I have been asked often where can one play Go online. Actually there are many places but here are some of my favourites which I can recommend whole-heartedly.
There are mainly two types of playing Go online. One is real time games where you play with another player real time, just like you play face to face, only now you play over the internet. Typically, you log on to the server and there are usually hundreds, if not thousands of players online from all over the world. You can then set a game or join a game and start playing, usually with people around the same strength.
The other type is turn-based Go. These are not real time but players make their moves whenever they have time and log into the server. Players can agree how long to play out a whole game, sometimes one week, sometimes one month or longer depending on the players' schedule. This is like playing a game by mail in the olden days and is very suitable for people who do not have much time to spend online every day or would just like to have a leisurely pace, playing several, sometimes even a dozen or more games at the same time but taking their time to think about the moves at a more relaxed pace.
On the internet, Initially it may be hard to find an opponent because you are still new and do not have a solid rank yet but as you play more, sometimes with bots (i.e. software that plays Go which you can find as their programmers enter them into the system to "train" the software), you will gain a solid rank.
Whichever type you like really depends on your time available and the pace that you like. It can also be a mix of both.
Online real time servers
So from the four servers above, which one is right for you?
If you like a strong sense of community, meeting friends online and sometimes just chatting and playing a casual game, the KGS is a really great place. The people are friendly and sometimes there are also free lectures. Many games especially European games are broadcasted on KGS, sometimes with commentaries. You will see a lot of players online watching games especially during the European Championships.
If you like fierce competition and just wanted to drill your Go and if you are more than just a beginner, then Tygem or WBaduk is the place to go. I would recommend Tygem above WBaduk but you cannot go wrong with both. You will find many players there but beware that there are many sandbaggers there and your experience may not be good if you are a beginner. If you are a beginner and would like to play real time Go online, I still recommend you go to KGS. If you are already a pretty good player having gone past the beginner stage and is aiming at progressing the high kyu and especially the Dan level rank, then Tygem is the place for you to fight it out. Sharks are here.
Pandanet is a nice place to Go too and it has a good interface but the community there is not as strong as in KGS. If you are English speaking, then KGS is a no brainer. But if you would like to play with Japanese players, Pandanet is the place to go.
against the computer
From the above, I hope you can find what you look for. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us or your teachers at your N-World Go center. They will be very happy to assist you.
Together with the 3-4 point, the 4-4 point is a very popular and common opening. It is especially so for beginners because it is the point where they receive handicap stones and therefore this is their earliest encounter of the 4-4 point.
In this series of 4-4 point joseki, we will explore the common moves and the reasons for the moves. It is hoped that after this series, you will have a better understanding of the 4-4 point and the related joseki and apply them in your games.
Black can answer White 1 with the high move of Black 2 in Diagram 11 instead of the small knight move in Diagram 1.
However, due to the inherent weakness of the high move, Black will need to play another move at either Black “a” or “b”.
If White find a chance, White will force Black by playing at White “a” as in Diagram 12 above and Black will have to answer with Black “b”, if not, if White plays at “b” instead, the Black group will be without a base and will be subjected to an attack
One reason for Black playing the high move of Black “2” is it can look forward to the nice high-low extension to Black “a” later. Compare this to Diagram 14, Diagram 14 is flat and the point of Black “a” is not attractive.
This concludes our first post on the 4-4 point joseki. In future posts, we will explore more on this.
If you have any questions, you can ask the teachers in your class. They will be more than happy to explain to you.
Till the next time, enjoy playing Go! Bye.