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I love the game of Go. My only problem is, I've got no one at my skill level to paly with. IGS gets me people massively better than me, so much so I can't learn anything from my losses. So, I'd be happy to teach some people and maybe get some games going with people. If everyone is interested I can give introductory lessons on here. If I get at least 2 people I'll post guides, might take awhile because I don't like any of the ones I've found online and will be composing/photographing for you.

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Alright, well then lets get started.


Go is also known as Wei-chi and originates in China between 4000 and 2500 years ago and arrived in Japan in 1000 A.D. at the absolute latest. Go was one of the four skills a gentleman in Chinese society must learn by the 1600s.


Go is not a game about capturing and maneuvering like chess, checkers, or othello. Go has these elements but at its core it is a game of position and territory. Both players place black and white stones on intersecting lines to claim position and territory on the board. Stones may be captures presenting the strategy of optimum position.




Goban - The Go Board


Stone - The playing piece of Go. In a game of Go, black always goes first.


Tengen - The center point on a Go board.


Liberties - Each stone or group placed on the board has a number of liberties. Liberties are the empty intersections directly adjacent to the stone or group of stones. A basic of go strategy is maximizing liberties to ensure the life of a group as well as estimating if sufficient liberty can be gained that the group may survive indefinitely. A stone without any liberties is captured. A stone cannot be placed if it would immediately result in being captured.


Eye - An eye is a situation in which a group surrounds one of its liberties. In such a case the groups outside must be completely surrounded before a capturing stone may be placed in the eye. By this logic a group with 2 or more eyes cannot be captured.


Atari - A jeopardy. Atari occurs when your opponents move leaves a stone or group with only one liberty. If an atari is not addressed it will result in the capture of the group or stone.


Kikashi - A decisive move wherein the last move made by an opponent did not have a needed response, leaving the player able to place wherever is most beneficial to him.


Life/Alive - A group of stones is referred to being alive if it has at least 2 eyes or has the potential to make at least 2 eyes


Death/Dead - A group of stones is dead if it is impossible to create at least 2 eyes.


We will address things further when I can post more.

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This is a full size Tengen


<a href=" title="2010-09-14 13.21.39 by Lila Redden, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4111/4990995980_a2b8d7634f.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2010-09-14 13.21.39" /></a>


This is a 9x9 practice Tengen.


<a href=" title="2010-09-14 13.22.08 by Lila Redden, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4090/4990390317_5d0cba8baf.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2010-09-14 13.22.08" /></a>


First we will demonstrate the concept of liberties.


<a href=" title="2010-09-14 13.47.02 by Lila Redden, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4153/4990390597_e722a9259f.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2010-09-14 13.47.02" /></a>

In the above image, the stone has 4 adjacent intersections free meaning it has 4 liberties.


<a href=" title="2010-09-14 13.47.25 by Lila Redden, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4113/4990996744_9cbbac3185.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2010-09-14 13.47.25" /></a>

in this image the stone is on the side of the board. As you can see it only has 3 liberties.


<a href=" title="2010-09-14 13.47.37 by Lila Redden, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/4990996982_bdb86c1246.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2010-09-14 13.47.37" /></a>

A stone in the corner only has 2 liberties.


As demonstrated in the images above, stones near the edge of the board are very difficult to keep alive and in the corners, even more so. For this reason, if placing stones to keep the group alive it is best to move toward the center rather than the edges to escape. Alternately, t is best to try and force your opponent to an edge or corner to capture.


Next we will look at atari and escaping atari.


<a href=" title="2010-09-14 13.48.10 by Lila Redden, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4103/4990997348_d528981f88.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2010-09-14 13.48.10" /></a>

The above image shows the black stone in atari. If it is white's turn they may capture as seen below.


<a href=" title="2010-09-14 13.48.52 by Lila Redden, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4124/4990391707_6fbdf6d91a.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2010-09-14 13.48.52" /></a>


If it is black's play, he may escape atari by playing in the same position white would play to capture and create 2 more liberties for himself than he had before to a total of 3.

<a href=" title="2010-09-14 13.49.32 by Lila Redden, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4154/4990997822_8b7e5eaab7.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2010-09-14 13.49.32" /></a>


This also demonstrates the strength of groups. In order to capture these 2 black stones, white must use 6 stones instead of 4 as shown below.

<a href=" title="2010-09-14 13.49.56 by Lila Redden, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/4990998006_e7a231fce1.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2010-09-14 13.49.56" /></a>


More to come in the next lesson.

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