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Go! More Than a Game Paperback – August 15, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Shotwell is an internationally known expert on the relationship of Go to Eastern and Western philosophy, literature, and history. He has been writing about Go for nearly twenty years and has lived in China, Tibet, and Japan while researching the origins and background of the game.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; 1st edition (August 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080483475X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804834759
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By David C. Oshel on December 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are two games of Go, the forest-and-trees welter of confusion that a beginner sees, and the game within the game that everyone else comes to terms with. Shotwell's book can bring you past the boulders of confusion and leave you standing beside the deep water. Whether you swim or not... :) He's also a geisha, in the well-known Reischauer/Culture of Japan academic style, so much of the book is full of reverent Taoist and Kung Fu mysticism which may be fun, but should be transcended as soon as you "see" the inner game. It's beside the point. Bottom line, I like this book. It nudged my game forward. That said, if you want to learn Go, you should get a good computer Go game, like Go4++ (Windows, commercial) or Sente Goban (Mac OS X, freeware), dumb it down and play until you win. Then come back to this book. There's a lot of satisfaction in that first win against a computer, and it helps the book make sense.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Go Teacher on May 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was disappointed to read the last comment since I know the author and what he was trying to do and, as a go teacher, have seen his technique work on many people. As he stated on the first page ("How to Use This Book"), he was not trying to write a book that would just be thrown away after its contents were learned. That is for laundry list books and there are several hundred of them available in English for various stages of one's go career. What he wanted to do was to introduce readers to the dynamics of go playing--go is a game, after all, and not a course in school. What he advised the reader to do was to go as far as possible through the games in the book until they were stuck, then play alot (and, yes, also look at the laundry list books!), then come back, play some more and etc. That way, say over a period of time (and not just with one reading, as it looks like some commentators have done), one would get the feel for playing on, first simple 9 x 9 boards, then 13 x 13 and finally the full, complex, 19 x 19 size. By the time one finished, one would be completely conversant with any go player, and know much of go's 4,000 year-old culture and history. That doesn't mean you would *know* all of the techniques--only by playing and studying can you do that--but you would *know about* most of them and, you would also know what you *didn't know* and needed to. In other words, because of the immense amount of ground and the different levels it covers, the book is meant to be a launching pad into the world of go, and that it does admirably and certainly far better than any other beginner's book!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am a long-time tournament chess player who is seeking to get beyond just knowing the basic rules of Go. This new title seems to offer a lot more bang for the buck than others I've reviewed. It even looks like a better buy than any single volume in the highly-regarded Janice Kim series (which has apparently risen in price due to high demand). Cost being no object, it would surely be better to own the first two or three books in that series, but given the price I think this offers better value in a single volume.
It's nicely written and handsomely laid out, and seems quite up-to-date (with information about playing on the Internet and the current [weak] state of Go-playing software).
I have over 250 chess books and consider myself quite knowledgeable in that field. This is, however, my first Go book. I fully acknowledge not having the experience to definitively judge quality as well as a long-time tournament player or teacher could. But having been around the block in life and having looked at a lot of Go titles before choosing, I can pretty strongly say that you could do a LOT worse.
In its price range, this fine new book could well become THE one to have.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Chris G. on February 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a new Go player, I read this book hoping it would help me figure out what I was supposed to be doing. It covers the basics of the game but I found it not that clear or systematic. I had to pick up another book to really get a grasp of some of the basic strategies, and how to put them together.

The history of the game section, which takes up 1/3 or so of the book on the other hand, was very well written and quite engaging.

In short, if you want to learn basic strategy, there are many better books out there.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jonathon Brandeis on December 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
My friends have been after me for a long time, ever since I learned to play this game in Japan, where I have been teaching for the last ten years. I went out of my way to write this review because, for other go players like me, this book is really incredible. The short introduction tells what go meant for all the different people who have played it for so long for so many reasons. The how-to-play section is the best I have seen for gradually introducing the game without the usual emphasis on doing problems, which is too much like giving out homework. Then, they can take a quick look at what it will be like playing on bigger boards. They may not understand it, but it is like a great taste to advanced go! They are given encouragement to keep playing and taste all the joys of playing. Then there is the complete history of the game! What a great service Mr. Shotwell and his helpers have done for the go community!
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