How's pandemic interest in Go going?

Some time about this time last year, we were discussing how the Quarantine and Co. thing was bringing people closer to online Go, either from IRL Go or as complete newcomers.

I was wondering:

You nice people who found out about Go during that time, are you still here? Are you enjoying the game?

You nice people who came from IRL, do you see yourselves staying and combining online and IRL, or you didn’t find online as appealing?

You all nice people, now that we all seem to get used to this situation and adjusting, have you returned to other interests that Go somewhat had to fill in for, because of the circumstances? Do you play less, or it became more of a habit than before?

Share your experience below!

I was just coming more seriously into Go when the whole thing started, so I can’t really say how it would have been if my start hadn’t coincided with such a relaxed (understatement) schedule.
I find myself playing slightly more, but definitely enjoying Go related content regularly, it’s part of my routine now.


I’m in a similar category: the original spark was back in Nov 2019 but my first game on OGS was Feb 2020. I’m not sure how things would have gone differently in a different year, but I’m sure the situation contributed. I never watched much of anything on Twitch before but started watching Go and that was nice company in those days

Before I was playing a lot of other board games at a local club, and I was amassing a not tiny collection of games. Usually I would be there every weekend, but now that they are pretty much back to normal, I’ve only been there like 4 times. And I’ve been selling many of my games that I just have no interest in any more. There’s no question that during the past year I was playing Go instead of going to the club, and it has filled up a bigger space than I expected.

I’m still interested in other board games, but I think that it’s made me really picky. I guess it’s kind of cliche but a lot of commercial games leave me feeling kind of empty, because there’s constant hype cycle of new games. But spending time with Go, anything related even the most surface level things like just looking up a joseki on the explorer, it feels like a richer experience, like something a bit more nourishing. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


My local Go club has been meeting, with four regular members. We had our most recent meeting last night. We also had a spectator, which is always fun.


I started IRL in 1988 and I played a lot especially in my early years as a go player. I was blessed with multiple clubs nearby and I participated in many tournaments within 500 km from my home.

Later I moved to a place with few go players nearby and internet go became a thing. In that period I’ve had periods where I played a lot online, but I also kept playing IRL in tournaments and in the nearest club, although it only had about 5 members. About 15 years ago my interest in go started to wane, but the AlphaGo hype revived my enthousiasm 5 years ago.

I prefer playing IRL but playing online fits more easily in my schedule, so I tend to play online mostly. But I consider online games as just casual games. I just cannot put myself to thinking much in online games, even if they are correspondence games.

The pandemic did not really really change how much I play online, but it did affect where I play online. I play more on OGS now. What drew me to OGS is mostly the forums. Interacting here really helps to reduce the loneliness of working from home and the general lack of social interaction during lockdowns.

When the pandemic is mostly over, I intend to start visiting that nearby club again. I don’t know when they start playing IRL or if they already started.

But I expect to stay in these forums as well. I love the community spirit of the regulars here. You guys and gals feel like friends, just as my IRL go friends.


I started IRL about five years ago. Generally, when I have a strong interest in something it may last about 10 years so I guess I still have a few years of intense go playing and studying. Before the pandemic I played both IRL and online, but of course since the pandemic I’ve been playing almost only online. This includes about 34 EGF rated games. Now I’m a bit tired of online tournaments so I will stop playing them for now. I can’t wait to come back to my go club in September and I hope to play an IRL tournament around December.


OGS numbers are still high, pandemic is still interested in go.


Till now here i had the chance to play face to face which is what i like most.
But news are not as good as i wanted, i was expecting the covid story to end this year and now we are again in fear and cautiousness and that could last for some more years.


My level of activity and interest in playing Go has largely remained unchanged as a result of the pandemic. However, the amount of time that I spend on these forums has gone up significantly.


This virus is very terrible. I’m very happy I can play go on OGS because I will be separated for three weeks (because of 14 + 7 rule). I hope I can make some friends here now.


Fifteen years ago I bought myself a simple set but because none of my (very few) friends really like to play games it ended up collecting dust in the attic. Due to CoVid-19 my bar was closed twice for a couple of months and my staff (two young men in their late twenties) often played chess together on the board that I was given for my 12th birthday (I’m 51 years old now) and is kept in the gamebox for our guests to use. During one of our conversations early january this year ‘that other old game’ came up and finally I could be properly introduced to the game. It was exactly what we all needed: a thrilling challenge and a very satisfying passtime. My daily routine for years included drinking coffee and reading or scanning the papers to get to the puzzle section in the back. Now my OCD-like attention seems to have shifted to playing Go online. My bar is open again and time for a proper play IRL is scarce but I intend to visit our local club as soon as possible. If I will ever remenicence these strange times I will probably mainly talk fondly about dicovering the magic of Go.