Friday, November 27, 2009

Requesting Ideas on Refinishing Goban

Wax is difficult. Unless the wood is sealed, it gets deep in the wood. After adding wax, you cannot draw the lines any more - the ink/lacquer does not stick any more. So if you can plane the board, then first seal, then draw lines, then wax.
Always test the combination you intend to use with a test piece of wood, so you can see that the lines will be nice, and not smudging.
The Japanese use I guess some softer wax. I made mine with carnauba wax (which is the hardest natural wax).

I'd start by scrubbing down the surface with soap and water! Hopefully, you'll be happy with the amount of dirt that gets washed away. This is the way my current goban looked for several years before I gave it a wash.


The big stain came out and, after a little oiling, it now has a bright sparkle. I've washed other gobans with equally good results.


An amazing improvement, but it looks like  lines were still good, but the original posters lines look worn off. Still it is worth a try to wash first as that is less drastic.

Looking for a website listing Go Books by difficulty

Site 1:

Site 2:

I think he has a good list, but it's kind of biased. Roberts book is rated ++ when he hasn't been able to read it himself as a player who doesn't understand those concepts. Another thing is books are rated bad because they don't show rank improvement. I think a lot of the books mentioned do improve your rank. Not your overall rank, but your strength in that specific subject. It's not that his list is bad. I think it's really good, but its incomplete.

Where to begin - life and death for beginners?

Where do you begin?  Here's what I think I know.

1) Regardless of any heuristics you might start with - ultimately you have to 'read it out' -- I got that. Problem is? As a noob - not having a clue where to begin - I'm faced with MORE variations to consider than someone who knows what they're doing. And very quickly get overwhelmed.

2) Practice, practice, practice... so that I get familiar with the basic patterns. Got that. And working on it.  With these two observations as a given... any suggestions?  One thing I find myself barely able to do - and it's getting a bit easier - is to identify where eyes would have to be for a group to live. I find this easier to do when a group has invaded in the centre, away from sides and corners, and I figure out what points to 'take' to make sure it dies a bloody death.  But beyond this, I flounder - basically trying to solve LD probs using the brute force method. Very plodding - no real sense of 'art' in any manner. And again? My head isn't big enough for the number of possible variations generated by good old brute force. Any beginner hints? I know there's no magic here. I suspect that the only path is practice, practice, practice until your eyes bleed out.

Kiseido also has Graded Go problems for Beginners, which I recommend. It has a variety of different problems, instead of just life and death.