Go On the Internet
Thousands of people from all over the world are playing go on the Internet right now! Many are playing on Chinese, Japanese and Korean servers, but several great English language options are listed below. Get a game, watch others play, find a teacher, kibitz, chat -- it's a great way to get acquainted with go, or fit in a quick game anytime, anywhere on the Internet.
On this page:
Select an opponent, or use the "Automatch" feature in KGS and some other servers, and a board will appear. Watch your clock! Most servers require you to agree to one of several time control methods. The Canadian system, where players receive an initial time allotment and then must play x stones in y minutes, is often used. For instance, "1-10" would mean one minute of regular time, after which you must play ten stones per minute.
Internet Go Server (IGS): The "Mother of All Go Servers" began operations in 1992. You'll find up to 1500 players or more online at any time of the day or night. It's a wild and woolly place where pros amuse themselves under assumed names, top Asian matches are mirrored in real time, and there's always something exciting going on. IGS publishes its specifications, so various third-party "clients" are also available. Log in from your iPad/iPhone/iPod with Tetsuki.
KGS Go Server: KGS also attracts hundreds of players who log into dozens of separate "rooms" for clubs, events, lessons and language groups. You can even start your own public or private room! The KGS "client" (interface) supports advanced options for teachers. A great place to get a lesson from a stronger player. The client is cross-platform, using Java, and works on any of the major operating systems. There is no iOS app, but there is an Android client which can be bought. We have prepared an online tutorial and a downloadable PDF file for getting started with KGS.
Tygem Baduk Server: Operated by the Korean Amateur Baduk Associatiion, the sponsor of the American pro tournament.
Wbaduk: The Korean Amateur Association wants to promote baduk to the world. Lots of problems and lectures available.
OGS – On-Line Go Server. As of October 2013, OGS is a merger of the “old OGS,” a turn-based server with Nova.gs, a real-time server running in a web browser.
PlayOK: Play go, among other strategic and card games on this HTML5-based server.
Fly Or Die: You can also play chess, backgammon and other games, or try/buy dozens of fun computer games. FlyorDie donates 30% of every sale to the AGA, so buy your new games here!
GoShrine:: Seems to attract small numbers of newer players and small-board enthusiasts.
The Worldwide Internet Go-Kaisho: Another site serving a smallish community of players.
Internet go, with its strict time limits, calls for constant, alert vigilance. Answer the phone and your time runs out. If you prefer a more moderate pace in a more casual atmosphere, here's another possibility. On these servers you log in, see your opponent's last move, respond, and move on. There's a special satisfaction in completing a game that takes several days or weeks. Play is more casual, and generally not rated, but it's best to have an idea of your rank when you sign up.
Online-go.com: See above. One of the few servers allowing both turn-based and real time play: even "convert" during the same game. Also allows conditional play, speeding up traditional turn-based play.
Gold Token: A variety of turn-based games, including go.