Come play

\o/games with us!
  • No experience necessary
  • We can teach you how to play
  • We totally don't bite or anything

Experienced Players

  • We will gladly lose to strong players
  • Come show us the ropes
  • Teach us how to play!

Location and Time

^/^changes sometimes
  • Bookmark this page and
  • Check here weekly for updates
  • Please also join our mailing list

When and Where?

We meet every Wednesday at 6pm. The location does vary sometimes, so please check the calendar below and please also join our mailing list. (Hint: you can click the calendar items for the full address and and a link to the Google Map of the location.)

We also have semi-regular extra meetings so people that can't make it on the main club night can still play some games. Please see the events calendar and join the mailing list for more information about these.

You never pay a thing

Not counting any parking fees (when we're playing on WMU's campus), there are no fees associated with this activity. About half the players bring their own equipment and half do not — not by recommendation, simply by happy coincidence. Other than that, this game is simply a matter of putting stones on a board. Why should it cost money?

Some clubs do charge a small membership fee, but we do not. We do accept donations, but only a couple people have ever done so. There are some costs associated with AGA licensing and affiliation, but that mostly relates to tournaments and tournament play.

Paypal tries to make it seem like you need a paypal account, but you do not. You can use a creditcard directly if you can figure it out.

Do I need to know how to play?

We'd be happy to show you how to play. Showing you how to place stones and what their basic meaning is takes about ten or twenty minutes. Almost everything you need to know (past the basic rules) you'll get from simply playing games. In Go, a stronger player in a fairly even game will probably feel inclined to go over the game and explain what happened and why they think you lost. This is built into the culture of Go.

If the players are so different in skill level the player with the lower skill has almost no chance the stronger player will often slip into an “oh, this is a teaching game” mode and give tips throughout the game. This may sound a bit patronizing, but it's also part of the culture. Everyone wants you to get stronger at Go.

Also, for players of very different strength, Go has built in handicapping to help even out the games. This is for the benefit of Black (traditionally the weaker player and the one who plays first) and for the benefit of White. Everyone enjoys the game more when it's challenging — that is, it's possible to win and it's possible to lose.

Beginners are really welcome?

Yes! Absolutely.

Unlike most other games of this sort, Go has built in handicapping. If a player is expected to win by 20 or 30 points, or if the weaker player has absolutely no chance of winning, the stronger player can give the weaker player a handicap of two or three extra stones as the weaker player's first move — placed at standard positions.

The handicap helps the stronger player's enjoyment of the game (by making it more challenging); but it also helps the weaker player to learn to get stronger. This is an important point: you cannot learn (as quickly) if you're not playing at the right skill level. If you're only playing weaker opponents you won't get called out on your mistakes like you should. And If you're not presenting a challenge to your opponent they won't be playing at their best — either not paying full attention, or not exploiting every weakness. It's just human nature. If it's not a fair test, then there's not as much to learn.

We make these points strongly because some people resist handicap games. Do not resist the handicap. Handicap games can be just as much fun as even games. Let's all remember that this is about thinking and having fun — unless you're playing for money or competing in a tournament or something. Right?

Where else can I learn how to play?

Probably the best place to learn is by experience. Play lots of games!

At some point, you'll want to learn more formally and for this, your best bet is probably books. Janice Kim wrote a nice set of beginner books (the first of which is Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game). The book Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go can take a student from 12kyu to 8kyu in a single read. It's also an entertaining and funny book, which is a rare thing for this type of text.

Besides books, we recommend Sensei's Library. The site is full of more Go info than any other website (probably). You can lookup anything from the Japanese vocabulary words interstitial to the game to esoteric game commentary relating to Hikaru No Go.

Here's a few more links in no particular order:

Where else can I play?

There are quite a few choices for Internet play these days. The below is just a simple list of servers. We don't specifically endorse or detest any of these sites.

  • Online Go Server: aka OGS
  • Kiseido Go Server: aka KGS
  • Dragon Go Server: aka DGS
  • World Baduk Server:
  • PandaNet Internet Go Server: aka IGS
  • Richards Play by EMail server: PBeM
  • Sensei's Library keeps a list of clients and servers.