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 Post subject: Chinese Goban and Korean Stones
Post #1 Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:53 pm 
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I’ve given up on finding a used board in a beginner’s budget in NYC, and was looking at getting a board and stones from Yellow Mountain Imports: I don’t know why it would be an issue, but I noticed that the board was Chinese dimensions and the stones were Korean dimensions. Is that any kind of a problem?

Any other mistakes it looks like I’m making? I’d appreciate any advice as a newbie looking to spend ~$200 or so on a set and stones.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/s1sxsp394ew6h ... stones.jpg

Board: 2” Bamboo board with Chinese Grid Size: 23 x 25 millimeters, and the board measures 18.5 x 17.3 x 2 inches (47 x 44 x 5 centimeters).

Korean Size 33 Glass: 22mm x 9.5mm black stones and 21.8mm x 9.3mm) white stones

Bowls: says they’ll fit up to size 37

Any help would be super appreciated!

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Post #2 Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:53 pm 
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jackrimonious wrote:
I don’t know why it would be an issue, but I noticed that the board was Chinese dimensions and the stones were Korean dimensions. Is that any kind of a problem?
In my opinion, this is not a problem at all. Chinese dimensions are slightly larger, but the difference is not very much. If you did the other way around (Japanese board, Chinese stones) then the stones might tend to overlap slightly and be cramped, but even this is not generally a problem.

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Any other mistakes it looks like I’m making? I’d appreciate any advice as a newbie looking to spend ~$200 or so on a set and stones.
Just be aware that a 2" bamboo board is heavy. Heavier than you might be thinking. Maybe that totally doesn't matter, but you should be aware.

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Post #3 Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:03 am 
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Just be aware that a 2" bamboo board is heavy.
And hard, and slippery.

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese Goban and Korean Stones
Post #4 Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:51 am 
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If you are living in NYC you might consider visiting some Korean stores in Queens. Along the way I bought a folding board and glass stones in a Korean grocery shop. It is basic level quality but would work fine. Total cost was about 20 USD. This was decades ago so it is probably more now but I guess it would still be well under your budget limit. You would have to find something to use for the stones. People have used plastic food storage containers available cheap at every supermarket.

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Post #5 Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:14 am 
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The other board I was considering was this 1.6” Shin Kaya board... my roommate and I both play, so I don’t mind a big heavy board that we can leave on our coffee table… I wouldn’t mind a folding board, but most of the reviews of folding boards that I have seen are not very positive. If you have a recommendation of a nice folding board that I can actually get in New York City, I would be interested!

For a while I was thinking shell stones and a folding board from kurokigoishi, but with shipping, it would come out to about $400, which is a little more than I want to spend.

It seems like my only options are YMI or kurokigoishi... I’ve wandered through Chinatown and Koreatown and queens, everything I’ve seen has been pretty low-quality and expensive.

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Post #6 Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:09 am 
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Over the last few years, go equipment supplies in the States have dried up as shops and online dealers went out of business, the few remaining items became very expensive, and selection reduced to a frustratingly narrow range. When folks drop into this forum looking for gear, I always recommend shopping carefully for used equipment on eBay, craigslist, etsy, and any other online marketplaces they might trust.

All of my recent go-related purchases (new superb camphor bowls, forty-year-old 5cm kaya board, twenty-year-old snow shells, weirdly mistaken "salad bowls with lids", and a few more items) have been, even with shipping, reasonably inexpensive and fun additions to the equipment collection.

Ebay at this moment has several interesting table boards for $100-300, various sets of stones and bowls, and complete sets. Our own Erythren is a dealer in new and used go equipment and his eBay store always has an ever-changing selection of interesting stuff for sale. The global selection of used equipment changes from day to day. Buying with confidence requires patience and tediously learning to ignore the junk.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Go-Board-KATSU ... SwB3JdakWy

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Last edited by bogiesan on Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

This post by bogiesan was liked by 3 people: Applebaps, Erythen, foobar19
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 Post subject: Re: Chinese Goban and Korean Stones
Post #7 Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:20 am 
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jackrimonious wrote:

For a while I was thinking shell stones and a folding board from kurokigoishi, but with shipping, it would come out to about $400, which is a little more than I want to spend.




