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For the Go devotee, Winning Go goes beyond the basics and into the intricate world of advanced play that requires a deeper understanding of the complexities of this ancient game. This is the first problem book in English to cover the entire game of Go by illustrating the nuances of the opening (fuseki), middle (chuban) and endgame (yose). Also included are chapters on clever moves (tesuji), life and death (shikatsu), how to win corner skirmishes (joseki), and how to accurately count. Its 203 problems and their ...
For the Go devotee, Winning Go goes beyond the basics and into the intricate world of advanced play that requires a deeper understanding of the complexities of this ancient game. This is the first problem book in English to cover the entire game of Go by illustrating the nuances of the opening (fuseki), middle (chuban) and endgame (yose). Also included are chapters on clever moves (tesuji), life and death (shikatsu), how to win corner skirmishes (joseki), and how to accurately count. Its 203 problems and their commented answers demonstrate to the reader not only successful moves, but also the wrong moves and why they are wrong. Players will learn about not only creating good shapes, but also how to avoid or take advantage of bad ones, along with the right and wrong order of moves.
This makes Winning Go the ideal choice for a first problem book because it enables both players and teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses in their games. From opening play to the endgame, Winning Go is an essential tool in helping serious players master the sophisticated sequence and flow of advanced Go play.
Chapter 1 Katachi-Making Good Shape 7
Chapter 2 Fuseki-The Opening 17
Chapter 3 Tesuji-Clever Moves 47
Chapter 4 Shikatsu-Life and Death 69
Chapter 5 Joseki-Local Skirmishes 111
Chapter 6 Chuban-The Middle Game 165
Chapter 7 Yose-The Endgame 205
Explanations and Pronunciations of Japanese Terms Used in this Book 256
Posted September 26, 2010
So, you are an aspiring go player rising through the ranks. You've got a good grasp on the basics but find yourself starting to stall in the single-digit kyu range. If this describes you, Winning Go is a good solid all-in-one volume to kick-start your upward climb and get you thinking about the finer aspects of the game. Through hundreds of problems the authors present the reader with challenges and practical applications of technique that range across the facets of an entire game.
The book has 7 chapters focusing on the opening, mid-game, tesuji, joseki, shape, life and death, and the endgame. Most of them open with a few guiding principles and then leap right into 30-odd problems demonstrating them in action. Many of the solutions also offer explanations of why incorrect moves don't work (a welcome addition). At my level (6k AGA), I found most of them difficult, but saw them as challenging instead of frustrating and my relative success from chapter to chapter helped point out where my current weak points are. I also found the "complete the joseki" section to be very interesting since I hadn't tried many problems like that before.
Overall, I'd say this would be a very useful book for a SDK player trying to either get ideas on how to move up to the next level of play or trying to refine their skills as well as players a little higher than this working on rounding out their game. The across-the-board nature of the book does limit the depth any given section can get into, but this breadth makes it very useful for a single purchase. Recommendations are given for other books that focus more on individual topics. Occasional editing errors and changes in the problem goals (like suddenly changing from "black to play" to "white to play" without notice) do distract some but don't stand in the way of informative lessons.
Winning Go should be a welcome addition to your go library if you are looking for a wide-ranging text that moves past the basics well into the intermediate level without inundating you with minutae on an individual topic or breaking your budget by buying 6 different books.
Posted September 20, 2010
How do we improve in Go? Many strong players tell us that improving our reading ability by regularly solving Go problems is the most essential form of study to supplement regular game play.
"Winning Go" by Richard Bozulich and Peter Shotwell, is a problem book that is unique in its systematic coverage of each major phase in the game. Each chapter introduces a new main topic by first briefly reviewing major concepts and then providing a set of problems so the reader can see those concepts in action. When warranted, the solutions go into great depth to ensure a proper understanding of each of the concepts at play in a particular problem is grasped. Finally, many chapters end with a list of suggestions for further reading. The book covers as much ground as is typically seen in a series of five or more volumes.
I am playing at 7 kyu, and for those unfamiliar with the ranking system, I would describe this as an experienced novice. I find that the problems are near the right difficulty for me. The easier problems tend to take 30 seconds to two minutes to solve, while some more challenging problems I am not able to solve on my first attempt. Something I've found interesting about the book is that it clearly points out areas I need more practice at (for me, endgame).
I recommend this book - but I particularly recommend it to those looking for a gift for the Go player on their shopping list - or to the Go player looking to stretch their dollar as far as it will go.
Posted November 10, 2010
No text was provided for this review.