American e-Journal review, republished by permission of the American Go Association
Reviewer: Philip Waldron
For over thirty years, Go World magazine has been the premier source of English-language news, teaching and game analysis. First published at a time when only a handful of go books were available, Go World quickly became an invaluable resource for Western go players. Recently Westerners have been faced with the worrisome prospect of Go World’s valuable contents vanishing into history, but fortunately this fear can be laid to rest with the release of the Go World Archive, an electronic collection of the first 108 issues of the magazine.
The Go World Archive can be purchased in two ways: issues can be purchased and downloaded individually or, more economically, larger collections can be ordered on DVD. I ordered the complete collection, and was impressed with the elegant three-DVD set delivered a few days later. I was pleased to find that Go World issues are distributed as PDF files, which allows for portability across many computer systems. Digital issues are faithful copies of the originals, and the complete collection includes over 6000 printed pages of material, ranging from commented games to tsume-go problems. Fortunately, the digital version includes a searchable index file and table of contents to aid in searches for a particular articles. Finally, there are scans of the beautiful magazine covers, although unfortunately not at high enough resolution to be usable as desktop wallpaper.
While my experiences with the Go World Archive were positive, there are two difficulties worthy of note. Page images were generated by scanning the original printed versions, and some artifacts, mainly blocky text and diagrams with crooked lines, are visible in places. More disappointing, however, was the fact that the PDF files have several security features enabled. Extracting page images or copying and pasting text is forbidden, which seems like an unnecessary aggravation given that users are free to print articles in unlimited quantities.
Difficulties aside, the Go World Archive is a wonderful resource for Western go players and I highly recommend it. It is the largest collection of commented games in available in English, and a treasure trove of teaching material for players of all levels.
The Go World Archive is available from Kiseido Digital www.kiseidodigital.com.