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 Post subject: Hello, Unrated Challenger Here
Post #1 Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 6:46 pm 
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Universal go server handle: Shades
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I tried to learn how to play Go around 13 years ago. I was active on Yahoo for a while. I sucked at it though; in fact I don't recall ever beating a single human opponent. That doesn't mean I never did, just that I don't recall doing so. It seems like everyone I challenged had more than enough skill to beat me easily, no matter what I tried. After some weeks of feeling like I was beating my head against a brick wall, I lost interest. I probably went back to Chess, a game which I actually understood.

So here I am now, still under the shadow of the game I could barely ever play, never mind ever aspiring to master it. Some YouTube videos have piqued my interest again, so I've decided to try learn enough about the game to apprehend some small amount of actual skill. Or something like it.

Yay.


Last edited by Shades on Tue May 02, 2017 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

This post by Shades was liked by: Bonobo
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 Post subject: Re: Hello, Unrated Challenger Here
Post #2 Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Welcome!

The very first time I learned to play go, I remember feeling something similar. I didn't know about the online servers, so I just tried to play against GnuGo. The game seemed inscrutable... I was obviously losing badly, but I couldn't tell why.

I felt a lot different after playing with another beginner and reading a good introductory book. These days there are lots of materials online as well, though I still think a well edited book can be very helpful. Regardless, your experience of being intrigued by the game but finding it inscrutable is not uncommon. I've come to take great pleasure in the game, and I hope it can bring you many hours of joy as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, Unrated Challenger Here
Post #3 Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:33 pm 
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Thanks. :mrgreen:

I barely know two people willing to play chess with me in my own social circle, finding someone to play Go with in person is right out. I've discovered there's a Go club up in Seattle, I'll probably try and play there sometime. It's a bit of a bus ride, but I suspect it will be worth it. I have a couple of books on order through Amazon, hopefully they'll help me understand whatever I wasn't getting before. For now, I'm tooling around on Crazy Stone (android app) playing some 9x9 games at the "I suck" setting.

I signed up on Pandanet, but haven't played there yet. I guess that's where I'll dip my toe when I'm feeling a bit more confident about things. Hopefully somewhere in all of this I will understand enough about the game to truly enjoy playing it. For now, it's like you say: powerful yet mostly inscrutable.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello, Unrated Challenger Here
Post #4 Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:52 am 
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Shades wrote:
Thanks. :mrgreen:

I barely know two people willing to play chess with me in my own social circle, finding someone to play Go with in person is right out. I've discovered there's a Go club up in Seattle, I'll probably try and play there sometime. It's a bit of a bus ride, but I suspect it will be worth it. I have a couple of books on order through Amazon, hopefully they'll help me understand whatever I wasn't getting before. For now, I'm tooling around on Crazy Stone (android app) playing some 9x9 games at the "I suck" setting.


They are a bit expensive, collectively, but the Level Up series are great for a systematic approach to learning Go! Another good option (though not cheap up front) is the Internet Go School.

Also, if you go to the Seattle Go Center, maybe you can catch a Nick Sibicky lecture. He's an excellent teacher (from what I gather from his youtube videos at least)!


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, Unrated Challenger Here
Post #5 Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 8:08 am 
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Welcome, Shades!

And if you’d like to try out a low-threshold server, check out OGS (Online Go Server) at https://online-go.com/, it runs in every modern browser, and it has LOTS of beginners. You can also play correspondence games there, not only live ones.

Greetings, Tom

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“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain ★ Come and play on OGS


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, Unrated Challenger Here
Post #6 Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 8:53 am 
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As a beginner myself I agree that OGS is a great place to play some games. The correspondence feature is nice when you don't have large chunks of time to commit.

The Dragon Go Server (http://www.dragongoserver.net/) is also a good place and it has a lot of lower-level bots you can fight and mess around with. Their interface is pretty dated and takes a little poking around to get used to.

Pro-tip: to start a game with a bot you have to actively 'invite' them to one

The current DBS bot list (from: http://www.dragongoserver.net/faq.php?r ... 2#Entry423)

- White Robot (whiterobot), ~10k
- Leela v 0.9.0 (LeelaBot19), ~3d
- Fuego (19x19) (FuegoBot), ~2k
- Fuego (9x9) (FuegoBot9), ~1d
- Fuego (13x13) (FuegoBot13), ~1k
- Rayon Bot (rayonbot), ~5d
- Darkforest Bot (darkforestbot), ~3d
- Oakfoam Bot (oakfoambot), ~1k
- Pachi Bot (pachibot), ~2k
- Red Robot (redrobot), ~4k
- Green Robot (greenrobot), ~5k
- Shoreline Bot (shorelinebot), ~16k
- Michi Bot (michibot), ~22k
- Simple Bot (simplebot), ~26k


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