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Learning Go with some online help

One of the barriers to learning the game of Go is that even though the game has simple rules, play can be incredibly complex and there are so many facets and concepts it can easily be overwhelming and discouraging. Becoming a Go player takes time and some effort. It’s not for everybody, but for me it’s been very rewarding and I always look forward to playing a few games. These days YouTube offers lots of good resources which can help you learn. The amount of educational Go content available on the internet has exploded in recent years.

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I really like the way Jonathan Hop breaks it down with the 10 minute Go series on his Sunday Go Lessons YouTube channel. In each video he goes over a single concept using straightforward language and easy to understand examples, and each video is less than 10 minutes. Topics include Beginning a Game, Nets and Ladders, The Ko Rule and Ko Threats, Cutting Points and Broken Shapes, Mutual Life and Capturing Races, Territorial Frameworks, Attacking Basics, and more.

Once you have learned the rules and you’re playing games – perhaps you’ve got yourself set up to play online on the KGS Server or Tygem, for instance – there are other resources to check out which can help you improve. Nick Sibicky is a Go player and teacher out in Seattle who has created over 200 videos posted to his YouTube channel, many made by filming his “double-digit kyu” Go classes (beginners start at about 30 kyu and progress down to 1 kyu…then the master or dan ranking start). Mr. Sibicky has some thematic videos but also does game reviews and videos about the play of various well-known pro players.

Another strong player who streams Go content is Dwyrin. Like Nick Sibicky, he provides a variety of video content, including live streaming of his own online games, discussion/review of pro games, a back to basics series, and real board Go lectures.

Once you have been playing for a while and you’re getting stronger at the game, you might find Brady’s Blunders to be a useful channel. This is Brady Daniels’ channel. His tag line is “I make the mistakes so you don’t have to.” His approach is to show situations in his own games in which he make a mistake. He then shows why it was a mistake and looks at other possible moves and sequences which would have been an improvement. I’ve found this channel to be helpful in my efforts to try to improve my own game.

There are a lot of Go-fiends out there who enjoy watching the videos on Haylee’s World of Go.  Haijin Lee was a professional Go player from Korea, who has retired from the pro game and gone back to school. She has produced well over 100 videos, most of which are her own online games, in which she does the commentary (in English) as she plays the game. I don’t think this channel would be so helpful for a beginner as her play is very high level, but I’ve watched many of her videos and find it fascinating to hear her talk about each game and what is going on from move to move. It provides some insight into how a really strong Go player thinks.

There are loads of other YouTube resources out there to check out. If you’re learning the game, you might find it very helpful to explore around and watch some videos.

If there is anyone here in Long Branch (27th Street is in the SW corner of Toronto) who wants to learn the game, hit me up – I’m happy get you started and play some teaching games with you along the way.

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