Yes, I realize $400 seems like a lot of money. But that's only 15 nice lunches in New York City or 50 lattes at Starbies. A set from Kuroki is not something I think you would ever regret buying even if you stop playing go a fe years from now. You can buy from KGI with total confidence in the quality of the materials and their careful packaging for international shipping. And, if this matters, Kuroki supports a diminishing network of traditional craftsmen. You would be supporting one of the few remaining makers and suppliers of classically high-end go and shogi equipment still operating in Japan.

Here are three other sources you may wish to consider if you decide to spend $400-$1000 at a traditional Eastern go supplier (sorry, can't help you on the Japanese or Korean translations):

https://www.maekawa-kayagoban.co.jp

http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/engli ... rsion.html

http://6brothers.net

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Post #8 Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:55 pm 
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Shipping cost added, this set is probably ~200USD:

http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go1 ... su7go.html
http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go7 ... xume1.html
http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go1 ... toku7.html

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese Goban and Korean Stones
Post #9 Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:28 am 
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9think wrote:

Thanks: I’ll check it out! Are these glass stones generally nicer than the ones from Yellow Mountain Imports? Is there a reason to spend the extra $80 is what I’m asking; again, I’m very new.

I think my main question at the moment is pros/cons of shin kaya vs bamboo? And the difference between these biglobe items and the YMI items.

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Post #10 Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:50 am 
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jackrimonious wrote:
I’ve never spent $8 on a latte: $400 is also more than 2 months of food?


Ah, parsimonious to a fault. Lunch at a “nice” place in Boise, Idaho is going to run $20, $30 if you have desert and espresso. You obviously do not tip.

jackrimonious wrote:

I appreciate that, but I probably can’t afford the mistakes it would take to learn what is junk, and this floor board is more than my entire budget (and I don’t really want a floor board).


You don’t need to spend money to learn how not to waste your money. You find a set you think is a good buy and then you simply ask here for suggestions and advice. The floor board was just an example and should have led you to the rest of the interesting offerings on his eBay shop. Guess you missed those.

jackrimonious wrote:
I think my main question at the moment is pros/cons of shin kaya vs bamboo? And the difference between these biglobe items and the YMI items.


Bamboo is a high pressure mashup of grass and polymers. totally sucks as a playing field. Compared to wood, bamboo is heavy, obnoxiously loud (some folks like that), hard and slick like plastic. Sure, bamboo is grass, but when you make floors or go boards out of it, bamboo feels artificial because of the polymers baked into the composite. A bamboo go board is imminently affordable. Wood is wood and wood is good. Stones... I have had many glass, plastic, and ceramic sets from Korea, China, Taiwan/Ing, China/Yunzi, and Japan. The Japanese glass remain my favorites and most of the others have been sold or given away. My shell sets are not in consideration. Bowls... wood is nice, sure, but plastic gets the job done without the anxiety of mistreatment by ham-fisted beginners.

Evaluating the pros and cons of the numerous materials the three parts of a go set can be made of is a complicated process. A nice set is as much about taste as budget. Aesthetics are expensive. These decisions are easier if you have access to samples. Apparently you do not and that’s a bummer because now you only have us and it’s not our money.

My advice: Get the set you want to think you can afford. Upgrade the individual elements as opportunities arise and your desires sync up with your disposable income availability as well as your go skills.

