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 Post subject: Choosing the right Go stones
Post #1 Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:29 am 
Dies in gote

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Until the requirements are defined, many questions can't be sensibly answered.

I want a portable Go set-up that is optimized for catching people's attention visually, and then converting the visual attention into interest in Go.

I've already concluded that a nice quality 9 x 9 board with "large" stones is the broad solution. The board that I ordered should arrive tomorrow, but there are some open questions about the stones that I should get to go with it. Note that I DO NOT need nice bowls to go with the board; ease of transport is essential. At least to start, I'll put the necessary stones into zip-lock bags, and put them in my laptop bag, along with the board. Suggestions for more elegant stone carrying options that involve THIN enclosures for the stones would be appreciated.

After thinking about it for a couple of days, I'm almost convinced that I'm going to go with single-convex stones. Adding any requirement for dexterity will tend to detract from people paying attention to (and enjoying) the game itself. I'm open to being convinced that's the wrong way to Go, but that window is closing!

What SIZE stones would be best for a 9 x 9 game on a board measuring 14 x 13 x 2 inches, assuming the requirement is to make the game visually attractive and...unintimidating, for lack of a better word. In my mind, small stones tightly clustered look more complicated than larger stones spread father apart, which will look less threatening.

And finally, what kind of material(s) would you recommend? Cost matters a great deal, but stones that feel nice will be more attractive. Again, suggestions requested!

I expect to order my stones for this "Have Go Will Travel" set late today or tomorrow morning. Advice and suggestions greatly appreciated!

:salute:

TCS

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right Go stones
Post #2 Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:00 pm 
Gosei

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Chaosrider2808 wrote:
After thinking about it for a couple of days, I'm almost convinced that I'm going to go with single-convex stones. Adding any requirement for dexterity will tend to detract from people paying attention to (and enjoying) the game itself. I'm open to being convinced that's the wrong way to Go, but that window is closing!

Either is perfectly fine. I don't think either one has a higher "dexterity requirement" than the other.

Quote:
What SIZE stones would be best for a 9 x 9 game on a board measuring 14 x 13 x 2 inches, assuming the requirement is to make the game visually attractive and...unintimidating, for lack of a better word.

That sounds like kind of a weird size. Is there a big empty margin around the grid? I would expect the grid size to be about 24mm by 22mm, which would make the 9x9 playing area around 7.5 x 7 inches. Also, 2 inches sounds really thick.

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In my mind, small stones tightly clustered look more complicated than larger stones spread father apart, which will look less threatening.

I'm not sure I follow. I would think that for a given grid size, small stones will look farther apart and large stones will look tightly clustered. In any case, you want stones that are about as wide as the grid size is; anything else will look silly. Most go boards have about the same grid size and most go stones match that.

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And finally, what kind of material(s) would you recommend? Cost matters a great deal, but stones that feel nice will be more attractive. Again, suggestions requested!

If cost matters a great deal, get plastic. The next step up would be glass.

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Post #3 Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:18 pm 
Honinbo
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If cost matters a great deal, get plastic. The next step up would be glass.
Tradeoffs with plastic v. glass stones:
For coffee shop use ( not home ), I went full circle from cheap and thin (7-8mm) glass stones (~US$30) to "higher-end" Japanese glass stones (10+mm, US$100+) after a decade and back to US$25 ING 10mm weighted plastic stones. Re-emphasis for public, hard floor use.

Even the higher-end US$100+ 10mm Japanese glass stones are irregularly shaped (inherent to the manufacturing process; can't be helped), and they chip on a hard floor.

I've found, after 15 years' experience, the 10mm ING weighted plastic stones to be perfect for public use (hard floor). They're perfectly shaped (from a mold). Nicely weighted. And practically indestructible -- happily bounce off a hard floor, zero damage. Glass stones chip.

( Unfortunately, ING seemed to have discontinued the manufacturing of these weighted plastic stones ? So the AGA has the remnants for US Go Congress, etc. )

Clearly, I'm totally biased :blackeye: : I've listed (zero pros & only cons) for glass stones (high cost, irregular shapes, chipping); and (zero cons & only pros) for the ING stones. But that's been my experience and I stand by it.

For public use.

( Home use is an entirely different story. )

TCS: my avatar is the set people see at the coffee shop, for over a decade.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right Go stones
Post #4 Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:33 pm 
Dies in gote

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Thanks!

I re-booted with Go using this set:

https://www.amazon.com/John-N-Hansen-Ga ... =go+boards

It's a nice set and I like it, but it's a little bulky to transport.

What I REALLY wanted was the set that I learned on, which was graciously identified for me by another member of the list. There's one on ebay, and I'll eventually get that one or one like it for sentimental reasons.

Not surprisingly, I couldn't find a regular listing for a 50 year old model. So I ordered this one:

https://www.amazon.com/WE-Games-Wood-Pu ... =go+boards

...which should arrive Monday. I expect to like this one a great deal, but I'll know after it arrives, and I get to feel it.

After I realized that I wanted to find and/or generate new Go players where I live, I viewed it as a marketing and sales activity, and quickly concluded that a 9 x 9 board with large stones would best serve that purpose. In haste, I ordered this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Mountain- ... =go+boards

When I got it, it wasn't at all what I wanted. The board was just way too cheesy (money isn't the ONLY thing that matters!). The return process to Yellow Mountain via Amazon Prime was almost instant and entirely painless.

I decided I was going to get the board and stones separately, and I think I found the board that I want:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001A ... UTF8&psc=1

It's due tomorrow, and I expect it to be exactly what I want. I went round and round in my head and on Amazon about the stones, but then I settled on:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Y ... UTF8&psc=1

I think I'd like the size 5 better, but 25 bucks vs 15 bucks, for a silly millimeter wider? Nah.

The size that I mentioned was the PHYSICAL size of the board (which was a primary interest), and was not intended to describe the play-space. But I see how that could have been confusing.

I didn't do a good job of explaining the stone size/board size balance issue. I think a 9 x 9 board with big stones looks more warm and fuzzy, and a larger number of stones looks more intimidating. And it's much easier to see the patterns at a glance with a smaller number of large stones.

I'm not sure that clarification is any clearer...

Thx!

TCS

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