To help speed up the pace of my play I’ve started playing on the Pandanet Go Server (IGS). Funny enough that was the very first online Go server I ever played on more than fourteen years ago with the Mac OS X Goban application. The IGS ranking system requires you play at least 20 rated games to get a solid rank and after that the system is point based. Since it doesn’t factor in time like KGS, your rank is less prone to wild fluctuations if you don’t play that frequently.

I have to say it’s a nice change. The Pandanet client looks nice, and the server features a simple automatch feature same as KGS. I currently have a provisional rank of 10 kyu which means I’ve been playing against opponents in the 10-11 kyu range. Based on my first three rated games, I would say that IGS 10 kyu is significantly stronger than KGS 10 kyu. I’ve also played these games with Canadian time and that’s another welcome change. Getting a bunch more time back after playing your 25th move sure takes the heat off during the middle and endgame.

Already my openings are becoming less sluggish and I’m happy about that.

Besides that, I’ve started following two Twitch Go streamers, one pretty well known, hanayeol (6-7 dan Korean amateur) and the other one less well known, jellyplaysgo (KGS 4-5 kyu). I also ordered a Go book I’d never heard of before, Cho Hunhyun Life and Master Games. I’ll definitely report on that when it arrives!