Saturday, December 03, 2005

Coming-up: A table goban review

This information will be useful for many of you in the United States who are shopping for your own table Go board in the mid-price range of about $150.

Yes. I have bought a table goban, thus ending my search for now.

No. It isn't from Kuroki Goishi Ten; but a set from them shall remain on my long-term to-buy list.

I successfully bid on a Go set from Yellow Mountain Imports. Below are its content specifications (corrected for known errors):
  • One 2-3/8" thick kaya wood (from Yunnan Province, China) board measuring 18-1/4"L x 17-1/4"W x 2-3/8"H
  • 180 white and 181 black genuine Yunzi stones (link in Chinese), 9mm thick and about 21mm wide
  • Two jujube wood gosu
  • Travel vinyl carrying case for the stones and gosu

The three images below are from the vendor's stock photography. This set comes from China.

The Kaya Go set

The stones and gosu

The stones in their carrying case

The successful bid was $127.62. After adding shipping from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area and 8.25% state sales tax (inapplicable to everyone who lives outside of California), the total cost came to $152.38. The bid was carefully planned but I did not think I would win as these sets normally go for $138 to $203. I was unexpectedly fortunate.

I had done a bit of research on this product before placing my bid. Over the next week, I will be blogging about that research which may help you with your own bidding efforts.

You can find these sets by entering these words in an eBay title search: kaya go board

When the set arrives, I will blog a product and purchase experience review and provide photographs. That will help you with your decision to bid or not. Let's hope all turns out well in the shipping process.

I was very much hoping to acquire a lovely set of real slate-and-shell stones from Mr. Kuroki but, alas, most of my discretionary income must go to ChiyoChan's college fund. There's a big difference between $153 and my preferred Kuroki set which would have cost $700. Still, I think this turn of events is good not just for me but also for many of you. A $150 Go set is probably closer to most of your (overstretched) budgets.

This should be interesting.


At 6:25 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger frankiii said...

Nice purchase! I was thinking that, perhaps, I was the ChiyoGuineaPig for the 15cm goban after you left the KGS message. :) It would appear that ScatCat also has an interest in the quality so I'll be sure to provide some photos and impressions, myself.

At any rate, if you had any thoughts on some of ymimports's pricing strategies it would be interesting to see some of those thoughts on your blog. It would appear that they only occasionally list a goban with the lowest price. For example, on the kaya 15cm board I purchased for $300, in the "See More Great Items" panel, there is a 13cm board for $650 and a 2-3/8" Shin-Kaya table board for $250. Their web site also lists the same kaya 15cm board for $795.

Thanks again!

At 7:05 AM, December 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, I've pondered Yunzi stones before, from the materials they're made of I would suspect they'd be quite nice to hold and use and could well make a very nice sound (so in other words I'm looking forward to hearing what they're like to play with).

However I'm interested in if the ones you've obtained are Chinese style (flat on one side) or Japanese/Korean style (rounded on both sides) as I couldn't see it noted anywhere and the picture wasn't quite clear enough to make it out. I've never played with Chinese-style stones (and until about 6 months ago had never heard of them) so if they are that style I'll be interesting to hear about that.

See Sensei's Library for more discussion.

Congratulations on your purchase, and thanks for the enjoyable writing, I stumbled across here recently and found the style and content really enjoyable.


At 7:16 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger GreatnessBlog said...

I got a shin-kaya table board with yunzi stones and wood boals from them via ebay for about that price and I love it. Now if only I had more people to play with in person. :) Enjoy!

(The yunzi stones have a nice feel and sound to them, although they arrived pretty dusty.)

At 7:17 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger GreatnessBlog said...

My stones are biconvex, btw.

At 7:22 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Hello frankiii! No worries. I had recommended the 15cm floor goban to you because, based on the research I had done to date, the price was fair and (when you consider shipping options from China) a deal for a US customer. I knew you were looking for a floor goban and this one was, IMHO, a better deal (and better-looking) than their bamboo floor goban.

Hello Paul! Thanks for the compliments and I'm glad that you're enjoying the blog!

The stones are bi-convex (rounded on both sides), 9mm thick and Japanese-sized (21mm vs 22mm-23mm). I had previously obtained samples of the higher-grade Yunzi stones from The Go Gamestore in Canada so we shall see how the stones I bought compare.

Howdy greatness! Did you buy yours from YMI or TGG?

At 9:30 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Ah! You got them from YMI. For some reason, your last post appeared earlier. Maybe Blogspot was doing maintenance again.

There are currently four Kaya table Go boards on auction from YMI on eBay and one of them was posted at a starting bid of $10.

Assuming that I've written the hyperlink correctly, you can find their current Kaya and Shin-Kaya auction inventory here.

At 7:13 AM, December 05, 2005, Blogger Gilgamesh said...

Looks like a great purchase! :) Could I dare ask you if you could a couple of better shots of the stones when you get them? have a hard time forming an opinion on them based on the pictures.. especially the white ones :)

Congratulations on your new set :)

At 2:53 PM, December 05, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

No problem! There'll be a good number of photos up after the set arrives.


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