Children and Go


Hi there,

I saw a few pictures from some of you on this thread Playing Go IRL pictures playing go with your kids. It’s kind of early i know but I’m becoming a father soon and i would love that my son has some interest in go as well. How did you get your kids interested in go? How did you teach them? What is the right way to do it so he doesn’t lose that interest in a short time… I appreciate any insight you could give me… Thanks…


I have no children of my own, but I remember having been one :slight_smile:

And I believe all that would be needed to raise interest is for a kid to watch adults enjoying the game … and then to get questions answered.

There are a lot of resources out there, perhaps search for“ children kids go baduk” or the like, search also on L19 and in that FB group, I remember having read quite a few threads. And then there’s Cho U’s 4x4 Go problems app (iOS), IIRC with a themed skin (cats or something). Easy things like these should be nice, I think, giving instant gratification.

Quite sure that others here will give you more (and hopefully better) pointers.

Happiness and health to you and your family!


Well I do not have kids either,
however we taught go to kids at a summer camp and I play with my younger cousins often.

I would say if they are not interested there is no way to force them, but you can encourage them of course with clever “marketing” :smiley:
what comes to mind:

  • forget about 13x13 or larger (obviously) kids won’t keep attention for such a long time
  • however they are competitive, make a bit of a competition out of it. And let them beat you every now and then (even with a ridiculous handicap, they will still feel like they’ve won)
  • until recently wery good marketing strategy was to introduce go as the only game computers have not mastered, but still you can get a lot of attention for go over this technology aspect almost all kids are interested in.
  • very recently someone posted a link for an anime about go. I have not seen it myself but I am sure that japanese anime can sell go for you :smiley:
  • it also works with anything for kids, to dress it up a little. Do not make it just a board game, make it an event. A tournament, a story… do not be silent through the game. While adults usualy appreciety to be able to focus, if you want to keep children interested talk to them, comment on the “great moves” they did, or even play the bad guy and laugh at their skill and then let yourself be beaten (of course this depends hugely on the age of the kids :smiley: ) Set the mood. make japanese tea, play the music dress in kimono, or whatever. Truth is you can make children do almost anything if you dress it up enough. It just must not be mundane for them…
  • And probably the best idea comes from trohde just above me. If they see you with your friends enjoying the game so much. They will be curious all by themselves.

Anyway, that’s all that comes to mind, best of luck :slight_smile:


Ditto. I tried with my son and it didn’t work out. He was much happier with soccer or swimming.

I would recommend to make sure other kids are involved. Don’t make go a universe with only adults, books and videos.


Thank you very much for your great answers.

@tinuviel , @calantir , @pathogenix I would love to hear your take on this matter if you don’t mind…


@trohde said what I would have said, more or less. @calantir and I are married, so our kids would see us enjoying playing and, thereby, naturally want to try. The more you push it, the less interested they’ll be. The more you just enjoy playing (and let them see that enjoyment), the more they’ll ask to join in.

Having stones that snap nicely doesn’t hurt either…


I’ve gotten my stepsons into playing, but it wasn’t intentional. As kids they just were interested about everything i was doing, so when they saw me playing on ogs they asked me to teach the rules :3

a shame they like minecraft more xD


@Seferi keep it fun, informal, and let your kid lead where he/she wants it to go (at the beginning). Teach simple rules, and if they break a few, no big deal (like the suicide rule). Give some shapes names; invent some new ones (I call ponnuki “flower”), and use ones that are already being used. Give the stones life: “the stones are running!”, “Tiger’s mouth, roaar!”. This is what I have done with my daughter, and her and her sister now love to play. Good luck, and be patient. Let them be passionate with what they love.


Our local go group meets in a library every Saturday. Go is such an unusual-looking game that it naturally attracts attention. We have had several people spontaneously take an interest, including a 7-year-old boy (with his mother) who came back a couple weeks later. The point is that quietly modeling an interest in go, and letting nature take its course, may be the best introduction to the game. Just a thought…


Thanks for the suggestions guys. Birth is close and I’m looking forward to try your ideas out and update here. On a side note, my wife got kinda interested in go too so i bought her a beginners book, she learned the rules and i opened her an account here. But she just finds it very complicated and doesn’t have much patience for it… And she hates losing… Any advice on how to get wife interested? :smile:


Play 9x9, give lots of handicap (i.e. TOO MANY stones), prepare for many losses :slight_smile: Once she “gets” it, she’ll WANT less handicap, and she’ll realize that winning a game after having lost one or more may be even more satisfying.


This is a great tip mate, i will try! Thanks!


May the gods bring me a woman who loves Go.