Buying Go Equipment and Supplies
Go equipment can be hard to find in stores, and good equipment is even harder. If you want to buy in person, and your local game store has nothing to your liking, you can try shops that specialize in Asian gifts or arts and crafts. Look around and ask for go (Japanese), baduk (Korean), or wei ch'i/weiqi (Chinese). Go books, especially for more advanced players, are also few and far between in bookstores. In both cases, your best source for equipment may be online. We hope you will find this information and these links useful in your search.
The three vendors listed below have published, among them, more than 200 volumes of excellent go instruction in English, bringing a wealth of knowledge to the aspiring Western player go player. Check out the AGA's annotated bibliography, where you'll also find links to more information about these books.
Publishes original English-language instructional material, including the quarterly Go World magazine. Kiseido's catalog features a continuous series of more than thirty instructional volumes, a mega-how-to manual for top level play: Graded Go Problems For Beginners (4 volumes); The Elementary Go Series (7 volumes); Mastering The Basics (7 volumes); Get Strong at Go(10 volumes); and Graded Go Problems for Dan Players (6 volumes). Kiseido also sells many other excellent books, top quality equipment and original go art. Kiseido Digital offers Go World and other products in e-book pdfs.
A broad, diverse and popular catalog of translated and original works, such as John Fairbairn's fascinating series of books on historic matches and Yi-lun Yang's Fundamental Principles of Go and The Workshop Lectures Vols. 1-6.
Publishes many translations of Asian go classics for all levels of play; large software inventory; unique equipment and other items. An interesting online art gallery.
Go playing equipment varies widely in quality. You can get a good basic set, with a thin wooden board and plastic stones and bowls, for under $50; or spend a little more for thicker, more fine-grained wood and heavier, thicker glass stones. The best equipment can cost $1000's. Honored artisans such as the Miwa family make fine boards according to a long family tradition, while other manufacturers such as Korye Myengban create boards with elaborately inlaid grids. Top-quality stones, such as those made by Kurokigoishi are generally made from slate and clamshell. It is also possible to purchase custom-made stones cut from semi-precious gems. To learn much more, you can consult Wikipedia's "go equipment page".
Get the best equipment you can afford, it will enhance your enjoyment of the game. Avoid cheap imitations! The stones should be lens-shaped or flat on one side (Yunzi style), and they should be large enough to touch when placed on adjacent intersections. These are mostly US-based companies, but for the convenience of other Western go lovers we have also listed European and Australian sources.
Go Game Guru: Shop at Go Game Guru and 10% of the value of your order will go towards supporting the AGA.
Yellow Mountain Imports: Vendor of boards, stones, and bowls from Yunnan, China. Carries genuine Yunzi stones and a variety of boards made from kaya, shin kaya, and bamboo.
WorldWise Imports: Skip the "Best Seller" -- stones too small for board -- and you'll find good value further down. Call their TOLL FREE number 1 (866) 643-6355 with AGA membership number to receive a 10% discount on their whole catalog, even non-go products.
Chessngames: 10% discount for AGA members! Place your order by phone and give your AGA membership number for your 10% discount.
Kurokigioshi: Sometimes has outstanding deals on high quality equipment.
Korye Myengban: Very expensive Korean inlayed grid boards. Yes, those four-to-six figure prices are in dollars.
The Trading Centre: This British site is the only place on the web to purchase and download Michael Reiss' Go++.
Algorithmic Artisan: Semi-precious go stones for the serious collector.
Refrigerator Go: Turn your refrigerator into a demo board for $30! Perfect for classrooms and after-school programs -- lightweight, adheres to any metal surface.
The Game Supply: A family-oriented board game store, with many great quality and fairly priced games.
Yutopian Enterprises maintains a thorough inventory of go-related software.
Smart Games: Many Faces of Go will teach you or play against you. Download the 9x9 version, Igowin, for free.
Smart Go: An advanced study tool: record, replay, study; print book-quality diagrams; play against the computer; study 1000's of professional games and a huge library of problems.
GoClubsOnline:Integrated online tools for managing your club's events, tournaments, registrations, pairings and memberships.
Ki Press: Vendors of Bruce Wilcox's Go Dojo, a Windows-based computer instructional program, EZ-Go: Oriental Strategy in a Nutshell and Ego, a Windows-based computer opponent. Email brucewilcox@bigfoot for more information.
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