Customer Reviews: 38 Basic Joseki (Elementary Go Series, Vol. 2) (Beginner and Elementary Go Books)
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Customer Reviews

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on November 7, 2002
Initially, I got all the other volumes in the Elementary Go Series, but skipped this one based on some of the mediocre reviews that it got here. I bought one of the alternative joseki references instead.
After a while, I came back and bought this book. While some of the other reviewers have downrated this book for covering only a limited set of joskei, I found that to be precisely what I needed.
By sticking with a set of the most basic joseki, I find that I get less overwhelmed by the sheer number of possibilities, and I also find that the book is able to spend more time explaning each one. This gives me more of a chance to grasp the underlying concepts. It's less of a reference book and more of a textbook.
So, I plan to come back to the more complete reference books later. But when you're just trying to get your hands around the material, this is the place to start.
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on June 19, 2007
This book was recommended to me by the strongest member of my Go club. He stated that it would be an excellent introduction to the topic. Without a doubt, he was correct. This book provides the beginner with each of the basic josekis and some common variations.

The individuals who rated this book poorly did not identify the "Basic" label in the title, or the subtext identifying the book as a "beginner and elementary Go Book". Unless you already know basic joseki, this book will be a great help.

Yes, as time passes, and you get stronger, it will sit on the shelf and collect dust, and you will depend more on a dictionary of joseki, but for understanding the reason for each move this book has no peer. In addition, the global position that justifies each joseki is identified, which is one of the difficulties beginners encounter in applying joseki.
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on November 23, 2010
After more than 30 years, this book is still a classic. Joseki is NOT the first thing a new player should study, it will just confuse you and lead you astray. However, once you reach single digit kyu, it is a good idea to start looking at them. This book gives a good overview of useful joseki, and provides an ideal introduction to the topic. I generally recommend it be read later on in this series. I tell my students to start with Life and Death, then Tesuji, then In The Beginning, then Attack and Defense, and then this book.

There are much more modern books on joseki, but this book provides a solid overview. I also recommend reading the information on Gobase dot org, look on the left, under Browsing, and then Joseki for their list of 25 important joseki. After that, use this book to explain why, and when, the 25 joseki on that site are useful.
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on November 26, 2011
I had reached a plateau as a perpetual beginner at GO (stranded somewhere around 15 kyu): many years of very casual play with little improvement. I realized only recently that this was going to require more STUDY and more patience. This volume was among a handful, therefore, that I have found truly transformative. The explanations of Joseki here teach an important critical lesson about reading the WHOLE BOARD in choosing from among the choices available in early moves. That lesson is one that transcends the limited glossary of Joseki described within, and teaches you how to think GO. For a comprehensive encyclopedia of Joseki, there are dozens of good online sites (try "Sensei's Library", for example). None of them can lead you by the hand to re-imagining the board the way this text does.

Needless to say, this book would have been useless to me if I was a slightly weaker player (weak as I am) and were I not ready for some DISCIPLINE, working over and over at combinations and trying to learn how to read. This series is, in general, commendable for that level of play and thinking about Joseki, in the way described here, improved my game across the board. Certainly knocked my game up several stones. Good for early intermediate players who are ready to study; great in combination with Ishigure's "In the Beginning".
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on May 4, 2016
The cover says "38 Basic Josekis" instead of "38 Basic Joseki," although it is correct on along the binding and on the pages within. Additionally, the green of the book is darker than pictured, and the hand is slightly more red. If that's an issue for you, beware.

Otherwise this is a great book with a lot of rereading value, although it is somewhat difficult and dense for beginners. It also has a good bit more pages than the first book in the series, which is fantastic. Fantastic reading, but it may be hard to consume for anyone under 20 kyu.
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on December 24, 1998
A well organized study of standard corner plays. As a beginner, this book helps prepare me to see and avoid blunders. When I review my games it helps me see opportunities lost. I have found this book very useful for improving my game.
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As a beginning Go player, you always seem to get the short end of the stick in the corners - a very compelling reason to buy this book, but be warned that you will only learn enough to get into trouble. Eventually you will need to get the classic (but slightly dated) 3 volume "Dictionary of Basic Joseki". 38 Basic Joseki is decent for the beginning go player on a budget who need to get an idea what joseki is all about, but it tells you too little. As you progress through the ranks, it will collect dust on the shelf, something which "Dictionary of Basic Joseki" will never do.
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on April 23, 2016
like it
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on September 28, 1999
The Elementary Go series are all excellent, but joseki -- opening patterns -- are the least important thing to learn when you start the game. So I rate this lower than the other books in the series althought the quality of it is high.
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