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Learn To Play Go, Volume II: The Way of the Moving Horse Paperback – July 15, 1995

26 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Learn to play go Series

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Editorial Reviews


[Learn to Play Go is] by far the clearest English-language introduction yet published. --Games Magazine

About the Author

Janice Kim was born in Illinois in 1969. She became the first female student at the Korean Go Academy in 1983 and entered the professional dan ranks in Korea in 1987, the first Westerner ever to do so. She won the Fuji Women's Championship in 1984, took second place in the World Youth Championship in 1985, and third place in the EBS Cup in 1994. In 1998 she represented the US in the Bohae Cup. She was promoted to 3 dan in 2003. After graduating from New York University, Ms. Kim authored the five books of the Learn to Play Go series and founded the online Go company Samarkand. In 2008, in an effort to explore similarities in strategy games, she played in the World Poker Tour's Women's Championship in Las Vegas and placed fourth. She currently resides in the San Francisco bay area with her husband and two children.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Good Move Press; 3rd edition (July 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964479621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964479623
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By J. KERIAN on February 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
This was the second book I purchased for learning go (the first was Charles Matthew's 'Teach Yourself Go'). For the beginner, Go can be somewhat frustrating to get into. There is a plethora of books that will teach you the basic rules, but these can also be learned from a variety of web sites.
After these, the average beginner knows the rules, but not how to actually play. An opponant will play a stone right next to one of theirs, and they don't know how to respond... do I play above it? or on the other side? do I ignore it and play another hoshi (star point)?
This book teaches the reader about making jumps (how to expand on territory you're claiming or keep from being captured), base extensions (in order to stake out territory), and the basics of ko fights and contact fighting (what happens when stones are played right next to each other). If you've done a bit of playing and problem solving online, I would recommend picking up the next book in this series at the same time. As soon as you finish this book, you'll begin to see more patterns in games and understand that there is more you should be seeing behind the moves. As a result, you will probably want to study the game more, and the next book is really still a mid-level book.
My only complaint about the book would have to be just that. The niche it fills, for the reader who has learned the rules but isn't ready for serious study of go patterns yet, isn't filled unless you have both the second and third book in this series. These probably should have been published as one larger book. That notwithstanding, it's an excellent second (and third) book of Go.
As a side note, while the fourth book in this series is quite interesting, it is not as much of a prerequisite for studying other books, such as the Elementary Go Series, as book II and III.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second volume in the Go teaching series authored by Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun. It takes the basic principles laid out in "A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game" and begins to tie them together into coherent game play. This is no trivial task, as anyone who has struggled through the first few months of Go playing will tell you.
Learning is a habit that a good go player has to have. This short, easy to read volume lays the rest of the framework needed to start the process. The authors start with an introduction to the real task of the game, claiming and achieving territory. This is a more theoretical approach than the 'you need two eyes' approach of volume one, and, for the first time, the player is lead to looking at the whole board and the fine art of moving in a game where nothing moves.
This little bit of theory out of the way, the book turns to the core skills of Go playing - attack, defense, capturing, Ko fighting, hand-to-hand combat, the endgame, and the intricacies of life and death. All of the discussions are good. I give a special tip of the hat for the attention the authors pay to the playing of Ko's. It is one of the marks of beginning players that they avoid these repeating capture attacks like poison. Here the authors give enough attention to this strategy to get anyone past their doubts.
While this volume goes deeper than volume one, it is by no means heavily written or over analytical. Plenty of illustrations and examples, but the chapter tests are gone. There is a final exam though. Almost painlessly, the beginner is eased into having a good basic concept of what Go is about.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jill Malter on January 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Suppose you wanted to learn to play chess or bridge. Well, you would ask people to tell you the rules. And you would improve just by trial and error. But you might also need something you could use for a textbook or reference that would guide you through the steps to become more than a beginner. That's true in Go as well.

One problem with Go is that it is often hard for a beginner to have any idea what the score is. In bridge, you know the score. In chess, you can see if you are ahead in material. In Go, it is tougher to see how you are doing. It makes it that much more confusing for an untrained beginner.

And that is where we come to books on Go for the beginner. There are a variety of introductory books, such as the ones by Cho Chikun, or Kaoru Iwamoto, or Richard Bozulich, or Peter Shotwell (not to mention older ones such as those by Otto Korscheldt, or Edward Lasker, or Kaku Takagawa, or Arthur Smith). Some are by famous Go champions, some are not. But one can read any of these books carefully, play a few games, and still be a very weak player.

For a set of books that can take one from a complete beginner, teach one the rules, and get one to single-digit kyu strength (or close to it), I like Janice Kim's 5-volume set the best. And this is the second volume in it (second edition, 1998).

I think these books teach the fundamentals better than the other books I mentioned. In this book, one learns about making bases, running with attacked stones (that moving horse!), invading and reducing territory, and a little about attacking and defending.
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