Website Review: Tel's Go Notes


Tel’s Go Notes is an excellent website that serves as an amazing companion to the interactive Go tutorials that exist out there on the web. It’s purpose is to provide a one stop solution to clarify a lot of mental misconceptions. A very simple example of this is: What is the object of the game? Many of you will scoff at this question and say “Territory… duh,” but when we look over your games you’ll find that you actually spend significantly more time trying to kill your opponent’s stones than build territory. (This is not a terrible thing, but it’s something you’ll need to eventually grow out of).

Tel does an excellent job of taking a lot of basic concepts and explaining them in a simple and straightforward manner. This is one of the best websites to quickly get a great overview of topics such as life and death, elementary territory building, and what makes a “good” connection. To be honest, even a number of the beginner books I purchased don’t cover such topics nearly as well (in terms of clarity and just the right amount of explanation).

In terms of criticisms, I only have two (and they are just slight nuances). First, the diagrams (particularly on the home page) are kind of small for my liking. They get the job done, but I think they can definitely be larger. For sections such as “what is a ladder,” an embedded sgf file would remove the necessity for all those diagrams. Second, I think the navigability of the site is a little tough. My suggestion would be to have navigation bars on the top and bottom of the site in order to ease maneuvering around the website. Again these are but slight nuances in light of a great website.


Although we have plenty of sites trying to teach Go, this one is a one-stop website for beginners that will provide what you need without filtering through a bunch of advanced concepts. Top notch.