About Me

I’m Les, and I’ve got a genuine passion for Go that I’ve been nurturing since the early 2000s. The purpose of my site, HowToPlayGoForBeginners, isn’t just about teaching the rules of this incredible game; it’s also about sharing the fascination and strategic depth that Go offers to everyone, especially those just starting out.

You’re going to find out about my own climb through the ranks of Go gameplay, where I currently stand at a skill level of around 5k to 6k. This is a reflection of my devotion to the game and symbolizes the knowledge that I’ve gathered over time and which I’m eager to pass on to you.

Now, what is a Go server? It’s a platform where players from all over the world come together to compete and learn. I’m well-versed in navigating through many of them, such as KGS, OGS, Tygem, and the Fox Go Server. Each of these platforms has contributed to my expertise and understanding of Go, enhancing the skills I’m here to help you with.

Our journey will unfold as we walk through my history of lessons and discoveries in Go. Prepare to delve into experiences that will not only teach you how to play but will also instill a deeper appreciation for the culture and strategy behind the game.

Learning from the Best in Go

I’ve always believed that to truly excel at something, you need to learn from experts. That’s why I count myself incredibly fortunate to have been mentored by one of the best in the game, Alexandre Dinerchtein, a 3-dan professional (3P) Go player. Our journey together started at a local go club and later transitioned to the online realm.

The shift to online lessons didn’t just fit our schedules better; it also opened up a whole new world of learning opportunities. With Alexandre’s guidance, my understanding of Go deepened, transforming the way I approached the game both strategically and philosophically.

Professional players, like Alexandre, offer a wealth of knowledge that is hard to find elsewhere. During our teaching games, he would unveil the subtleties of Go that are often hidden to casual players. These insights have greatly influenced my play style and teaching methodology, which you’ll notice in my tailored tutorials for beginners.

But my education in Go didn’t stop with formal lessons. I relish the challenge of playing teaching games against other professional players as well. These experiences are not just lessons in strategy but also in humility and perseverance – essential qualities for any Go player looking to improve.

My approach to learning and teaching Go emphasizes understanding the ‘why’ behind each move. It’s about building a foundation of solid Go strategy that can evolve with each game played. I’m enthusiastic about passing on the lessons learned from professionals to players who are just discovering the beauty of this ancient game.

Sharing Knowledge and Passion

I created HowToPlayGoForBeginners because I want to share the excitement and depth that Go offers to everyone, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s a game of endless possibilities, and I’m here to help you navigate its complexities.

On my Wallerdog Youtube channel, you’ll find a treasure trove of Go lessons and teaching games that I’ve participated in. These resources are crafted to be accessible, providing you with practical strategies and insights that you can apply right away.

But this isn’t just about watching videos; it’s also about building a community. I invite you to join fellow learners and enthusiasts in discovering the joys of Go. Whether it’s through interactive tutorials or engaging discussions, we’re on this journey together.

Remember, your first attempt doesn’t need to be your last. It’s perfectly okay to make mistakes as they are stepping stones to mastery. I encourage you to be persistent, stay curious, and above all, enjoy the process of learning this beautiful game.

I really hope that you take the first step towards your Go journey with HowToPlayGoForBeginners. Choose something that resonates with you from the variety of content and always feel free to reach out with your questions or feedback; I’m here to help you grow.

Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to seeing you on the board!

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P vs Rav3n 6D

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P vs Rav3n 6D

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P

You can see Alexandre Dinerchtein’s background on the page that talks about the match between Alex and Stanislaw.

Rav3n 6D

Rav3n (Chris Sagner) is a high level amateur dan player in the USA. He goes by Gelato on OGS and Rav3n on KGS.

His contact information, if you are interested in getting lessons, can be found on our Online Teachers page.

He also played a teaching game with me in the past, so I decided to reward him by setting up this game against Alex.

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Wallerdog Twitch Channel 8-10 PM GMT +1 (2-4PM EST)

Here is the game and review! Enjoy!

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P vs Mateusz Surma 2P

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P vs Mateusz Surma 2P

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P

You can see Alexandre Dinerchtein’s background on the page that talks about the match between Alex and Stanislaw.

