The online Go community seems small only if you exclude yourself from the massive community of Go players in China, Korea and Japan. Recently, I’ve been spending more and more time on Tygem and Fox and I’ve come to really enjoy it even as I find myself getting beat up a lot.
What people say is true, there’s many sandbaggers and you frequently encounter some non-verbal rudeness when the game is clearly over. But these issues don’t really bother me anymore, and I find myself really, really enjoying the fighting heavy play style. It certainly drives home how weak my middle game really is. I’m learning to always check whether an aggressive looking move is just an overplay. I’m developing a sense of when to back down or step up to a fight. I’m finding games often quickly leave the books where I’m left to my own devices and I simply need to try something instead of burning time trying to calculate (check it in review!). These are all weaknesses in my own game so this is welcome game experience. Go is such a dynamic and active game and it’s refreshing for me to see that perspective on Fox and Tygem.
The only problem is if you’re not a Windows users. Until I started playing Go, I really had no need for Windows outside of the occasional work thing. I tried Wine on OS X to participate on Tygem and I found it too buggy to be practical. I instead now use Virtual Box and the Windows 10 ISO. You can easily find instructions online about setting up Windows 10 with VirtualBox. Once you’ve got that up and running, installing the clients is a breeze.