Learn Overview

This page contains a variety of links on learning go. Suitable for anyone wanting to learn and improve or as a resource for teaching others the game. Once you're ready to take it to the next level, you can find a teacher among the AGA-certified go professionals and other go professionals in the United States and abroad.

On This Page
Introduction to the Basics
After you know the rules
Online Communities
Game Records
History and Culture
Commented Games for Beginners
Game Analysis and Commented Games
Online Group Lessons
Even more on the AGA website

Introduction to the Basics

These sites assume that you are a complete newcomer to the game of go. Each tells the story and describes the game in its own way. We hope you will find one that intrigues you.

Also, see our handouts section for some short, printable introductions to the game.

  • The Way to Go: In addition to starting at the beginning, this little booklet has taught basic strategy to thousands of players for more than thirty years. A brief but complete introduction.

  • Introductory Comic Book Download and print out Andreas Fecke's cartoon introducing Mr. and Mrs. Chesspiece to the game.

  • Video Tutorial: Goshawk Heron's three-part (four video) YouTube-based video is worth watching.

  • Introduction to Go: A Flashmedia presentation by Mindy McAdams.

  • PandaNet (IGS) Introduction to Go: The Internet Go Server offers a nice basic description of the rules.

  • Introduction to the Game of Go: From the British Go Association's website.

  • Tel's Go Notes: "Tel" likes to teach online, and has compiled this sort of FAQ for beginners. Tel plays at about a 4-5K level.

After you know the rules

In addition to the following links, there are many English-language books available for learning almost anything you want about go.

  • River Mountain Go Volume One and Volume Two Oliver Richman developed this material while teaching Go to children in the classroom, now available for download, nearly 200 pages of clear basic instruction organized in book form with clear easy-to-read diagrams.

  • Improve Fast At Go Go For Kids author Milton Bradley (no relation to the game company) wrote this freely accessible workbook to help beginners make it to the SDK (single-digit kyu) range.

  • How to Play Against the Stronger Player Volume 1 and Volume 2: This popular Japanese "Super Go" series helps players to improve their handicap go. A translated version produced by Steve Bretherick and John Stephenson of the Wings Go Club are available for download in English at no charge. The AGA is grateful to the Japan Go Association for making this possible.

Improve your play by studying pro games, solving problems, and learning strategic and tactical concepts from these sites.

  • The Magic of Go: 428 articles written by Richard Bozulich and Rob Van Ziejst for the Yomiuri Shimbun, the world's largest newspaper (13 million readers).

  • Shape Up!: An easy-to-read introduction to the elusive concept of "shape."

  • Go Teaching Ladder: A sort of game analysis co-op -- analyze games for weaker players and yours will be analyzed in turn.

  • Kogo's Joseki Dictionary: Gary Odom of Portland, Oregon created this free database.

  • My Friday Night Files: Jan Van Rongen offers a huge archive of over 1500 Cho Chikun game records in sgf format, along with other collections, including all the pro games used in the Hikaru No Go anime.

Online Communities

  • LifeIn19x19: A moderated forum to discuss all matters related to go.

  • Reddit: Baduk: Forum for discussions

  • Sensei's Library: A huge, communally maintained archive of nearly 3000 pages on every conceivable go-related topic.

  • rec.games.go: A freewheeling, unmoderated forum for discussion and debate.

Game Records

  • GoBase: Game records from top pro tournaments, historical essays, instructional articles, collections of corner sequences, full-board openings, and much more!

  • go4go: A catalog of 86000+ game records (as of Sept 2019) which are actively updated with new pro games. A basic account allows download and viewing of individual games. Subscribing allows downloading all of the sgf's and weekly updates for a year.

  • GoGoD: 96000+ games in this database. It costs $15 to download.

  • GoKifu Find and download specific sgfs of games between top pros.

  • Game Records from the British Go Journal: Sgf files based on material from the magazine.

  • GoGameGuru: A user-friendly site with instruction, commented games and more.

Go Problems

  • GoProblems.com: Solving problems is a good way to get stronger. Thousands are available here, sorted by type and skill level.

  • GoChild: Sign in and enjoy 30,000+ puzzles right away.

  • 200 Go Puzzles for Beginners Paul Smith created this set of 200 problems for the British Go Association. Intended for absolute beginners, they present basic knowledge in three levels of 11 sheets that address specific themes for organized study. Smith takes nothing for granted -- we're so sure you can solve them, we didn't even include the answers! (Write to agf@usgo.org if you're not sure about something.) The American Go Foundation is grateful to Paul and the BGA for allowing us to make them available online for the first time.

