BGJ 140 Spring 2007
Reviewer: Ian Davis
”Baduk Made Fun and Easy” is a new book written by the Korean Chihyung Nam, 1p. As you might guess, it’s written for beginners, teaching them how to play from scratch. As you might not guess, it uses mainly Japanese terminology, briefly stopping to state the Korean equivalent of the word. It contains all the normal things one would expect in such a book, life and death, basic openings, introduction to ko, counting, capturing and haengma. There is also a very clear explanation of some principal differences between Japanese and Chinese rules and counting, using bent 4 in the corner to explain. Capture Baduk also sees a fleeting mention (the prescribed starting position is a crosscut).
However, what I particularly like about it is the attention paid to culture. For instance, there is a rather nice historical section on Sunjang Baduk, the ancient Korean form of play.
Manners and Etiquette also are given thorough attention, with clear explanations of how to Nigiri correctly, how one should behave during the game and how some professionals actually behave during the game. For example, ”The person with seniority should sit in the better seat, which is often near the wall” – how many of our clubs carelessly place the comfy chairs in the wrong positions?
Overall I think this book is an excellent introduction to the game. Well written, well structured and well presented.
Vols 2 and 3 also available ISBN 978-89-5660-211-0 and 978-89-5660-267-7.