Contributor:Lucas Nasif

Project Description

goban.co is a virtual representation of a Go board. You can use this board for anything you would use a real physical board. You can start from an empty board or load your own SGF files, and everyone you share it with can manipulate the board in real time. Everything you do on the board is broadcasted to everyone else with the link, so they see what you are seeing. You can choose to let other people edit the board or only observe. There are a lot of possible use cases for this project, but here are just some of the things I use it for, myself:

  • Teaching games with friends and coworkers
  • Reviewing my own games with my teacher, in real time, while we chat on Skype
  • Studying fuseki and joseki on my own, while reading Takao's joseki dictionary
  • Replaying professional games and talking about them with friends over a Google Hangout

Some people also started using goban.co to produce online video lectures and commentaries on YouTube as well, like this commentary with Ryan Li, when he became 1p: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5Wa06-1FNk.

Some people even started using goban.co to broadcast live games from leagues and tournaments for people that couldn't attend the event personally.

Last but not least, goban.co is, and will always be, free. You don't need to register as a user or provide any personal or private information. If you're interested in learning more about the site and how it works, check out our frequently asked questions: http://goban.co/faq which also has examples and step-by-step instructions on how to use the site.

Aim of the Project

Goban.co aims to be a tool that allows people to have a Go board with them, wherever they go, with whatever device they happen to have on them. It works with any web browser and it doesn't require installing any additional software. It also works both online or offline. Goban.co is unlike any Go website or application available today. It doesn't care about ranks, komi, time settings, etc. All of those things are for you to decide and enforce or ignore. Instead, we want to give Go players a tool to connect with anyone in real time and share a moment enjoying Go, in a beautiful, simple and easy way.

Means of the Project

Goban.co uses modern web technologies in both its rendering components and its backend code. It is deployed in the cloud and developed from anywhere that has an internet connection. We have a twitter account where we sometimes post news and updates: @goban_co and we participate regularly on http://reddit.com/r/baduk where we also post and discuss about our site.


This is a project that was born in my mind years ago. I started working on implementing this idea on 2014 and released the first alpha version of the site on February 14th of 2014. In the following months, I received a lot of great feedback and support from several Go communities, which drove me to continue working on the site and add more features to it. I've been steadily working on this project whenever I can, enhancing it and extending it based on users feedback. On June 19th of 2015 we released the latest version of the site.


Geographic Extension

Goban.co can be used in any web browser, either from a computer or a mobile device.


This project is still at a very early stage, where fundamental features are being developed every week. Even so, we received a very warm welcome from friends and users so far, and we've made a great effort to incorporate their feedback and suggestions into the roadmap. Today, goban.co has thousands of unique visits from more than 100 countries. Most visits come from America and Europe, but surprisingly (to us), many people visit from Asia as well.

Public Exposure

We have steadily grown our user base over time, but we're still at an early stage. So far our exposure has been limited to Reddit, Twitter and a few Facebook Go groups.

Human Resources

This project was implemented by Evelin Garcia (my wife) and myself, Lucas Nasif. We work on this project on our spare time, whenever we can

Financial Resources

We work on this project for free, and we cover the costs of the web servers ourselves.


We will continue working on goban.co, adding more features and enhancing the experience on mobile devices, while at the same time staying true to our goal of simplicity. We think this tool is especially useful for teaching, and I've been personally using it for giving lessons to my coworkers and friends and taking lessons from pro players. We hope this trend continues and more people use it for teaching! We are definitely going to emphasize teaching tools in our development roadmap. We also think there's a great opportunity for goban.co to be used from websites like gogameguru.com to show game commentaries in real time to a wide audience that can consume that content from any device, easily. We also want to encourage people to use our site for all the use cases that we enjoy using it for ourselves. Playing with friends, reviewing games, studying fuseki, etc.


We would really appreciate help to increase our exposure and get more players using our site. It would be great to have Go teachers try it out and give lessons or reviews to their students with it. Additionally, it's a great way for students to do homework or add annotations to a game and send it to their teachers. Go clubs could use it to store and broadcast games played in person, or for playing casual games or doing group lectures remotely. YouTubers and video makers in general could use it in their videos, and people could follow along via a streaming site like twitch.tv or simply follow the board via goban.co. We want your help to continue exploring these kinds of use cases so we can bring a simple, beautiful and modern experience to Go players world wide.

Additonal Comments

Here's a video explaining some of the site features and use cases: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUNsR3ipz4k

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