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #11 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 3:38 am 
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Many doctors make for a bad cure. So jika, go with what's above. But if you remain confused, return to this thread and try the following:

Play a bot or yourself or a friend, on a VERY SMALL board, like 5x5 or 7x7 with the objective to END UP WITH MORE STONES ON THE BOARD THAN THE OPPONENT
Essentially, this is the same game (and some claim it's how the game originated)
The small boards make for quick iterations and remove the burden of choice.
You will quickly discover concepts like eyes, territory, ko, seki ... all by yourself

See https://senseis.xmp.net/?DieterVerhofst ... troduction

If you want a more guided discovery, there's a very nice interactive tutorial (but technically somewhat outdated, as you need adobe flash)

http://playgo.to/iwtg/en/

It gives you problems starting at 50 kyu, which means you know nothing about the game, and ending at 35 kyu, meaning you are ready to play a game.

From there our friend's Yee Fan's tutorial can take you to DDK: http://yeefan.sg/weiqi/howtoplaygo/


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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #12 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 3:55 am 
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Quote:
But I need to learn how to record a game for that...


If you play on a server, you usually have a button to save the .sgf file.

If you play against cosumi, after the game click on "replay the game" and the sgf should appear in a box like this:

Attachment:
capture.png
capture.png [ 19.02 KiB | Viewed 415 times ]


Then, if you want to post your game on the forum to have it reviewed, copypaste the sgf code and put it inside sgf tags like this

Code:
[sgf](;GM[1]FF[4]PB[You]PW[COSUMI(Level 0)]SZ[9]KM[0]RE[B+80]
;B[gd];W[cf];B[dc];W[fg];B[cg];W[df];B[bf];W[gf]
(;B[cd]C[Bad move];W[be];B[bh];W[af];B[bg];W[ce];B[dh];W[ab]
;B[bc];W[bb];B[cb];W[eh];B[fd];W[ci];B[di];W[ag]
;B[dg];W[ee];B[gh];W[eg];B[hg];W[bi];B[ei];W[dd]
;B[ed];W[bd];B[de];W[ge];B[ac];W[];B[])
(;B[be]C[Good move]))[/sgf]


Note that the forum's sgf viewer doesn't support non-standard board sizes.


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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #13 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 6:35 am 
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Jika, have you seen 'Interactive way to go': http://playgo.to/iwtg/en/
I noticed a version of it is still up. That where I started 16 years ago. That's really for actual beginners and you don't need to know anything beforehand. It uses flash though, but at least it worked in my browser.

EDIT: Funny I missed Knotwilg suggesting the same thing 2 posts up.


Last edited by zermelo on Fri May 31, 2019 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #14 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:31 am 
Honinbo

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Quote:
Play a 24 kyu bot on a 9x9 board and get a game review here.
Play a human on the 9x9 who gives you 9 stones and get a game review here.


Jika wrote:
Thank you. But I need to learn how to record a game for that...


Go servers automatically record your games for you. At least if you have an account. :)

_________________
The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

— Winona Adkins

I think it's a great idea to talk during sex, as long as it's about snooker.

— Steve Davis

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Post #15 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 11:03 am 
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Thanks to all who recommended capture go!!

I've lost and won several games on a 5x5 board, and, while losing in such a sandbox is embarrassing, it is a joyful way of suffering because I'm starting to see something like patterns, what works and what doesn't.

I'll spend some time on that! Great!

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I'm a complete beginner. Please be patient if my questions are stupid.
Please also keep in mind that I'm not a native speaker of English: I might seem impolite or unclear without intending to. Thanks for all help, it is much needed and much appreciated!


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Post #16 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 5:05 pm 
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How ever did I get by with just Korschelt and a couple of patient people at a club?

There is so much. But ultimately you have to take your fingers and place stones on the board. It's easy to forget that.


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 Post subject: Re: What if the useful links for beginners are too advanced?
Post #17 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 10:02 pm 
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Sorry, need to correct myself:

What I'm pleased with is not Capture Go (will try that with the Hactar App), but the link from lightvector

https://www.crazy-sensei.com/location=rules.

Which does the same as Knotwilg suggests, play for maximum pieces on the board.

[url]on a VERY SMALL board, like 5x5 or 7x7 with the objective to END UP WITH MORE STONES ON THE BOARD THAN THE OPPONENT
[/url]

There are multiple captures, and I try to win, then try to win with the smallest number of moves.

@ Calvin Clark: I agree this would be very good, too.
But I have no club nor anyone who wants to play Go - the nearest Go club is some journey away (have no car).
I'll certainly go there, but thought it best to know the game a bit before.

It would be fantastic to have a local Go club, like we have two Chess clubs...

Question: Would some of you agree with me that the suggestions on this thread are helpful for beginners, and maybe add them (moderators?) to the list of links for beginners, maybe as "what to do as first steps"?
Thanks!!

_________________
I'm a complete beginner. Please be patient if my questions are stupid.
Please also keep in mind that I'm not a native speaker of English: I might seem impolite or unclear without intending to. Thanks for all help, it is much needed and much appreciated!

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