Archive: undefined/2010

Journal Log #2

So I visited the Greater Washington Go Club today. Man… it was definitely a different experience playing with people in person. I met a lot of great people, and my cousin and I learned a whole ton through their helpful comments and lessons. We spent a lot of time playing out various positions based on the 3-3 point invasion on the 4-4 star, and that was super helpful.

In addition to having a couple games commented on, I also experienced my first full game between two dan level players. That was awesome. And it reminds me of how much work I have to do before I can even be considered an average player. So it’s time I get back to my studies.

Shout outs go out to Hal, Betsy, and Justin for helping out. I’m sorry but I’m totally blanking out on three other names, but thanks for making the experience an awesome one.

How to Print Readable Go Records

So I’m not sure who else is having issue with this, but I most certainly did. So here’s a guide on how you can print readable Go records. To make things easier, I’m going to assume you are looking to print every 50 moves.

For those who want a free method, I recommend CGoban3.

  1. After you download and cue it up, click on “Edit SGF File.”

  2. Find the game you are looking for.

  3. Use the singular right arrow button to move progress through the game.

  4. DO NOT use the double arrow buttons as that will take you to the beginning or end of the game.4. Move forth to the 50th move. In the caption box above your digital goban, you should see something along the lines of “Move 50 (W m8): Black to play”

  5. Click on Options > Number Moves

  6. Make sure your start move is 1 and the end move is 50.

  7. The “Two digits only?” is up to you when you get to the triple digits.6. Click OK.

  8. Boom. Now click Options > Print.

  9. For the next sheets, you’ll want 51-100, 101-150, 151-200, and so on.

  10. Here’s an example:

For those who have SmartGo2, I contacted their customer service (who got back to me quite promptly) and this is what you have to do.

  1. Start by opening up whichever game you want to print out.

  2. Click Edit > Insert Diagram > Split main line of game record every 50 moves.

  3. Make that the Diagrams Toolbar is on.

  4. View > Tools > Diagrams

  5. The fourth box down is where my “Find next diagram” box is.4. Then click File > Print for the appropriate sheets.

  6. As with above, here’s an example:

They also recommended a method of exporting the diagrams, but I had no luck with that as of yet.

When you compare the two, I’m sure you noticed that there’s a coordinate system on the SmartGo2 that you can print out. As far as I’m aware, you can’t do that just yet with CGoban3. Another thing I really appreciate about the SmartGo2 is the fact that it prints out all the ko’s so that record keeping is easier. This means when you’re recreating your games you’re not like, “Where is the #$%& move 119?!?!” Though this is small, SmartGo2 also automatically prints what diagram it is (e.g. 101-150).

Don’t get me wrong though, the free one works fantastic and is a great alternative for those who aren’t quite ready to drop $50 to buy SmartGo2. I’ll try and come out with the reviews for the respective softwares soon enough so you can see if it’s worth your time. Hope this helps some of you out!

Journal Log #1

Sorry it took so long everyone, but I will now start adding my own anecdotes on my journey. As you all may have seen, I’ve been busy writing various reviews and reading as fast as I possibly can while still maintaining my life.

The time has come… all the beginning quests have been completed… and it is time to leave the home village where I have spent my beginnings. Let us overview my stats.

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Company Review: Yellow Mountain Imports


Yellow Mountain Imports has the most well designed website that I’ve seen to date. It’s images do not take too long to load and show the absolute aesthetics of each of the games they sell. Everything is designed so well that it doesn’t take a computer whiz to navigate.

One of the great aspects about YMImports is the fact that they have “Game FAQs.” Essentially, any commons questions that may arise about purchasing some of the different games are already answered. In addition, any questions regarding how to play a number of games is also included!

If you are wondering what makes YMImports one of my favorite places to purchase things, it’s the fact that they have free shipping on orders over $125. Now now… I know that it may seem like a lot of money for some players out there, which is why it’s so awesome that THEY ALSO SELL ON AMAZON! A number of the things that you’d like to get (e.g. Deluxe Go Roll Up Magnetic Portable Set) can go for free shipping on Amazon at a lower cost to you.

Also, in case you are wondering, the shipping for regular items is about normal. Not too pricey since they tend to be shipping heavier items (e.g. boards or stones) and include a tracking number and usually ship within a week.

The best aspect of YMImports is their customer service. In the few times I’ve had issues or questions, I’ve always had a response within 12 hours. Like I mentioned in my review of the Shin-Kaya - 1-1/2” (4cm) Go Floor Board with Yunzi Stones and Bowls, I had missing stone pieces and they were quick to respond and ship out the replacements.

The only critique (if it can even be called that) I have about YMImports is the fact that a majority of their books tend to be written in other languages (e.g. Korean and Chinese). But that’s honestly a small thing compared to all the positive aspects they have.


YMImports is one of the best places to get your typical Go equipment. If you are looking for higher end stuff, you’ll have to wait for me to get a well paying job before I can review that aspect. But other than that, this is the place to go for great and reliable equipment that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Company Review: Slate and Shell


Slate and Shell is one of the most well known publishers and distributors of Go books in English. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before I arrived at their home page.

