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Go Lectures

I’ve been working on improving my Go game. For those who don’t know, Go is a game played on a 19X19 grid with black and white stones. The object is to surround territory, more territory than your opponent, by placing stones on intersections of the grid, governed by a simple set of rules. The game though, is anything but simple. Sometimes it seems I have to repeat the same bone-headed mistakes many times before I realize what I’ve been doing wrong. There are some excellent books about the game but I find the book format isn’t ideal. It finally occurred to me to look on YouTube to see if there was any good go material in video format. Everything, it seems, is on YouTube. I found a really good series of lectures about Go on there by Dr. Nick Sibicky from the Seattle. Dr. Sibicky does an excellent job providing commentary on actual games, commenting on what was actually played and exploring other ideas.

I’ve just started looking at these but it appears Dr. Sibicky uses two formats. One format has him in front of a large-scale magnetic Go set. Here’s an example…

The other format uses some sort of animated program and is also very effective.

I’m going to enjoy listening to these lectures and following along with the example games. Hopefully, I’ll even learn a thing or three along the way.


  1. You have to love a game that is devastating difficult in its simplicity. I’ve never played Go, but I have heard about it (perhaps from you) and I definitely want to try it.

    • My friend Vox and I have been playing more or less weekly since sometime in the mid-80s. We’ve played thousands of games and it only gets more interesting. In the case of Go, trying it means a certain amount of commitment. We live in a world in which so much is instant but Go takes time and some dedication to learn. It challenges your mind in terms of reading possibilities, coming up with imaginative solutions to problems, understanding the strength and weakness of shape, deciding when to fight and when to settle, figuring out direction of play. Individual life and death battles are complex enough, but each game contains many battles that exist in various relationships. You need to consider not just what points need to be played but also what is the best time in the game to play them. It can be very frustrating when your opponent is a step ahead but very gratifying indeed when you come up with a series of moves that causes your opponent’s shape to crumble.

      There are Go servers that enable online play with real opponents, but I like old-fashioned over-the-board play. The best way to start is to find someone who plays who is willing to play some teaching games with you.

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