Posted by eoghan on November 15th, 2008
Go Servers allow you to play online and come in two flavours, real-time and correspondence. The two main real-time servers for English-speakers are the Kiseido Go Server (KGS) and the Internet Go Server (IGS). IGS is the original go server, and has a larger population than KGS, especially at the higher end of the rankings. Backed by PandaNet, sponsors of the European Cup, it often features live relays of Japanese professional games. On the other hand, KGS seems increasingly to be the server of choice for European players and is generally considered more accessible for the beginner. There is an Ireland room on KGS (check Rooms > National > Ireland) where you will find many of the Irish players.
The main correspondence go server is Dragon Go Server (DGS) although it has a young rival in the form of Online Go Server (OGS) which has a strong concentration on tournaments.
Europe – Tournaments & Ratings
The EGF maintains a calendar of European tournaments. There is also a tournament listing page on Sensei’s Library which can easily be edited by tournament organisers, and may contain different information than the EGF page. The biggest European event is the two-week long European Go Congress, which will next be held in Groningen in Holland in August 2009. The PandaNet Go European Cup is a year-long competition with points available from more than twenty tournaments across the continent, including the Irish Open.
The European Go Federation ratings are widely recognised and are commonly used to establish initial seeding at European tournaments. The ratings are based on the Elo system, and maintained by Ales Cieply. The excellent European Go Database site presents the ratings in graphic form and allows easy cross-referencing of players and tournament.