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Subject: Buying a Go set rss

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Marc D
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Hi,

I am planning to buy my first go set. I am a beginner at the game, but I can't bring myself to buy a really cheap set - it may be a misguided drive to purchase something of higher quality when I am still so new to the game, but there it is! I don't want plastic or particle board, or press board. I went to check a set out in a Korean supermarket here in Toronto (particle board and plastic stones) and that added up to nearly $50. I'm after Yunzi stones with a real wood board. In fact, I see GoKGS, the online Go environment for playing people and bots as my introductory 'board'...

Anyway, here is the set that I am considering from Yellow Mountain Imports:

http://www.ymimports.com/p-1420-bamboo-34-go-reversible-boar...

$131.00

I really want the bi-convex stones, but I have heard they have a tendency to skitter across the slick bamboo surface. Does this sound like a valid concern? The other appeal of this board is the reversible 13x13 side. Shipping to Canada for this one is $70, but I would ship it to a friend in the States (free shipping) and have him bring it up the next time he visits.

The other set I'm considering is this one:

http://www.thegogamestore.com/go-game/go-sets/shin-kaya-3cm-...

$95.00

Shipping to Canada is $25 (plus customs fees, probably). This one is not reversible, and I know shin Kaya is not the same as Kaya, but it looks nice. There was one thread here on BGG about TheGoGameStore, but no one who responded had any experience with the company.

If anyone can comment on the shin kaya vs. bamboo board (or even YM Imports or TheGoGameStore) I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!

 
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James W
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I picked up my Go set at the Pacific Mall, the one-stop Asian shopping experience!

I got a large double-sided particle board goban, two baskets of stones and about 340 stones for about $100.

Printed on the other side of the goban was a Xiang Qi board.

Eventually I'll upgrade my set but I've had this set for about 6 years and I still have no complaints.
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Jonathan Harrison
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splanchnic wrote:
Hi,

I am planning to buy my first go set. I am a beginner at the game, but I can't bring myself to buy a really cheap set - it may be a misguided drive to purchase something of higher quality when I am still so new to the game, but there it is! I don't want plastic or particle board, or press board. I went to check a set out in a Korean supermarket here in Toronto (particle board and plastic stones) and that added up to nearly $50. I'm after Yunzi stones with a real wood board. In fact, I see GoKGS, the online Go environment for playing people and bots as my introductory 'board'...

Anyway, here is the set that I am considering from Yellow Mountain Imports:

http://www.ymimports.com/p-1420-bamboo-34-go-reversible-boar...

$131.00

I really want the bi-convex stones, but I have heard they have a tendency to skitter across the slick bamboo surface. Does this sound like a valid concern? The other appeal of this board is the reversible 13x13 side. Shipping to Canada for this one is $70, but I would ship it to a friend in the States (free shipping) and have him bring it up the next time he visits.

The other set I'm considering is this one:

http://www.thegogamestore.com/go-game/go-sets/shin-kaya-3cm-...

$95.00

Shipping to Canada is $25 (plus customs fees, probably). This one is not reversible, and I know shin Kaya is not the same as Kaya, but it looks nice. There was one thread here on BGG about TheGoGameStore, but no one who responded had any experience with the company.

If anyone can comment on the shin kaya vs. bamboo board (or even YM Imports or TheGoGameStore) I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!


I just bought the shin-kaya version of your bamboo board, from YMI. (They're sold out at the moment.)

I am exceedingly happy with it. It's a beautiful board, smooth as silk. I spent 4 hours oiling the stones with mineral oil a couple nights after it came. They're beautiful.

Been trying to try it out, but we just had our third child, and our landlady has decided to sell our house ... and today I got the stomach flu. yuk
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Guillaume G.
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I own bamboo and kaya boards.
I'm not so crazy about bamboo personally : it's very dark and I don't like so much its appearance from close look.

