You can learn the basic rules from a five-minute video.
You can then develop your understanding by doing some of the following:
- Doing online tutorials like OGS's. The Interactive Way to Go is great — it builds up logically and clearly — but it relies on deprecated Adobe Flash. Not interactive but still clear and useful is the British Go Association's How to Play.
- Watching more videos like Shawn Ray's Introduction to Baduk and the subsequent episodes on life and death, territory and the endgame. Watching them all will take 85 well-spent minutes with a lot for the beginner to think about, and clearly lead you through the basics. Shawn has lots of go stuff as Clossius on YouTube and Twitch, where he's less formal!
- Yukari Yoshihara (
吉 原 由 香 里), together with assistants Yuuki (ゆうき) and Mai (まい), presented short instructional videos in Japanese for children after episodes of the manga series Hikaru no Go (ヒカルの 碁) called Go Go Igo ( Go Go 囲 碁). Each episode lasts about a minute but they been edited and bunched together and put on YouTube. Together, they last just less than one hour. Watch episodes on equipment, rules, capture, territory, snapback; nigiri, komi, eyes, life and death, false eyes, dame, prisoners, ladders, nets; interviews with pros, fuseki, tesuji; Hon'inbō title match, Hon'inbō Shūsaku 本因坊 秀策, go terms, life and death puzzles, pair matches, proverbs; yose, sente and gote, game records, a specific life-and-death puzzle, specific fuseki problems, komi changes; seki, joseki, Honmyoji temple 本妙寺, astrological connections (!), Go Day, under the stones; big vs urgent moves, the midgame, matches at the Japanese Go Association 日本 棋 院, and finally, a commentated match. It's interesting snapback appears so early and seki so late.
- Reading a book. My favourite so far is Go: A Complete Introduction to the Game by Cho Chikun. I started with Learn Go, which is full of diagrams and commentary. Chris recommends The Second Book of Go.
- Browsing the beginner's pages in Sensei's Library. There is really a wealth of cool and interesting stuff to read at that site.
- Doing puzzle ('tsumego') sets like mark5000's excellent Exercises for beginners or Beginning Shapes on OGS. Go Problems has tens of thousands of problems to try — you can even download them in bulk! We've found Black to Play is great for a bit of practice on a coffee break.
- Going to a real-world go club in the UK or elsewhere in the world.
- Installing a learning app on your Android or iOS device.
- Watching films about go, to get some idea of the culture. For example, the philosophical Le Jeu de Go (9min), or the documentary The Surrounding Game (97min). You can also watch pro or other games. For example, the NHK Cup has been subtitled in English by Jonathan Hop of Sunday Go Lessons. You can watch games from the 66th, 65th, 64th, 63rd, and others.
- Elijah has written to me to suggest A Kid's Guide to Playing Go, a collection of resources aimed at youngsters.
- ... but the best way is to just play lots of games with friends, and the game will reveal itself to you!
There are many more useful links at OGS's list of resources or at links for newcomers on /r/baduk — those listed here are just the ones I've found helpful so far.