Their Go books contain a nice variety that cover most of the major topics you’d hope to see at a site that exclusively sells Go books. As one of Kiseido’s competitors, they pretty much have everything you might expect from Kiseido and probably a little more. This is not to be much of a surprise since their market is the English literate population.

I ordered three books: How Not to Play Go, Understanding How to Play Go, and Understanding Dan Level Play by Zhou Yuan. The shipping was only $5.00 and they did not disappoint since I received my order within a week (ordered on the 21st of August, and it arrived around the 25th).

In comparison to Kiseido, I’d have to say that their e-mail confirmation was far more professional and comforting.

Here’s a screenshot of Slate and Shell’s….

Here’s a screenshot of Kisedo’s…

As you can see, DRASTIC difference. (Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy Kiseido’s books. It’s just they could do a better job on not making me worry that I’ve just handed my information over to a Grade C hacker.)


Slate and Shell has a great selection of books at great prices. In addition to the typical Go books that you will expect to pay around $25.00 for (e.g. dictionaries of tesuji), Slate and Shell offers a nice selection of books in the lower price range (e.g. How Not to Play Go by Yuan Zhou $10.00) that still contain quality information.

It's About to Go Crazy

Starting tomorrow, my life shall be a whirlwind: graduate school is starting, job hunting will become intensified, and my Go training will persevere! In conjunction with what my life will be, the posts from this point on will most likely not follow any chronological order. If I find any time to finish and polish any reviews, they will be flying up on the go. I’ll also be starting up weekly and monthly progress reports so that you can see how I’m doing as a player as well. So look out world cause here we go!

Don't Go Broke

I was in the middle of typing up “Guide to Go Equipment for Beginners,” when I realized it’s probably more important that I first clarify the issue of your Go budget. You don’t want to go broke (or worse… into debt) buying up all the Go books and equipment you think you might need.

In other words, unless your bathroom is equipped with the following…

Source: California Literary Review

Make sure you read this before buying anything else.

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Company Review: Kiseido

If you order straight from the publisher Kiseido, you’ll find that the price for a lot of books (that aren’t available on Amazon) are SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper for a BRAND NEW copy. For all those who are skeptical about ordering from Kiseido, I went ahead and ordered the first two volumes to test it out. Here are my observations:

  1. The ordering and payment process does seem kind of sketchy.

  2. The e-mail confirmation looks terrible (like one giant text blob).

  3. There was no tracking number that was given.

  4. Shipping was $3.50 for me.

Was I worried? Absolutely. Except I had to find out how reliable this would be, and here are my findings:

  1. Ordered on August 12th, and it came in the mail on August 21st! It may be a little over a week, but it was fast to me considering the fact that it was coming all the way from Japan and shipping was only $3.50.

  2. Books were protected well and were in great condition when they arrived.

  3. Verdict: Although I had my skepticism and it didn’t have a tracking number, 100% TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Website Review: The Interactive Way to Go

Interactive Go Website Screenshot

Rating: 5 / 5 Ponnuki


  • Presents information in a simple and easy to understand method for brand new players.
  • Utilizes interactive diagrams to help reinforce what you’re learning.
  • Available in 30+ languages.
  • It’s FREE!!!!
  • The best online tutorial available online for players!

Detailed Review:

Prior to discovering The Interactive Way to Go by Hiroki Mori, I had attempted to read various articles on the rules of go here and there; but none of them ever really made sense to me and this inevitably delayed my discovery of how incredible this game is. Fortunately for me, I eventually stumbled upon this treasure trove that allowed me to finally jump head first into the world of go.

To start, the website’s strength is in its simplicity. The technological requirements are minimal and do not require any fancy computer hardware in order to use it. As a result, one should not expect an extremely flashy website with fancy animations everywhere. In addition, it has a simple user interface that makes it easily accessible to practically any user.

In regards to its content, this is the best aspect of this site because it takes you to the ABSOLUTE basics. It takes a step-by-step approach to teach you the concepts and does a fantastic job simplifying a majority of go terminology into concise sentences that are easy to understand. In case you are not aware, the lowest go rank is considered to be 30 kyu. This rank assumes that you already have an idea of basic concepts like atari, ladders, and so forth. With this tutorial, you start out as a mere 50 kyu, so one can deduce that this tutorial spares no effort in catching you up to speed! Another aspect that I really appreciate about this website is its step-by-step approach.

Like any other good tutorial, this site does not hesitate to utilize diagrams to further illustrate its concepts. However, what makes this tutorial truly shine are the interactive problems. As if the explanations and diagrams were not already sufficient, these interactive problems are embedded into the lesson so that to further illustrate his point and reinforce what you are learning.

Interactive Go Problem Screenshot

While it may be frustrating at times since the answers are not given, I assure you that the solutions actually exist. Whenever you get stuck, I would recommend going over the written explanation and diagrams again before using trial and error to figure out the solution.

Bottom line: The Interactive Way to Go is a top notch tutorial that every player who even has a remote interest in learning go should check out!

Last updated December 6th, 2012 (Rank: 6 kyu)