Before buying my kaya board, I compared it with shin kaya and I must say that from a visual point of view, I was not able to differentiate them. The touch and sound are difference but shin kaya looked to me like a very nice substitute.

I don't know about yunzi double convex but yunzi stones surface is not smooth at all. I cannot imagine it would glide on any surface. I regularly play with glass double convex and it works perfectly.

Still, I prefer the japanese shape of the bowls from YMI...
I also think YMI pictures look better but I guess it's also a matter of making the pictures look pretty.

Hmm... Not sure I'm helping...
I guess I would go for the YMI set still because in my mind, bamboo and yunzi go together (I'm probably alone with such thinking)... If you wanted slate and shell, I guess I would have advised shin kaya.
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James Ludlow
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I think the bamboo boards look terrible, but plenty of people like them.

I have a couple sets of glass stones and a set of yunzi stones. I prefer the glass greatly.

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Björn Hansson
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Remeber:

The more expensive the board, the better you'll play. whistle
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Jeremy Koopmans
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I've been quite happy with the shin-kaya board I bought and the bi-convex yunzi stones.

Based strictly off the picture, my reaction to the bamboo board is that the wood grain is distracting.
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Marc D
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taragalinas wrote:
Remeber:

The more expensive the board, the better you'll play. whistle


Thanks for confirming that - I assumed that to be the case but was nervous about asking!
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Marc D
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kingjames01 wrote:
I picked up my Go set at the Pacific Mall, the one-stop Asian shopping experience!

I got a large double-sided particle board goban, two baskets of stones and about 340 stones for about $100.

Printed on the other side of the goban was a Xiang Qi board.

Eventually I'll upgrade my set but I've had this set for about 6 years and I still have no complaints.


I'm always happy to find a reason to go to PM but I want my wood to be a bit less particle-y...
 
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Marc D
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Actorios wrote:
I own bamboo and kaya boards.
I'm not so crazy about bamboo personally : it's very dark and I don't like so much its appearance from close look.

Before buying my kaya board, I compared it with shin kaya and I must say that from a visual point of view, I was not able to differentiate them. The touch and sound are difference but shin kaya looked to me like a very nice substitute.

I don't know about yunzi double convex but yunzi stones surface is not smooth at all. I cannot imagine it would glide on any surface. I regularly play with glass double convex and it works perfectly.

Still, I prefer the japanese shape of the bowls from YMI...
I also think YMI pictures look better but I guess it's also a matter of making the pictures look pretty.

Hmm... Not sure I'm helping...
I guess I would go for the YMI set still because in my mind, bamboo and yunzi go together (I'm probably alone with such thinking)... If you wanted slate and shell, I guess I would have advised shin kaya.


I think I'm, leaning toward the shin kaya set from TheGoGameStore... I can always print up a 9x9 for practicing.
 
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Marc D
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jdludlow wrote:
I think the bamboo boards look terrible, but plenty of people like them.

I have a couple sets of glass stones and a set of yunzi stones. I prefer the glass greatly.



Thanks for the info - I'll look into glass as an option. I think that I will avoid bamboo.
 
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James W
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splanchnic wrote:
kingjames01 wrote:
I picked up my Go set at the Pacific Mall, the one-stop Asian shopping experience!

I got a large double-sided particle board goban, two baskets of stones and about 340 stones for about $100.

Printed on the other side of the goban was a Xiang Qi board.

Eventually I'll upgrade my set but I've had this set for about 6 years and I still have no complaints.


I'm always happy to find a reason to go to PM but I want my wood to be a bit less particle-y...


Yeah, I understand. If you're in the market to get a really good quality board then what I suggested isn't what you want. However, if you just want to have a nice board to play over and can wait a while before you invest, then it may be worth it just to take a quick drive out there. =)

I found my set in a small store on the first floor. Although the goban is particle board, it has been covered with wood laminate so it doesn't look like it was just made! The stones are nice and they came in two bamboo baskets with metal latches.

