Go! More Than a Game: Revised Edition


Master the fascinating game of Go with this expert guidebook.

Go is a two player board game that first originated in ancient China but is also very popular in Japan and Korea. There is significant strategy and philosophy involved in the game, and the number of possible games is vast—even when compared to chess.

Go has enthralled hundreds of millions of people in Asia, where it is an integral part of the culture. In the West, many have learned ...

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Go! More Than a Game

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Master the fascinating game of Go with this expert guidebook.

Go is a two player board game that first originated in ancient China but is also very popular in Japan and Korea. There is significant strategy and philosophy involved in the game, and the number of possible games is vast—even when compared to chess.

Go has enthralled hundreds of millions of people in Asia, where it is an integral part of the culture. In the West, many have learned of its pleasures, especially after the game appeared in a number of hit movies, TV series, and books, and was included on major Internet game sites. By eliciting the highest powers of rational thought, the game draws players, not just for the thrills of competition, but because they feel it enhances their mental, artistic, and even spiritual lives.

Go! More Than a Game is the guidebook that uses the most modern methods of teaching to learn Go, so that, in a few minutes, anyone can understand the two basic rules that generate the game. The object of Go is surrounding territory, but the problem is that while you are doing this, the opponent may be surrounding you! In a series of exciting teaching games, you will watch as Go's beautiful complexities begin to unfold in intertwining patterns of black and white stones. These games progress from small 9x9 boards to 13x13 and then to the traditional 19x19 size.

Go! More Than a Game has been completely revised by the author based on new data about the history of early go and the Confucians who wrote about it. This popular book includes updated information such as the impact of computer versions on the game, the mysterious new developments of Go combininatorics, advances in Combinatorial Game Theory and a look at the current international professional playing scene.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804834759
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/15/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 723,693
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Shotwell is an internationally known expert on the relationship of Go to Eastern and Western philosophy, literature, and history. He has been writing about Go for nearly twenty years and has lived in China, Tibet, and Japan while researching the origins and background of the game.
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Table of Contents

Territory)5. Handicap Go—The Great Equalizer


  • 6. The Harmony and Balance of a Mental Martial Art
  • 7. Two Professional 9 X 9 Games


  • 8. The Stones Talk to Each Other 9. The First 13 X13 Game10. Making Good Shape 11. The Second 13 X 13 Game
  • 12. Direction of Play
  • 13. Go on the Big Board—19 X 19 Game
  • 14. Some Fusekis and Josekis
  • 15. A Second Look at Some of the Games


    16. The History of Go
  • 17. Go and Western Science
  • 18. Go, Business, and the Thirty-Six Strategies of the Dark School of Taoism
  • 19. Update—Recent Developments
    Computer Go Turns into Supercomputer Go
    Surreal Numbers and Combinatorial Game Theory
    Go Combinatorics: The Maximum Number of Possible Go Positions, Games and their Lengths
    Asian Go
    Two Giant Tibetan Go Boards
    A Re-dating and Re-Interpretation of the Pre-Han Confucian Go Passages

    Where to Go from Here: Go Resources and Equipment Go Equipment Notes Glossary and Pronunciation of Japanese Terms in this Book

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2003

    This book is the best explanation of what the game of Go is all about.

    My friends have been after me for a long time to find a book that explains what go is all about, ever since I learned to play this game in Japan, where I have been teaching for the last ten years. I went out of my way to write this review here and in other places because, for other go players like me, this book is really incredible for doing that job. The short introduction tells what go meant for all the different people who have played it for so long for so many reasons. The how-to-play section is the best I have seen for gradually introducing the game on small boards without the usual emphasis on doing problems, which is too much like giving out homework. Then, they can take a quick look at what it will be like playing on bigger boards. They may not completely understand it all, but it is a great taste of what it will be like to play advanced go with all its joys and thrills! Then there is a complete history of the game, including go, science, business and the Thirty Six Strategies of Taoism! What a great service Mr. Shotwell and his helpers have done for the go community! Jonathan Brandeis Kyoto, Japan

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2004

    The most complete Go book available.

