I've been playing a bit with Go and after a few games I do get pretty well the different rules.

The game indeed has a very deep strategy and I've read that to get a grip at that strategy, a player should starts on small boards (5x5, 9x9).

I'm playing with an application on my iPad that lets me choose for handicap to help me improve slowly. The problem is, when playing with a lot of handicap I do win pretty easily but when I get less than 6 stones at the start of the game I quickly feel like I'm losing territory at each one of the IA moves.

Is there tutorial on basic strategy? What to avoid? What to look for? I've also practiced with some Go problems and I do understand them quite well... I have the feeling that I'm improving. In a game context, I'm really overwhelmed with possibilities when I need to put my stones on the board and I really don't have the feeling that I'm improving...

  • I’m surprised at the 5x5 suggestion: I would expect somewhat ‘pathological’ situations to arise often enough that it would be untypical.
    – PJTraill
    Dec 13, 2015 at 23:45

2 Answers 2


There are lots of tutorials. Playing games making mistakes, and learning from them is the way to improve. However, when you're just starting, you make so many mistakes that it can be overwhelming. This is where having a human teacher or a book can help, because they can give you specific things to work on.

Keep your app, but playing just against a computer is not a good way to get strong at Go.

Books for beginners:

Janice Kim has a series of books for beginners that I found very helpful when starting out.

Find local players:

Advanced players are usually happy to play a teaching game or give a short lesson. You will, of course, find that some are better teachers than others. I'd recommend searching for " go baduk" (baduk is the Korean name for Go, and is a much more helpful term for search engines).

Play against people online:

KGS is a popular Go server, and in the Beginners Room and such you can find people willing to play teaching games. Sometimes the best teacher is someone who is only a little better than you, because they have a similar perspective as you do. (There's lots of other Go servers if you don't like KGS, see here.)

Online resources:

Sensei's Library is a popular Go wiki, and they have a nice set of pages for beginners.

  • Great answer! Thank you very much for your time and precious advices! I'll try and stick with them!
    – Andy M
    Oct 25, 2013 at 21:53
  • 1
    If playing live games (online or face-to-face), try correspondence servers like dragongoserver.net or online-go.com.
    – Tomo
    Nov 8, 2013 at 8:31
  • Read books (including every book in Janice Kim's series)
  • Play games with others (try GoPanda)
  • Play Go puzzles (GoProblems is great, although it costs $10 per year to save your progress.)
  • Review other players' games. (Janice Kim's second book includes 3 great game reviews. Though it's also helpful to just go to GoPanda and watch high ranking games that are in progress.)

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