Which Books?

British Go Journal No. 11. March 1970. Page 5.

John Barrs

Many members who are keen to raise their playing strength are puzzled as to which course to adopt. By constantly playing games with club-mates it is possible to make some measure of slow improvement, but rapid and appreciable gains in playing ability come only as the result of study or personal instruction combined with actual playing experience.

The problem for the new player of a few months' experience, who has reached the strength of (say) 15kyu is which books to study. One of the most valuable is Go Proverbs Illustrated by Segoe (35/-) [£1.75], not only for beginners but for stronger players too. This is an execellent book for learning basic tactics (katachi and tesuji).

Another book which all members are advised to posess is Joseki by Sakata (12/-) [£0.60]. This gives 106 main handicap and even game joseki with many variations. Atthough the text is in Japanese, the diagrams with the plays clearly numbered are easy to follow. the adantage of studying joseki is not only in improving your opening corner play but also, as a bonus thrown in so to speak, you will be subconciously acquiring knowledge of good form (katachi), without which appreciable progress is impossible.

The third book for new players to consider is Basic Techniques of Go by Haruyama and Nagahara (37/6) [£1.87½]. This deals very fully with the fundamentals and the chapter on tesuji with questions and answers and the section on yose (end game play) are especially valuable.

The foregoing threee books are the most important for new players. For the really ambitious player, of course, there is no substitute for a subscription to the Go Review (4 guineas [£4.20] for 12 monthly issues) which gives analyses of master games, instruction on fuseki (full board openings), joseki (corner play),katachi (good form), tesuji (key plays), yose (end game), tsume go (practical problems) as well as world Go news.

For a complete course in Go there are the Matsuda Go Letters (216 quarto pages for £5), while players of 8kyu and upwards will find Takagawa's Vital points of Go (35/-) [£1.75] most helpful. Those aiming at a master degree will need the new Modern Joseki and Fuseki by Sakata, though players below 10kyu may find this too advanced.

The important thing about studying any kind of Go instruction, whether books or master games, is not to rush through the material but to examine each play carefully before passing on to the next. Acquire as thorough an understanding as possible of each stage and use your book and Go set together. And don't be afraid to seek the advice and opion of stronger players.

Go Review may be obtained from :- [address omitted ]

The other literature may be obtained from the BGA at the address on page 1.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 11
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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