Looking for instructor for remote 1hr Go team building event 12/8

Hello All,
I’m a neophyte player, happen to manage a software development team of about 10 people, and need to arrange a remote friendly offsite event on the morning of 12/8 8:30-9:30 Pacific Time. I thought a Go themed learning event would be novel.

I would like to hire an instructor to help me run an event for my team around learning to play Go and solving go problems together competitively and as a group.

I’m hoping for something roughly like this:
10-15 minutes introduction, 5-10 minutes of working through some problems individually then being talked through the solution, 15 minutes of taking turns solving problems “In front of the class”, and then doing the same thing in smaller teams, competitively keeping track of points.

but I have no idea what I’m doing, and am open to suggestions.

If anyone on here is interested in introducing some beginners to Go in a fun, low key event, please get in touch!


So the focus is on Go problems instead of playing Go? I think that’s a pretty interesting idea.

It becomes more like a “puzzle solving” event than a “learning Go” event, although it doesn’t necessarily exclude the latter, of course. There’s also some interesting relations between Go problems and deep mathematics (combinatorial game theory) that could provide creative Go problems that are very well-suited for analytical problem solving.

I’d certainly be interested :slight_smile:

1 Like

I did introduce the game a lot of time to many players. The thing is usually after a short introduction with basic rules included, i do avoid the ”explain life and death and solve problems” way.
The next step is simply to play and experiment. A instructor guidance is still very useful, like how to finish boundaries, ko when happening…

Asking a full beginner to see atari, to sacrifice a stone to kill, to connect if needed etc… are ultra high concepts at this stage which they could at most agree if they are not already overfilled.

With a bit of practice beforehand, a workshop on a few basic problems is an interesting idea. 1 hour may pass quickly!

1 Like

There are plenty of easy problems for beginners, for instance here:


Start with capture 1 stone in atari, then capture a group of 2, 3… stones in atari, then a simple ladder, problems where you have to choose the correct atari, a simple capturing race,…

Then simple killing problems where one eye is already there and you remove the second eye in one move. Or problems where you have to live and one eye is already present, you just need to make a second one.


Here is a nice blog article that I always feel compelled to recommend

I guess OGS would work ok for this also, either using a demo board, or several (if groups split up) and people can share variations to it. Or set up some interactive puzzles using the puzzle editor.

I think since Go is super broad and it’s not clear what people could learn in a short time, (or even if they want to learn to play Go :P) at least puzzles have some very direct goals: capture, connect, live, escape etc.

I suppose there could be other ideas regarding the “competitively keeping track of points”. One could imagine using sites like goproblems or blacktoplay or tsumego hero, where they probably already have a rating or difficulty for puzzles sets. One could use something like that to keep track of groups progress.

1 Like

Don’t set your expectations too high about what can be achieved in one hour. I think most go problems out there (such as https://blacktoplay.com/) are way too difficult for people who are exposed to go for the first time in their life.

Having one hour and working with a group of 10 people, I think that just working through the material in OGS’ basic tutorial (Play Go at online-go.com! | OGS) would already be a challenge.

1 Like

I mean this is probably true, I don’t think there’s that
many problems.

It would be interesting but maybe a good bit of work to hand pick out a lot of puzzles, like from grades go puzzles, and other puzzle book sources for example.

Like to be honest that’s probably what the presentation is meant to be about, cover the necessarily rules but then ditch everything not relevant to the puzzles. Like one can probably avoid ko unless it’s strictly necessarily, probably avoid seki, again unless time permits?

1 Like

Life and death is already a topic that I usually don’t mention before they have played a couple of games.

Maybe just ladders (maybe better call them staircases) would be a good topic? You only need to know about the game mechanics of strings of stones, liberties and capture. You can then solve puzzles of varying depth and difficulty on this topic alone: short ladders, long ladders, ladder breakers, ladders that twist and turn, ladders that generate a funny image while it progresses, etc.

Yeah but I think in this context, the players may never play Go again after this team building event. I mean it’d be great if they did sure, but I think one probably needs to have different ideas than if one is teaching new players at a club or other event.

Yeah sure why not :slight_smile: But sure cover nets too and other fun tactics.

I actually do think that a handful of puzzles from like the first 2 graded go puzzles could be fun :slight_smile:

1 Like

The good thing about ladders is that they are a clear way of showing that stones on opposite sides of the board affect each other even though there is no moving stones once placed.

I think this realisation that static stones have this kind of spooky interaction at a distance is a good lure to tempt people to find out more about Go for themselves.


I don’t really like capture-go as a stepping stone to teach people real go, but if this is just a one-time thing and the goal is not to teach them real go, capture-go may give this event a bit more depth than a ladder workshop.

Double atari, ladders and nets would then be game winning tactics.

Some capture-go puzzles can even be found in the forums: Capture go problems ⚫

You could also opt to increase the difficulty by requiring capturing more and more stones to meet a win condition. This would enable sacrifice tactics, such as snap-backs and nakade.

I think this is a nice problem collection

I think that’s a great collection for beginners who completed a beginner’s course of (say) six 1-hour sessions. But I think those problems would be too hard for a 1st session.

1 Like

I agree but it does have the merit that the winning condition is easy to explain and unambiguous. And hence participants and play a real by themselves almost immediately.
With Go you need an “expert” arbiter to explain who has won and why for games between two complete beginners.

1 Like

I think the win condition of puzzles are much easier to explain.

“Capture these marked stones”



Yes but I think that misses the feeling that you are playing a game. It depends what you want to achieve with the session really.

The Strasbourg rules are easy to explain and unambiguous. Basically,

  • Explain how to capture
  • Suicide forbidden
  • Play until both players pass
  • Stone scoring: the player with the largest number of stones on the board wins.

The advantage is that you don’t need to explain the concepts of territory and of life and death. The disadvantage is that you need to play inside your territory at the end, and count stones, which is boring.


I’m not sure I agree. I think plenty of people would have fun doing chess puzzles for example. I could imagine a similar thing working ok in chess, explain how the pieces move and capture, and rather than trying to force people to finish games in limited times ( especially since there would be no time to review) just give them mating puzzles or puzzles about forking or pinning pieces etc.

The tactics are much easier to define and explain than the whole strategy of the game.

Think of the idea of the session here.

You’ve used 1/6 to 1/4 of your time explaining the rules or something about the game. Now do you just pair people up, possibly in team games or all 1v1s for the rest of the hour?

There’s too much to explain in a review of an actual game, but explaining solutions to puzzles is much much easier and well defined. People can discuss and work on puzzles together. You can certainly track progress (points) by how many puzzles are solved.

I’d offer to do something like it, only I’ll likely still be working at the time.

So I’m just pitching some ideas in case it’s useful to whoever does it like @Vsotvep :slight_smile:

1 Like