Beginners

What is Go?

Go is a board game that originated in China around 2500 years ago.
It is commonly referred to by other names such as:
  • Igo: (ee-go)/(Japanese: 囲碁)
  • Baduk: (bah-dook)/(Korean: 바둑)
  • Wei-qi: (way-chee)/(Chinese: 圍棋)
  • less commonly as 'Goe' or 'Surrounding Game'

First Time Playing

If you have never played before, please complete the introductory lessons at The Interactive Way To Go
You can then solidify your understanding with the information available at this page
A supplementary video tutorial can be found here

Once you have completed the above, you can refer to our Resources section for strategy, problems and much more

Playing a Game

It is recommended to learn with a friend so that you can have someone to play with right away. If you are interested in finding someone to play with, please refer to the Go Clients section of our website for on-line play. Alternatively, you can attend a meeting at a Go club

Rankings Explained

A Player's skill is measured using kyu and dan ranks:

Description: Rank:
top professional 9 dan pro
strong professional 8 dan pro
7 dan pro
intermediate professional 6 dan pro
5 dan pro
4 dan pro
weak professional &
semi-professional
3 dan pro
2 dan pro
1 dan pro - has passed a pro-exam
7 dan - may be as strong as some weaker pro players
top amateur
6 dan
very strong amateur 5 dan
4 dan
strong amateur 3 dan
2 dan
1 dan - first master rank
above average amateur 1 kyu - strongest student rank
2 kyu
3 kyu
4 kyu
intermediate amateur 5 kyu
6 kyu
7 kyu
8 kyu
9 kyu - 9-1 kyu players are sometimes called SDK (single digit kyu)
below average amateur 10 kyu - 10 kyu players and up are sometimes called DDK (double digit kyu)
11 kyu
12 kyu
13 kyu
14 kyu
15 kyu
weak amateur 16 kyu
17 kyu
18 kyu
19 kyu
20 kyu - entry rank of the European rating system
21 kyu
22 kyu - entry rank at the IGS go server, weaker players are Beginner Class (BC)
very weak amateur 23 kyu
24 kyu
25 kyu -
26 kyu -
27 kyu -
28 kyu -
29 kyu -
30 kyu - entry rank at the KGS go server
beginner 31 kyu - can finish a 13x13 or 19x19 game without further help
32 kyu - knows basics of stability vs influence (3rd vs. 4th line).
33 kyu - knows about making a base for your stones, extending from a wall
34 kyu - knows about some corner approach moves and enclosures
35 kyu - knows some basics on openings (corners, sides, center).
36 kyu - knows about capturing races and liberties in that context
37 kyu - knows how to squeeze, and why
38 kyu - knows about sacrificing and throw-ins
39 kyu - understands what ko-fighting is, what ko-threats are
learning final rules 40 kyu - knows some basic life & death shapes
41 kyu - knows about dead stones [can play go with territory scoring]
42 kyu - knows what prisoners are, and how they count
43 kyu - knows what territory is
44 kyu - understands when to pass [can play go with area scoring]
learning basic tactics 45 kyu - knows what seki is (and how it gives life to groups without two eyes)
46 kyu - understands that dead stones are those without two eyes
47 kyu - knows what eyes are and how they give life
48 kyu - knows about snap-back
49 kyu - knows about chasing and capturing (oiotoshi)
learning basic techniques 50 kyu - knows about the net (geta)
51 kyu - knows about the ladder and about ladder breaking
52 kyu - knows about capturing stones on the first & second line
53 kyu - knows about double atari
54 kyu - knows about passing and ending the game [can play stone-counting go]
learning the basic rules 55 kyu - knows about the ko rule
56 kyu - knows that suicide does not apply if you capture [can play capture go]
57 kyu - knows that suicide is not allowed
58 kyu - knows how to capture a chain, knows about liberties
59 kyu - knows how to capture a stone, knows what atari is
60 kyu - knows that stones are played on intersections
starting to learn the rules new players start here

*Table taken from LearnToPlayGo.com

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