Saturday, July 04, 2009

Teaching Go

Last week, I taught go in a library in a small town in Vermont. They were focusing on Japan and Japan history for the summer, and were interested in covering some go in that program.


It was a very small group of people, I taught three adults and one kid. I brought my three young ones, so they could help me teach, which they did part of the time. The rest of the time they were playing with their friends and sometimes noisier than they should be in a library, but luckily it was the kids department of the library anyway. My hope was that seeing little kids play go would make it less overwhelming for the new adults. 'If this little one can play go, so should I!'


I started them off with capture go, which was a good way to learn about liberties before we went on to the rest of the rules. They enjoyed playing and got a good introduction to the game.


An interesting phenonema was the difficulty a chess player had with seeing liberties. I made a one space, one eyed group at the edge of the board, surrounded by enemy stones, to start talking about eyes. He kept insisting that this one eyed group had three liberties, so I clearly had not explained the concept well enough. I will have to ponder this for the next time I teach beginners. I hadn't had this particular issue before, usually they see the number of liberties by the time we get to this part of the introduction.


Four more people introduced to go!
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