I got myself a new Go opponent: GNU Go with Jago user interface. I have an installation of older GNU Go on one of my Unix shell accounts, but for some reason I hadn’t thought of getting it on my home PC. Well, now I have it so I can play real 19×19 Go against my computer. Earlier I have played against Igowin which is a good learning tool and has a nice handicap system, but only supports 9×9 board — still, get it if you’re learning Go and play hundreds of games against it. First it will beat you hands down, but soon you’ll learn. You’ll definitely appreciate when you win the game without a handicap for the first time.

Unfortunately Jago caused some nasty graphical glitches, but hopefully they were just temporary troubles. Still, I prefer using a real goban (a Go board) and playing against a human. I was just reminded of how beautiful even my humble and cheap goban is when the stones form their intricate patterns on it when I played Gomoku (aka 5-in-a-row) with Johanna on it.

I’ve also started more games on Dragon Go Server to establish a some sort of rating for myself. The system works well and looks definitely nicer than the pure e-mail of PBEM Server. No offense to the old faithful e-mail, which works quite well and without any extra software, but I’ve found the board is easier to understand with neater graphics. All of the computers I frequent have web browsers, after all.

The server documentation is still mostly missing, but the user interface is simple enough. If you’re interested to play, I’m always ready for challenges!

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