Beautiful Go with Panda

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Playing and studying go in a country where the game is not known to the common people can be disheartening for an enthusiast searching for a casual game. However, thanks to technology, there are now ways to play go with fellow enthusiasts from all over the world.

Go servers are places on the web where one can play go. In my opinion, the internet and go servers are the reason why more people around the world can enjoy the wonderful and beautiful game of go.

When I searched for a go server, one of the first places I found was Pandanet a.k.a. Internet Go Server (IGS).

Almost Real

According to Sensei’s Library, Pandanet is the first real-time internet go server. Pandanet’s beautiful interface and dynamics makes playing go online as if one is playing it on a real kaya go board with real slate and shell stones. See the snapshot of a sample game below, a professional game record opened using the Pandanet client. The interface is also the same when playing live except the tools and markers for reviewing games located on the left side of the go board are absent.

Pandanet Sample Game

I have tried other go clients and have played on other servers, but Pandanet is the only place on the web that gives the best experience.

Four Easy Steps

How can one play at Pandanet? Just follow these four easy steps:

  1. Register a username at Pandanet. You will need a working e-mail address to verify the account. You can also specify your go rank. If you are a beginner, just choose Beginner as your rank.
  2. Download GoPanda2 (available for Windows, Mac, and Linux). The client is only about 40MB.
  3. Install GoPanda2. It takes only a couple of minutes to install the client.
  4. Log-in, find an opponent, and play!

Simple Ranking System

Another thing I like about playing at Pandanet is the ranking system.

Players begin with the rank they specified upon registration. Every game gives points to the winner and takes points from the loser. The amount of points added or subtracted depends on the players’ rank difference. A player is promoted or demoted when a player’s points reaches a certain number. Pandanet’s ranking table may look complicated, but it does not get as simple as this. Beginners, however, need to win at least five games first before they can get a numerical rating of 17 kyu. I think this way of ranking is good for non-dan players because before one can get strong one must struggle by winning games.

Learn more about Pandanet by following the links. Hope to see you there soon.

END

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