Here’s an ala carte set from biglobe’s inventory that is less than $150:

Japanese glass stones, anything thicker than 6mm will be fine. These 7mm stones are $55. (I paid $40 for my 9mm Japanese glass set 40 years ago.)

http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go7 ... kura1.html

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with plastic go bowls (I’ve got two pairs) and they’re $25. True, chestnut bowls are only $70 but plastic bowls are great for a traveling set. Wait till you can afford $250 keyaki bowls. (My first plastic bowls were $5.)

http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go1 ... boku1.html

A folding wooden board, 1/2 inch or more (1.3-2.0cm) $70-100. (My first slotted board was $20.)

http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go1 ... naru2.html

You will need a bag or duffle in which to carry your set and it needs to be large enough for protective padding. This is the unit I’ve got (patterns and colors vary). I lined it with an old yoga mat, $30.

https://www.rei.com/product/137645/rei- ... duffel-30l

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese Goban and Korean Stones
Post #11 Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:01 am 
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bogiesan wrote:
Ah, parsimonious to a fault. Lunch at a “nice” place in Boise, Idaho is going to run $20, $30 if you have desert and espresso. You obviously do not tip.
Be nice, please. (This applies whether or not you are just joking around.)

$400 is a lot of money for many people, and not everyone has the same priorities.


This post by dfan was liked by: Bonobo
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Post #12 Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:24 am 
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bogiesan wrote:
Bamboo is a high pressure mashup of grass and polymers. totally sucks as a playing field. Compared to wood, bamboo is heavy, obnoxiously loud (some folks like that), hard and slick like plastic. Sure, bamboo is grass, but when you make floors or go boards out of it, bamboo feels artificial because of the polymers baked into the composite. A bamboo go board is imminently affordable. Wood is wood and wood is good.
I think Bogiesan has impeccable taste in go equipment, and I expect his judgement about bamboo go boards would match many (most?) of those on LifeIn19x19. However, I'd like to offer a counterpoint here. Bamboo is an easily renewable resource (even if the polymers may not be). Bamboo looks really nice. Traditional woods used for go boards tend to be soft, and can get dented over time, while bamboo doesn't. And the bamboo board has a smaller 13x13 board on the back, which you may like. So don't dismiss it out-of-hand, you might like it. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese Goban and Korean Stones
Post #13 Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:57 am 
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Any wood you use for a go board is eventually going to get dents from playing the stones, especially if you play them forcefully. I've seen it said that playing go on too hard wood can actually cause damage to finger joints. This is only likely to happen if you play a lot for a long time. However, in general, softer is better than harder. If the wood is very hard, like ipe, ebony, etc., playing a stone makes a metallic "clink" sound rather than a "click". Anyhow, all of this is rather esoteric for a beginning player, the most important is to play go. One more point: if you go to a regular, run of the mill, go salon in Japan, Korea, or China, you'll see dented, stained boards, plastic containers for the stones, dirty and chipped stones. Buy whatever pleases you and, if you get hooked on playing and your fortunes improve, then upgrade as you wish.

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese Goban and Korean Stones
Post #14 Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:57 pm 
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jackrimonious wrote:
9think wrote:

Thanks: I’ll check it out! Are these glass stones generally nicer than the ones from Yellow Mountain Imports? Is there a reason to spend the extra $80 is what I’m asking; again, I’m very new.

I think my main question at the moment is pros/cons of shin kaya vs bamboo? And the difference between these biglobe items and the YMI items.


I don't think the Korean glass stones from Aoyama Gobanten are necessarily better than Yellow's, they also have pretty much the same price, if it's easier for you to buy the stones from YM, then do it. I have a set of Jang Stone II 8mm glass stones and I like them, not perfect but fine. Anyway, if I were to buy my first set now, I would probably choose:

board
http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go1 ... su7go.html
http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go1 ... a6go1.html

stones
http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go7 ... xume1.html
http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go7 ... kura1.html

bowls
http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~goban/g1go1 ... ngen1.html

Very practical, portable, easy to carry and not to care and I would save the money for a better set in the future (e.g. 6cm Shinkaya/Hiba Japanese board, Kusu/Sakura/Keyaki bowls, slate&shell stones - maybe 8mm Blue label from Kuroki)

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Post #15 Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:28 pm 
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Thanks for the advice.

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Post #16 Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:19 am 
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Found you another board worth a look (Hiba!) (2019.11.10, $100 plus $100 shipping)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/55mm-Hiba-Join ... 4018089531?

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Post #17 Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:39 pm 
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Jack, did you ever find a set?

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