A new tool for weiqi players has emerged. It is called IgoLocal. This one can be seen in two different ways, and they work perfectly for both.

One is as a reaction against too much focus on online Interenet go servers and the lack of real life social interactions over a physical go board. The other is to see it as a very useful tool for beginners to find other players and go clubs in the area where they live. If a beginner have no one to play against then they will soon loose interest in the game. And why not use this tool to find go players or go clubs in other countries when you are out traveling? I'd like that!

This new site is aiming at working as a real life physical go server. You register on the site and point out on the map the approximate location of your home. It is not important to point out exactly where you live as long as it is in the correct city area. Then you can see on the map if there are any other go players that live near you and send messages to those players. You can join a go club and discuss topics in an online forum.

You can set up games for people to join or accept some others games. After joining a game you are supposed to physically meet in some nice location like a park or a local pub and have a nice time over the go board. This is a good idea, both to get new friends and to expose the game of go to the public and in that way hopefully attract more players to have all the fun we already have.

IgoLocal have a nice looking and easy to use interface. If you are curious then you can read more about it here. There will be more features in time but it is impressive as it is already.

In the first day after release the site had 150 people registering and now as of this writing, three days later, I can count to 398 players and new players register all the time. We are now 6742 active players on the EGF ranking list and there are probably the same for USA. If we count all the casual players that are not going to tournaments we probably have to triple those numbers. I do not dare to guess the huge amount of Asian players. Let's hope a lot of us knowing something about the game of go to register and we will have a very powerful tool to use.

So spread the word to your go playing friends to register and you will see that you might get some new friends in your area  to play and socialize with.

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