  • Problem of the Week: Minoru Hirada has been posting two new problems per week -- one elementary, one intermediate -- since 1996. The archive of more than 800 problems is also available for review. The problem of the week editor also selects a weekly problem that is posted on the AGA's home page.

  • Problem of the Month: The 100+ problems Steve Bailey published between 1996 and 2005 are more advanced. Archive of problems posted since 1996 available for review.

  • Guanzi Pu is a classic Chinese problem collection, with1473 problems. It was authored by Guo Bailing in 1660 and expanded by Tao Shiyu et al. in 1689. Originally conceived as an endgame and technique collection, it was expanded to include broader demonstrations of attack and shape exploitation. The intended audience is mid dan to pro, although some problems are easier.
    PDF (Solutions after each problem): Single problem layout, all problems plus extras, solutions after each problem, by logan on L19.
    PDF (Solutions at end of book): Single problem layout, all problems plus extras, solutions at end of book, by logan on L19.
    PDF (No solutions): Multi-problem layout, but with some missing problems and no solutions, by pwaldron.

History and Culture

Although the following two sites are more about the culture and history of go, they are nonetheless good beginner sites to whet your appetite for more. See even more on our History and Culture page.

  • The IGS Art Gallery: Learn more about go as a rich cultural presence in Asian life through more than 100 Japanese and Chinese classic works of art featuring a go theme, fully curated with the history and significance of each piece.

  • New In Go: A collection of more than 80 articles on a wide range of offbeat subjects -- everything from a six-group seki to how people without arms play go. Written and compiled by John Fairbairn and T. Mark Hall, the authors of the GoGoD Encyclopedia and Database.

Game Analysis and Commented Games

For Beginners

  • Download four commented 9x9 game records and an "ideal" 19x19 game, all created by American master teacher Yi-lun Yang 8-dan with new players in mind. In sgf, a standard format that most game review software can read.
    Game 1
    Game 2
    Game 3
    Game 4

  • A 19x19 game with a complete move-by-move commentary on an "ideal" game, by Yi-lun Yang 8-dan.

Other level comments and reviews

  • Go on Go: The legendary Go Seigen offers detailed analysis of some of his famous games, and other historical matchups. This book was made available for download by the Wings Go Club. The AGA is grateful to the Japan Go Association for making this possible.

Online Group Lessons

These online group lessons often include access to additional videos, reviewing of your games by the group leaders, and group lectures. Be sure to check them out before you commit!

  • Guo Juan's Internet Go School: a library of over 900 lectures written by professional-level teachers covering all aspects of Go with more recorded each week. Go lessons delivered over the internet both group classes and private lessons from the Amsterdam-based author of The World of Chinese Go.

  • KGS Plus: Weekly lessons available from various professional teachers.

  • Yunguseng Dojang - The 100% Internet-based program is operated by Current European 1st-rank player In-seong Hwang 8 Dan


YouTube - users that produce Go videos, some quite frequently.

Twitch.tv - a website for game broadcasts.


  • Igowin: a 9X9 freeware version of Many Faces of Go, plays a decent small-board game. A good program for beginners.

  • Dariush 3D: Animated avatars race a cross the board to place their stones in this lively piece of freeware, which plays both "AtariGo" (Capture Go) and Go on a 9x9 board, offering three levels of expertise. Developed specifically to appeal to children. Dariush, another free download that plays 19x19, is also available.

  • Go Software: A more complete list of software that plays against you, helps you study, and more.


With the long history of go, there have been a wide variety of rulesets, both documented and undocumented. The study of rulesets is a tool for learning, playing, and research.

Rules of Go contains a complete set of links to rule-related information and commentary. At least six rule sets are in use today in various parts of the world, but don't worry. You don't have to learn them all. In fact, if you know how to play, you don't even have to know which rules you use! Just so you and your partner agree beforehand on a few issues like komi, handicap, and whether territory is vacant spaces only or stones and spaces.

Even more on the AGA website

Follow these links across this site for more exhaustive lists and in depth information.

  • Books: Find many English-language books in our detailed AGA Annotated Bibliography.

  • Professionals and Teachers: find teachers, additional resources from go professionals.

  • Tournaments: find workshops and lectures from professionals at many organized go tournaments.

  • Become a pro: Do you think you have what it takes? The AGA now certifies Go Professionals in the United States and Canada. Can you become one?

  • Clubs: find or start a go club and meet people in your area.

  • Go Organizations and People: find more information from people and organizations around the web

  • Internet Go Servers: Thousands of people are playing on the Internet right now! Here's how to join them.