Mateusz Surma  2P

Mateusz has been an EGF professional go player since 2015. He spent 2 years in Korean Baduk academies and 2 seasons in Beijing, China.

He has his own website and shop and that information can be found on our Online Teachers page.

Mateusz has been actively participating in tournaments, amateur and then professional since at least 2006.

The match will be held on

Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Wallerdog Twitch Channel 8-10 PM GMT +1 (2-4PM EST)

Update: We decided to make these matches public thanks to the fine support from one of our best supporters.

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P vs Stanislaw Frejlak 1P Exhibition Match 21 December 2022

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P vs Stanislaw Frejlak 1P

This will be an exhibition match between the two European Go professionals sponsored by Les Waller (Wallerdog).

It will be premiered on Les Waller’s Live Twitch stream from 8-10 PM GMT+1 on Wednesday, 21 Dec 22.

Here is the link to the twitch channel: Wallerdog Go Twitch Channel

You can watch the game live FREE!!!

And, both players will do a LIVE review of their game immediately after the match!

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P

Alexandre became a formal Go student in 1997 in South Korea. He became a professional (1P) under the Korean Go Association in 2002 and in 2008 was promoted to 3P.

One of the times I got to attend the event where he was playing was the 1st round of the 8th LG Cup from 2003-2004. He won against O Rissei 9P.

He has been a European Go champion during the following years: 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2009.

Alexandre actively teaches go and you will find him listed on our Online Teachers page.

Stanislaw Frejilak 1P

Stanislaw started playing Go at 6 years old. In 2012 he became the Polish champion, again in 2017, and has held it for the last four years in a row!

After high school he joined the EGF Academy and then 1 year later attended the Ge Yuhong Academy in Beijing, China.

He became a professional Go player in 2021.

Stanislaw has placed 4th in the World Amateur Go Championship in 2018, 4th in the European Go Championship in 2019 and 3rd place in the European Grand Prix Finale in 2019.

Although I see he has provided lessons in the past it looks like lessons are not available at this time.

So, I’ll put his page, “Stanislaw Frejlak” here for you to visit.

Wednesday, 21 December 2022 Wallerdog Twitch Channel 8-10 PM GMT+1 (2-4PM EST)

Update: I’ve decided to make the match publicly available rather than on Patreon because the Twitch subs (mostly gifted) will cover the costs.

So you can watch the match below:


Online Go Server - Tygem
Online Go Server – Tygem

Online Go Server – Tygem

Tygem is a popular Korean based Go server where you can find Korean and Chinese servers or “rooms”.

They have an automatch feature that makes it easier to find a random match with someone else. The quick automatch is a 5 minute main time with 3x 30 second byo-yomi’s.

You can also create a room for playing.

When I log in I see listed:

  • Premium
  • Korea1(1D-8D)
  • Korea3(18K-1K)
  • Sudam
  • Championship
  • World
  • ChinaPremium
  • China(1D-8D)

To log into the individual server you should be within that rank structure. I’m currently a 5K on the Tygem Go server. My username on Tygem is “wallerdog”.

If you would like to make an account on the Tygem server, I made a video on how to do that here on Youtube.

Cho Hye Yeon, 9P who you can see on our listing of Professional Go Teachers, also plays on Tygem.

Although, I’ve now shown you three go servers you can play on I would recommend you only play on one or two after you have found which ones are best for you.

I have all of these accounts so I can play my viewers no matter what server they play on. I want to make it easier for them to be on my live stream on Twitch where I stream Wednesdays from 2-4 PM EST. Follow my Twitch channel so you can watch me play live or even play a match against me.

See you there!

Online Go Server - OGS
Online Go Server – OGS (online-go)

Online Go Server – OGS

The 2nd online go server I would like to introduce to you is, OGS.

OGS has tournaments, ladders, groups, forums, puzzles and a joseki tool.

One very nice feature about OGS is that for free you can get a couple moves automatically evaluated by AI.

If you want a deeper AI look into your game then they have several subscriptions available. I use the lowest subscription to help improve my game and hopefully draw more people to my live Twitch stream.