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Ramon Mercado
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splanchnic wrote:
I have heard they have a tendency to skitter across the slick bamboo surface.


This is absolutely true and the only one reason I would get single-convex for bamboo. If you want double-convex, then get shin-kaya. In fact if you want double convex get a "Japanese-style" set. Remember that single convex is the actual traditional Chinese.
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Jonathan Harrison
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Forgot to say ... my shin-kaya from YMI, if you were to decide to wait for restock, was $151. It does, however, have a 13×13 on the back.
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Marc D
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kingjames01 wrote:
splanchnic wrote:
kingjames01 wrote:
I picked up my Go set at the Pacific Mall, the one-stop Asian shopping experience!

I got a large double-sided particle board goban, two baskets of stones and about 340 stones for about $100.

Printed on the other side of the goban was a Xiang Qi board.

Eventually I'll upgrade my set but I've had this set for about 6 years and I still have no complaints.


I'm always happy to find a reason to go to PM but I want my wood to be a bit less particle-y...


Yeah, I understand. If you're in the market to get a really good quality board then what I suggested isn't what you want. However, if you just want to have a nice board to play over and can wait a while before you invest, then it may be worth it just to take a quick drive out there. =)

I found my set in a small store on the first floor. Although the goban is particle board, it has been covered with wood laminate so it doesn't look like it was just made! The stones are nice and they came in two bamboo baskets with metal latches.



Thanks for the tip - I'll pop by and take a look.
 
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Marc D
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
Forgot to say ... my shin-kaya from YMI, if you were to decide to wait for restock, was $151. It does, however, have a 13×13 on the back.


Hmm... that makes it more tempting, but TheGoGameStore is much cheaper... maybe for a reason. Do you find that you use the 13x13 much?
 
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Marc D
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rmercado wrote:
splanchnic wrote:
I have heard they have a tendency to skitter across the slick bamboo surface.


This is absolutely true and the only one reason I would get single-convex for bamboo. If you want double-convex, then get shin-kaya. In fact if you want double convex get a "Japanese-style" set. Remember that single convex is the actual traditional Chinese.


Ah ha - maybe I read one of your earlier posts where you pointed this out. I'm definitely going to order yunzi with shin-kaya! I appreciate all the help...

And I finally beat the easy bot on KGS!
 
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Aerol Bibat
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If you're not picky, you can probably buy a good enough set at your local Korean grocery for around 20-25 dollars.
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Marc D
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aerolb wrote:
If you're not picky, you can probably buy a good enough set at your local Korean grocery for around 20-25 dollars.


Thanks for the tip - turns out I am picky...blush
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George Leach
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Shin kaya with glass biconvex stones. Biconvex looks better and feels better. Glass stones chip but so do slate and shell stones and they need significant care whereas glass stones only need a very occassional wash and are cheap to replace. Shinkaya is beautiful and sound is pretty irrelevant. I find bamboo far less attractive not commensurate with the only slightly lower price. Don't worry about having a 13x13 board. For how often you'll play it I'd suggest printing out a 13x13 board and placing it on the shinkaya board. You'll get a wood sound and the overall feel of a quality board but you can ditch the 13x13 once you've played for a while.

I would consider one of the 9x9 "floor" boards you can get though because they can be a great draw to new players.
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Marc D
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Thank you to everyone for the valuable advice! I will definitely be ordering a shin-kaya board with glass or yunzi stones and if I can I'd like to get a 9x9 board too (thanks jugular!)

Here's hoping that the attractive components will help draw my young daughters to the game, too!
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Jason Lee
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I'm not sure where people are getting the idea that biconvex stones skitter off more easily than single-convex. In fact, if you accidentally bump an adjacent biconvex stone most of the force is dissipated in wobbling back and forth, but you really have to smack the board harshly to get the stones to move more than a few mm. Single-convex, on the other hand, don't wobble at all, so the entire impact is dissipated in stones sliding around on the board.

