Go links for beginners

Having been firmly bitten by the Go bug, I've been digging around on the web to try to find information to help me stop getting beaten all the time ;-) If you don't know anything about the game and want an overview I can highly recommend this interactive Go tutorial (Java required), which guides you through the basic principles of the game and then allows you to check your understanding by playing through example positions. Tel's Go Notes is another good starting point if you are new to the game.

One of the best sites I've found is Sensei's Library which is Wiki-based (collaborative) website. As a result it has a wealth of opinions as well as a wide range of factual information. What is particularly neat is that there is a text format for entering board positions which is then rendered into an image, and if you click on the image the board position is downloaded as a SGF file which can be viewed and edited in any of the various Go clients, so you can play out the example positions.

I already have Charles Matthew's "Teach yourself Go" book, and I particularly like his Hanging out at Dan's series of online articles at gobase.org, itself another good resource. The articles go beyond the usual list of standard moves and tries to explain why certain moves are played in a particular situation in terms of their effect on the overall game - as a beginner I would say that it is this aspect of the game which is the most difficult to grasp.

I've also put my hand in my pocket and ordered a Go set from Japan, from Kuroki Goishi Ten. Even paying the fairly horrendous £57 shipping charge, it still worked out to be less than half what I would have to pay for a similar set in the UK or US - A 2cm folding board, slate & shell stones, two wooden bowls came to £94. The stones alone from the US would cost over £200. Hopefully it'll be here later on in the week, and doubtless I'll have more to say about it then. Now all I need to do is to become good enough to justify the set ;-)

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