The understandably thrilling excitement around Master(P) (now revealed to be the successor to AlphaGo) inspired me to fire up VirtualBox on my Mac laptop and install the Fox Go Server client so I could observe some of the games. As noted by others, the Fox client is a rebranded Tygem client, so if you’re familiar with Tygem you’ll feel at home with the Fox interface. I can also see how the rebranding bits are appealing to a younger audience. Clearly something is working, at the peak of Master-mania there were more than 30,000 users logged in.

Even now, without Master, there seems to be many active players around the clock, so getting a game request seems easier than Tygem. After two fast paced games as a 9 kyu, my impression is similar to that of Tygem - the skill level at 9 kyu is widely varying and the play style leans toward the aggressive end of the spectrum. Like Tygem most of the players won’t know English so don’t expect much in the way of conversation. However, conversation isn’t something I’ve ever really looked for when playing Go online and the existence of GoKibitz addresses the issue of friendly post-game review when I feel like that’s necessary.

So far the experience has been positive, so I think I’ll probably switch my fast paced game regimen over to Fox from Tygem. I continue to feel good about this approach to addressing my strategic weaknesses. Outreading opponents in local scuffles doesn’t help me if my strategic sensibilities haven’t advanced much beyond 9 kyu. These fast games handicap my reading ability and force me to stay focused on the big picture.

Speaking of which, last night I won my first Season 17 AYD game. Even in slower games I’m avoiding disadvantaged fights and paying more attention to the territorial balance.