How did you get here?

I’m thinking of writing the article about Go and indeed the impact that streamers have on the GO community. So what I would like to know is this. How did you get introduced to go? Was it by streamers on youtube and twitch? was it by friends? and did those friends tell you about the streams available?

And how do you think online streaming has improved the Go community in general?

Maybe you could set up a poll to get more simplified input? :slight_smile: just an idea.

Either way I got first introduced to Go by my father, but did not really pick it up too much until the alphago matches and partly other influences.

Never really watched streams THAT much as they are often out of my time schedule, but basically most of my “knowledge” comes from YT videos (which are partly just recorded and edited streams). So for me they were partly the greatest learning tool.

To me the “live” commentary - seeing all the variations and thoughts in action while still being “on edge” who is gonna win is an irreplacable fun factor which I am lacking in books and written materials. And as I have Go largely as a fun activity (getting better is not my only and primary concern) - the fun factor is important for me.

actually, if I wanna be completely honest, I probably found either it on wikipedia or Board Game Geek. it just had a really nice ruleset and didn’t tire out after playing it over and over (and over and over and over) again.

As for streaming, it seems to be attracting people to the game when it’s a big stream, but most of it is really us just hanging out.

That’s some super useful information there actually… and i haven’t the foggiest how to set up a poll. also the fun factor is something that is important to me as well… it jsut so happens that i love sitting down and writing about stuff.

@mekriff Hellow again, i say you earlier on in the EGF tournament stream. What are your opinions on streaming in more detail if you dont mind my asking? like what is it doing well? where is streaming failing do you think? and what are some areas that you think could be improved? do you have any ideas for the growth of the Go community, not just European but world wide.

Heh, my connection with Go is much older than streaming or internet itself.

First time I have seen Go in a dream. Or maybe just I imagined it. I remembered about it when I have seen a Go problem in a crossword puzzles magazine. It triggered in me the pleasant memories of that dream and I needed to know more, and so, I sent my brother to the library to dig the collection of that magazine, and learn the rules. I was immobilized in a hospital bed at that time. My brother beat me all the time since he understood the game while reading, and understood better while explaining to me, plus a younger and healthy brain. But I had plenty of time and perseverance, and solving problems really helped. I studied an beginners book too, and even with his younger healthier brain my brother could not keep the pace with me, and after beating him 50 times in a row he lost interest and I had no more partner for years till I was able to walk again and join a local Go club,


Streamers didn’t affect me getting in to go. This may be an “older person” thing.

I was interested from Uni days. Then recently my kids were interested in strategic games, and started playing. So I joined in.

Only after that did streamers become a factor. It seems obvious that they have massively affected the ease of learning. Dwyrin and Nick Sibicky transform the landscape for English players learning Go.


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It was 1983 …:grinning:

I started getting into Go about a year ago. I downloaded a few programs for the computer (some old DOS games, and igowin) but didn’t feel satisfied. I did a google search for playing Go online, and voila, I am here.

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Watched HnG around 2007-08, found the game interesting and learned to basic rules, but quickly realised that it would take more time and effort than i could spent at that time. Finally at 2014 i had nothinf better to do, so i’ve been playing ever since ^^

I wanted to play a game with my girlfriend, which was supposed to be Othello / Reversi, but I thought she meant Go when searching for a game with black and white pieces. After we played some Othello we decided to both learn the rules of Go and try it out. She liked it for a while, until I got hooked to sensei’s library and she couldn’t win anymore. :confused:

I think the real impact of go streamers and youtubers is not introducing people to go, but helping a lot of people who were already interested in the game to improve.


I learned Go when I was bored one day looking through the Encyclopedia Britannica that my parents got me (this was in the mid-70’s.) I randomly grabbed one of the books and picked a random page and it happened to be about this ancient Chinese board game. It explained the history and the rules, and I was really into board games in general (war games, & parlor games) so I started teaching it to anybody who would listen. I didn’t have a board of course so I used graph paper and Xs and Os.

I finally found an actual game board (the Avalon Hill plastic board with tiny plastic stones,) in the mid-80’s and still I had never met someone who knew how to play that didn’t learn the game from me. I was the king of my little hill. :slight_smile:

Then 20 years later (around 2000) I met someone who already knew how to play. He even had a real board and stones from Japan. He said he was 1dan (I had no idea what that meant,) and he burst my bubble. Up to that point, I thought I was pretty good at the game.

I discovered online Go at around 2007 or 2008. I don’t remember the details about how I heard about it, but it wasn’t through twitch. I didn’t discover Twitch until I think last year.

I’m probably not the demographic you were looking for when you asked your question, but that’s my answer.


What rank would you guess that you had achieved by learning purely yourself and via people you taught?

I can’t guess whether you would have discovered “the basics” we teach now, and hence you would at least have been solid DDK, or were actually trapped back at TPK kinda level with hundreds of years of historical learning still to catch up?

Did you have any funny quirks of strategy that you all used that worked within your group, but got carved up by the outsider?


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I remember first being introduced to Go about five or more years ago on the Xbox 360 Live marketplace. There was a Go arcade game and it played the game wonderfully to my memory, however, it was far too frustrating for me to understand since I had no basis of knowledge around the game and didn’t seem to get the territory rules.

