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Since the establishment of IGS (February 1992) lots has happened in the online world of Go and lots has been written about it as well, especially on the newsgroup, the traditional meeting place of Go fans world-wide.

These pages give you some of the history of IGS starting at the very beginning of IGS back in 1992 when the server was visited by some 10-20 people on average. The articles have been written by people who have visited IGS over the years. These articles reflect some of the joy they experienced.

The overview runs from the establishment through the first few months of 1995.


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Overview of IGS in 1992

Hi, everyone!

It's now finally 1993 (except, when I start to write this, there are still 2 hours of 1992 left on west coast of North America).

Happy New Year everyone!

Looking back, the biggest event happened in 1992 that related to Go in Internet was probably IGS, the Go Server. It could be the biggest event of entire Go world in 1992 -- this might depend on the influence of IGS to the Go world in the future, and I am very positive about it.

Personally, despite having 3 meals and 7-hour sleep a day, the struggles in school sometimes really made me feel miserable. Then there came the rescue from IGS. Playing Go, watching Go, and talking to friends -- these all kept me positive and often I regained the confidence I lost in a lousy quarter. In fact, in 1992, I made more friends on IGS than in classroom, and I am sure I made *better* friends on IGS too. IGS saved me many times in 1992.

And I found some IGS'ers felt the same. They often say, "I don't know what I would be like without IGS." Of course, they would survive anyway, I am sure. :-) The truth is, Go is not as popular in North America or Europe as in East Asia, and many American or European players couldn't find anyone nearby who plays Go, and playing Go against oneself doesn't sound like a fun thing. :-) In this sense, IGS will play a significant role in populizing and developing Go in the Western world. Besides, IGS offers many golden opportunities for American and European players to meet players from Far East, and vice versa.

Here I try to recall some important dates and events of IGS 1992. I feel lucky that I was one of the earliest players on IGS, and I was able to experience some exciting development of the Server. My list is certainly not complete, but roughly speaking, I believe it contains most of the important events. In the list, there are first appearances of some professional players; I have thought to mention the first appearances of some strong amateur players, but I couldn't come up with a good one. :-(

I have virtually used IGS names in the list.

*** IGS in 1992 ***

  • February, IGS goes to public. After many tests by tim and tweet, the first Go server in history is open to people with Internet access. Server's site is at University of New Mexico.
  • March. More and more and more and more players appear on IGS. Some joke that this is the best invention since paper. :-)
  • April 25, first time a professional player plays a game on IGS. Jiang Jujo 9 dan, from China, uses the account "tobe" plays a game vs ychen. At this time, most watcher still don't know that tobe is a pro. Only later when Jiang will play a half-dozen more games, people realize that the strongest player in the Western world has appeared on IGS.
  • June 7, a new server in France, a virtual copy of the New Mexico server, has its first game played. Manager of this server is fmc. Three days later, on June 10, another new server in Berkeley is put in public use. The Berkeley server is to replace the New Mexico server as the main site. Its managers are, again, tweet and tim. The old server, in NM, will be used less and less, and eventually closed.
  • July-August, IGSWCT -- IGS World Championship Tournament. Nearly 90 players are involved in a tournament consisting of 4 groups. At the end, over 300 games are played, and all the orginization is single-handed by a popular kibitzer, UFO. Player m6 is to win the championship of Group 1, thus earning the title IGS92.
  • Meanwhile, two more professionals appear on IGS. On July 11, Tracy Jin in New York uses the name "tracy" to play a game with dong. This will be the only game Tracy plays on IGS in 1992. On July 12, a former Taiwan Meijin, Sheah Chen, plays his first game on IGS vs zhong. Sheah later will play more than a dozen games on IGS in 1992, including encounters with two IGS 7-dans, khuang and lzy. Sheah logs on from University of Illinois at Urban and Champaign.
  • August 31, Guo Juan, another professional player from China, plays her only IGS game of 1992 vs newone. She logs from the Netherlands.
  • Early September, focus shifts to Amsterdam, Holland (the Netherlands). The first game of 1992 Japan's Meijin Sen is to played in Amsterdam. With the help of some IGS'ers in Amsterdam, especailly jansteen, this is to be shown live on IGS. For warmup, on September 5, Nagahara Yoshiaki 6-dan plays a game vs lzy. Then on September 8, Ishida Yoshio 9-dan, who is to be the referee of the Meijin game, plays a game vs dong. Ishida-dong encounter attracts over 100 observers at one time, a sure unofficial record on IGS.
  • September 9-10, first game of Meijin Sen 1992 is shown live on IGS. Kobayashi Koichi and Otake Hideo start their best-of-seven matchup in a hotel in Amsterdam. Two IGS'ers, jansteen and AshaiRey, type in the moves for Kobayashi and Otake, respectively, based on the information received from TV terminals. The game is played in 16 hours, while the kibitzing on IGS lasts 18 hours. IGS-produced game file collects 3053 kibitzes, worth over 140KB of memory. :-)
  • October-November. More and more and more players appear on IGS. :-)
  • December, a new command, 'translate', is added to IGS. Its function is to translate some Go terms among Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Germany, Dutch, and French. From now on, many IGS Go players will become linguists. :-)
  • December 16, "IGS Summit." The France server manager, fmc, meets Berkeley server managers, tim and tweet, in San Francisco. At 6:32 P.M., they shook hands at the intersection of Grant Avenue and Pine Street in downtown San Francisco, near Chinatown. Later they will have dinner together in Japantown. :-)
  • I just heard the last ticks of 1992 (Boy, I've worked on this for two hours? Okay it's a slow modem and a noisy phone line. :-)

Happy New Year!

Truly yours, Jim Zijian Yu

Go isn't everything. Go is the only thing. -- zhuge

From: (Jim Yu)
Subject: 1992: The First Year of IGS
Date: 1 Jan 93 08:06:52 GMT

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