In all the games I've played with bi-convex stones, I've rarely sent more than one stone skittering across the board, but in a handful of games with single-convex stones, I've sent whole rows of stones flying off the board.

Another consideration is that bi-convex stones are 100% certain to fit onto any board you buy, now or in the future. The perfect fit is for the board to be just slightly smaller than the stones, so that they jostle against each other gently, but if the board is slightly smaller or slightly larger it just affects the degree of jostling. If you're using single-convex stones, on the other hand, they can't go up an angle to accommodate a marginally smaller board.

The one advantage of single-convex stones is that if you're going through a variation in a review or a pro game you're studying, you can place the hypothetical stones upside down and then go back to the main line without any problems.
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Richard Ghilardi
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I'm going to go out on a limb here.

Don't go for the big kahuna at this time, meaning $100-$200 or more. Settle for something more modest. Here's my suggestion:

http://www.ymimports.com/p-1562-wooden-go-and-chess-combo-se...

It appears quite serviceable and should meet your needs. I assume the stones are glass and the board is NOT particle board -- but ask YM to make sure! You can mark 8 points in red -- 4 in the corners and the 4 midpoints of the sides -- to delineate the 9x9 board. Or, if you're not good with that, the chess board on the other side will serve as an adequate goban if you play the stones on the intersections. Or, you can simply buy a separate 9x9 wooden board -- if you can find one. Besides Go, you also have the equipment for 2 other great games: Chess and Arimaa. And for $7 more you can even play Shogi on that side of the board:
http://www.ymimports.com/p-970-shogi-japanese-chess-pieces.a...

All of this looks to be bundled in a very portable set. And for $40 you won't care if your daughters (or you) add a few dents and scratches to the board, eh?

Disclaimer: I don't work for YM.

Oeco
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Marc D
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Oecolampad wrote:
I'm going to go out on a limb here.

Don't go for the big kahuna at this time, meaning $100-$200 or more. Settle for something more modest. Here's my suggestion:

http://www.ymimports.com/p-1562-wooden-go-and-chess-combo-se...


Oeco


Hey Oeco - thanks for the advice. I hear what you're saying, but I think I'm still going to go a bit higher end. The shin-kaya board with bowls and yunzi stones will cost about $125 (including shipping) from GoGameStore. So it is more expensive, obviously, but it's not too bad. Part of my motivation is to have something that I can keep for a long time. I look around my house and see lots of Ikea furniture that I know is destined for the landfill (nothing against Ikea - I'm a regular), but I also have some furniture that cost more, but will last and has more meaning. I'm just trying to buy less stuff, but of better quality. That said, what you suggest is perfectly logical, but not in line with what I'm thinking right now. Thanks!
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Ramon Mercado
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splanchnic wrote:
Oecolampad wrote:
I'm going to go out on a limb here.

Don't go for the big kahuna at this time, meaning $100-$200 or more. Settle for something more modest. Here's my suggestion:

http://www.ymimports.com/p-1562-wooden-go-and-chess-combo-se...


Oeco


Hey Oeco - thanks for the advice. I hear what you're saying, but I think I'm still going to go a bit higher end. The shin-kaya board with bowls and yunzi stones will cost about $125 (including shipping) from GoGameStore. So it is more expensive, obviously, but it's not too bad. Part of my motivation is to have something that I can keep for a long time. I look around my house and see lots of Ikea furniture that I know is destined for the landfill (nothing against Ikea - I'm a regular), but I also have some furniture that cost more, but will last and has more meaning. I'm just trying to buy less stuff, but of better quality. That said, what you suggest is perfectly logical, but not in line with what I'm thinking right now. Thanks!


I too agree with Oeco. For an everyday palying set specially if its one that you would be taking to coffee shops and the like, I would spend 100 or less. Although 125 is not bad. I would put away some cash and then get a real nice set. That you buy as "furniture" to accentuate your home, and not really as a set for playing.
 
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