Take the 2-minute tour ×
Board & Card Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who like playing board games, designing board games or modifying the rules of existing board games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As a beginner, I was handed a full go board. And, somehow figured it out.

A beginner friend wants to start "small" and something like 1/4 of the board.

Personally, I think that we should start with the entire board.

share|improve this question
    
This might be of interest to you boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/6336/… –  user1873 Jul 3 '12 at 2:14
add comment

5 Answers

There is a lot of discussion on whether starting on 19x19 or 9x9 is preferable, the general consensus tends to 9x9. Personally, I started on 19x19 but would have preferred 9x9.

As a beginner, you first need to understand the most basic melee fighting tactics (atari, ladder, snapback, basic life and death, etc). Those can be learned on both big and small boards, but small boards avoid introducing complex strategic issues and make for faster games that are easier to review.

You probably should stick to small boards until you are familiar enough with the game to stop making "obvious" mistakes (crawling with a dead group on the first line, playing out ladders, stuff like that).

share|improve this answer
3  
I preferred 9x9 when I was first starting to learn because the games were faster. –  TimothyAWiseman Jul 3 '12 at 22:27
    
Play on a 9x9 board goes much faster, and allows people to learn by playing the "capturing game", in which the first person to capture any stones wins. There are even some professional games on a 9x9 board. –  Gustav Bertram Nov 12 '12 at 14:05
add comment

If you have played go for a while, a full board can seem like a natural place to learn. Obviously it is possible; So that asks the question: "Why do so many people learn on a 9x9 board?" and "Why does a 9x9 board exist at all?"

I have found, (past 10 years of teaching Go), that a 9x9 is the right place to teach people. There are lots of reasons, (that you will probably find in the other answers - "get through your first 100 games quickly"), but my top reason is fear.

19x19 lines looks like 18x18 squares to someone that has learnt to play, almost all other board games. The mind can boggle at how complicated that must be; A 9x9 looks like 8x8 squares, which is the same dimensions as some other games use, (though they are mostly tactic based games and Go adds strategy into the mix.)

So to sum up, some reasons to learn on a 9x9:

  1. Friendly size
  2. Get through teaching games quicker
  3. Learn the rules without the distraction of the deeper complexities, (the fun part), getting in the way.
  4. Still fun
  5. Cheaper to make or buy
  6. Easier to store
share|improve this answer
add comment

A 1/4 board (11x11), is not a standard size, so I do not believe that any official setup for black handicap stones exists.

Some confusion exists on what a quarter board is though, as I have seen a 9x9 also called a quarter board. The handicaps for that board are listed here.

share|improve this answer
5  
1/4 likely refers to 9x9, I have never seen 11x11 in this context. –  mafutrct Jul 3 '12 at 10:06
add comment

a 9x9 is a board that is set for a battle not a war.
and that is ok.
There is alot less centre area in a 9x9, which is good because there is no territory in the centre.
I find a 9x9 takes 15 minutes to pay, where as a 19x19 will take an hour or more.

A 13x13 is a interesting compromise. A small war.

share|improve this answer
1  
13x13 at least has four corners, and can very dramatically demonstrate either the power of a wall or its impotence, depending on full board situation. I highly recommend learning on a 13x13, and not anything smaller, except perhaps for a beginner's very first game. It has been estimated that a beginner advances by around 4 kyu during her first game. Don't hinder that advancement by starting on too small a board. –  Pieter Geerkens Jan 20 at 4:59
add comment

Actually setting up the 'quarter board' is hard to do on a 19x19 board. Most people use a small board specifically made for the size, or make their own. It is possible to crop an area from the large board, but this can be inconvenient.

As for learning on one, I feel Pieter Geerkens comment is quite correct. 13x13 gives a more balanced vision of the game than 9x9. 19x19 is too large, 9x9 is too small, but good to introduce the rules with.

Once the player has the basic rules down 100% on 13x13 then 19x19 becomes more interesting. After some years playing primarily 19x19, I've gone back to 9x9 and 13x13 to improve my life and death techniques and starting moves.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.