You have have noticed that Go Equipment is hard to come by in the US. You may have also noticed that Barnes and Noble has started selling a go set, But is it any good?
I bought one of these sets as a Christmas present for my brother and it short. It works, but it isn’t good.
Can you play a game on it? Yes
Compared to the first go set I owned which I parents bought me as a Christmas present many years ago, this is a pretty decent set. The two worst aspects of the set are that its build quality is complete shit (its made of very flimsy laminate wood and the stones are usable, but very cheap) and that the board is made of two pieces of wood with the exact same pastern printed on them with a border all the way around. This causes a gap in the middle and the middle line to be doubled (so this board has is kind of 19X20)
The board is not full sized, but it is pretty close. A full sized board is aproximatly 16inX17in. I’m not sure the measurements of this board, but I believe it is 15inx15in. Surprisingly the size really doesn’t make play much harder (many cheap boards are 12inx12in and are almost unusable). Here is a comparison to my full sized board (purchased from samarkand back when they still sold boards). board on the bottom is mine. you can clearly see the weirdness with the middle.
The stones are the chinese yunzi (single convex) style and they are also smaller than most stones, but they are a good size for the board. Here is a comparison to mine (I believe mine are 22mm which is pretty standard). left are mine
Overall, the build quality sucks, but the board is very usable. If you are in a pinch, this board will work, but It seems pricey ($25 on their website, but I believe I paid $35 in the store) for what it is. I would recommend either spending the money on a nicer set (Though these can be hard to find, here is the AGA’s page on places to look for good stuff ) or trying to get your hands on a vinyl roll up board and some cheap stones.