OGS is completely handled by your browser and you can find the site here.

If you would like a match with me while live streaming, my login name here is “les.waller”. Can’t get much simpler than that!

To play a game you click the “Play” tab on top, then you can choose between a quick match finder or set up a custom game by clicking create.

I typically use a custom game with Japanese rules, Live game speed, Byo-yomi for time control, 10 minute main time with 5 30-second byo-yomi’s.

I haven’t played a teaching game on OGS, yet. However, I do see that some of the professional online go teachers do play on OGS.

I see that have a really nice area called, “Learn to Play Go“.

Learn to play go

You can get to it by clicking on the menu (I call it a cheeseburger) and selecting Learn to play Go. It has some very nice introductory problems for you to work through at your own pace.

Online Go Server - KGS
Online Go Server – KGS (Kiseido Go Server)

Online Go Server

I thought one of the important things to discuss and introduce to you would be where you can play go online, for free!!! The first online go server that I played on was KGS.

In successive posts I will introduce to you some of the other online go servers that I play go on.

On KGS, like most other go servers, you can watch others play games, play games and get your games reviewed.

They have now opened up weekly professional lectures for free, that’s a great way to get the best knowledge about the game of go.

Here is the main page to the KGS online go server:

The KGS Go Server

Once you are inside the server you will find there are different types of rooms. There is an active game room where you can see a listing of all active games. There is an open games room where you will see those who are wanting to play. A new room since I played, it’s been a while, is a computer go room. I’ll have to check it out soon and report back to you.

There are also many different language rooms available. If you click on Rooms, you will see Main, New Rooms, Clubs, Lessons, Tournaments, Social and National. I recommend you check some of the rooms within those listings.

The hardest part about joining and server and playing go is getting ranked. The reason for that is because your rank will show up as a “?”, meaning you are unranked. Unfortunately, there are those who will purposefully play lower ranked people just so they can enjoy betting them. That kind of hurts it for the rest of us who are either just starting out, have just joined the server, or haven’t played on the server for a while and the system has reset our rank to a “?”.

I think I will follow this up with a video later on and put it in this post. I don’t know about you, but I’m a visual person and would prefer a video on this rather than reading a 400 word post.

Oh, one more thing! My in game name on KGS is “LesWaller” don’t hesitate to say, “hi” and let me know you came to the server from this online article.

Some of the Online Teachers I’ve listed in my site play mainly on this online go server; go check them out!



Welcome to My Baduk Page
Welcome to My Baduk Page

Welcome to My Baduk Page: Well, actually this is a Go, Baduk Weiqi page!

Let’s put those in their native languages, shall we?

囲碁 Igo 바둑 圍棋

There, that’s much better! Hahaha!

I’ve been playing go since the early 2000’s. At that time I was living and working in Korea, what a great place to start learning go!

All of the major cities had go clubs where you could go in and play go one on one with other go players. And, it was very inexpensive to spend time there, too!

On top of that you could watch go being played live on BadukTV.

Best of all were all of the live amateur tournaments that were being held all over Korea, too!

I’ll do some looking around my old photographs and see if I can’t share some of these with you soon! Like this one!

Go Happenings in Korea

The whole idea of this website is to help teach “how to play go for beginners”.

On this site we have FAQ‘s, this is a list of frequently asked questions that will mostly be answered in video form to make it easier to see what is being explained.

We will also have a list of mostly professional teachers who teach online, so if you are interested check them out. The amateur teachers I have listed will be limited to those whom I have played and had a learning experience. If you want to be on the list, offer a free teaching game and we can include you and the game on these pages. Otherwise, you will have to wait until I decide who I’m going to pay to play.

The teaching game page includes all online teaching games that were done live on Twitch then edited and uploaded to my Wallerdog Youtube page.

My goal has been for a long time to reach amateur 1 dan. That goal has eluded me for a long time and it’s time to take up the challenge once again.

When I reach 1d, I have promised myself a very expensive floor go board as a reward. 🙂

I hope you enjoy what I have to offer here and hope to hear from you with any requests you may have.


Les Waller (Wallerdog)

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