    As someone who has purchased and read many Go books, I can state with confidence that although there are many good ¿beginner¿ books, none of them are ¿complete¿ texts. That is until now. ¿Go! More Than A Game¿ is just that, a complete text on the subject of the game of Go. As a scholar and educator I know that the best learning technique, regardless of the subject matter, is to present a comprehensive overview of the subject. As an analogy, consider learning a new language. The beginner should be introduced to the vast complexity of the language, the myriad verb tenses, idiomatic phrases, contractions, definite articles, plurals, etc. Of course the beginning student will not seriously study many of these topics for a while, but the foundation of the language is presented and this creates a framework upon which the mind can build. Without such a proper framework the mind develops erroneous conceptualizations, detrimental procedures, and an overall myopic discernment of the subject. How many of us have finally understood a Go concept after, dare I say, years of stumbling only to realize that knowledge (but not yet understanding) of the concept early on would have facilitated the journey. Mr. Shotwell has carefully crafted a very complete text covering all of the major topics in Go and he has done so in a style that is creative, well thought out, and effective. Examples include: the use of analogies (including that of learning a language!), the many connections to eastern philosophies (as a Taoist I was pleased to finally see this approach embraced fully), example games chosen for their educational value (many are amateur games rather than professional games that contain multifaceted moves most of us will never comprehend), chapters designed and orientated to complement each other and build on prior concepts (often the reader is instructed to review preceding ideas thus supporting the cognitive ¿framework¿ concept), Josekis are introduced using full 19x19 board diagrams (again, framework for whole-board thinking), and concise move variations are included that clarify and reinforce (rather than confuse). There are excellent thoughts and discussions on such subjects as harmony, balance, finding your style, the conversation of Go, efficiency, and shape just to name a few. The reader is even treated to various examples of beautiful traditional Go artwork. Of special note are the final three chapters entitled ¿The History of Go¿, ¿Go and Western Science¿, and ¿Go, Business, and the Thirty-Six Strategies of the Dark School of Taoism.¿ The ¿History of Go¿ chapter is exceptional. Unlike other Go books that gloss over Go history, here Mr. Shotwell takes the reader back in time and then acts as guide through the game¿s rich and fascinating history ending with the modern global game we know today. The ¿Go and Western Science¿ chapter is absorbing and thought provoking. This is not the ubiquitous ¿computers can¿t play Go¿ paragraph. Rather we are shown the game of Go through the prism of the cognitive sciences, introduced to topics such as Chunk Theory and Surreal Numbers, challenged by discussions of various cognitive experiments, and encouraged to experiment on ourselves! The final chapter, ¿Go, Business, and the Thirty-Six Strategies of the Dark School of Taoism¿, explores the connections between Go, business, politics, and Taoist philosophy in an captivating manner. These final chapters are worth the price of the book by themselves! Considering Mr. Shotwell¿s background and experience, this should come as no surprise to anyone in the Go community. With ¿Go! More Than a Game¿ author Peter Shotwell has created the definitive ¿first¿ book of Go for those new to the game as well as the most complete text on the subject. There truly is something here for everyone. Regardless of your level, this book will enhance your passion for the game, improve your knowledge of its history, add to your skill set, and give

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2004

    This is THE introductory Go book to buy

    I am an experienced go player who has just recently moved back from the Far East. There are a lot of beginning Go books around, but after reading this one, I want to highly recommend it as a service to others who are interested in learning about our grand game, or who have friends who want to know about it. It is by far the best book because it uses a gradual game-approach that is unique. Most beginning books are disappointing because they teach you just enough to get you interested. This one has examples of all levels of playing so beginners can gradually become acquainted with the depth of the game, even if they are just browsing. It also is a great reference work because of its long account of the amazing history of the game. The only thing I am sorry about is that it came after Christmas!

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