I wasn’t reintroduced to the game until 2018 when my I watched the anime Hikaru no Go and that honestly spurred the Go spirit inside of me and I just started playing on any available format until I found one or two solid servers to play on and learn.

It is still very much so an uphill battle but because of technology I’ve been able to watch pro games and study in various lectures and books. I even found a go club out in Arizona and got demolished in a tournament a few weeks ago. It was awesome. And I am love. And that’s a glimpse of how I got here.

The shodan that I met at the turn of the century judged me at 13-15 kyu. I’m still at that range to this day.

I knew the importance of making two eyes, and corner-side-center, but I didn’t know about shape as a discipline, nor did I have anything memorized. I didn’t even know that joseki existed.

As for “funny quirks and strategies,” none of my friends were willing to play often enough for me to develop any. I tended to win pretty decisively. My board didn’t have a full complement of stones and I remember often passing because I was running low on stones and waiting for my opponent to hang himself then kill a group and give him the dead stones back so he could keep playing. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had learned the Chinese rules so prisoners didn’t matter.

I suspect I was pretty bad at teaching the game too.

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My dad picked up go at university with a friend of his - I think they may have learned about it from a math-oriented journal or something. We’d spend a few weeks at each other places every summer and they would play together more or less everyday. They mostly only played each other, though they did have a couple introductory go books as well.

I never got to play go with my dad, but I did play his friend last summer. I’d say he has a pretty good grasp of local life and death problems, but his openings… weren’t the best. As in, he thought tengen was as good a point as any to start at. I had no idea what level he was at first, so I wasn’t sure if he was trying to give me a head start :slight_smile: He played fine in local fights but was lacking some basic concepts about where to pick up the most points on the board.

I’m not quite sure where his level was exactly but I’m confident it was in the DDK range. TPK is, IMO, when people haven’t quite figured yet how to handle individual groups, and he was clearly past that.

I was interested in what kind of games Asians have. So I just googled it. Mahjong mostly used very fast time setting for my slow head. Shogi and Chinese chess are too messy. Othello doesn’t look impressive. Go though doesn’t have clear goal and it’s hard to understand when the game is over. So I only managed to get into it on my second try.

I don’t like twitch very much. Layout feels so dirty. Youtube is much better.

I think streams of important events are nice. Even if nothing’s going on around you, you can watch that somewhere there’s this big tournament with strong players. Of course, I don’t know who can afford to watch maybe 6 hours of the game.

Too bad it’s hard to find stream of Asian go events. I guess they just have TV so internet streaming isn’t that important.

As a child I had a book that sounded like “100 games from all around the world”.
There where all kind of games: from pool to cards to child games and so on.
Obviously there was a wonderful section about board games and I was very fascinated by them. I built myself some of them but couldn’t do it with Go.
The charm of this game haunted me through almost half a century, because it was always impossible for me to find other people interested in, even beginners or willing to learn from scratch.
Eventually, in the last three years I managed to play a little on PC and smartphone, to find a Go club in my city and to start play on OGS.

Never actually viewed any stream content (like Twitch) but I like youtube channels (Dwyrin, Haylee, NY Institute of Go) and regularly watch Dwyrin’s Basic series which helped me learning something and reaching SDK (more or less).

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I found out about Go after Deep Blue beat Kasparov at Chess and I read an article that said something along the lines “but there’s this other game that computers can’t play, it’s called Go”. I was getting interested in Japanese culture generally and with a friend we learned together. When I moved away, we used to play Chess on and played Go on there too for a bit but the games were just too long. At the time I had to queue up for a space on a 386 to check if he had moved or not so often a single move would take a few days. I stopped for nearly 20 years after that and then got back into Go again because of AlphaGo and a random opportunity. I try and watch youtube when I can (Nick Sibicky and Dwyrin) but as someone else said I think vids and streaming are more the next step rather than what draws people into the game in the first place - but maybe it’s a generational thing.

I learned go from Edward Lasker’s book, Go and Go-Moku, which I found among the 12,000 books of my father’s library when I was nearly 12. For my 12th birthday, I asked for and got a cheap go set (still the only one I own). My friends lost interest after losing a few games. There were virtually no go players around in those days. While in high school, I met one, a university student, and we played about twice a month for a couple years. In college, I met a few more and played sporadically, while gathering two or three go books along the way.

After college, go fell by the wayside for more than 40 years. I discovered a small, informal go club at my county library in 2016 and plunged in with delight. They told me about OGS and Sensei’s Library, and I found the streamers through comments in the Forum here. I guess I was probably somewhere between 10k and 14k in my first go around. I knew the basics, though without any joseki or fuseki, I had some sense of the big points, and I used to regularly solve the 10k-level tsumego in Games and Puzzles magazine.

I surmise that the streamers have had a profound effect on the spread of go in the West. They are certainly a great resource for learning go and improving.

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I confess, I was hooked by the Lee Sedol vs. AlphaGo games. I knew the game before (its name, but not much more) but when I saw those games on Youtube, I started to learn about this game.
So, because those games were discussed and recognized all over the world, and because I am interested in machine learning and such stuff I got into this game. And now I am addicted. There has never been another board game that hooked me like Go did. I played chess for quite a while, but my passion for the game of Go is much bigger.
I also have to mention, that some streamers on Youtube / Twitch teached me the very basics of Go. More than any book or article did. So Streamers didn’t really hook me to play this game, but when I got into this game, they provided a lot of help.