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The Second Book of Go (Beginner and Elementary Go Books) Paperback – January 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-4906574315 ISBN-10: 4906574319 Edition: 2nd

5 New from $124.26 14 Used from $39.89
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Product Details

  • Series: Beginner and Elementary Go Books
  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Kiseido Publishing Company; 2 edition (January 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4906574319
  • ISBN-13: 978-4906574315
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,110,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1998
As the title suggests, this book would be good as a second book in your go study. I tried part of the Elementary Go series after my first book (Iwamoto's), got a bit frustrated, and then went back and read this - and I'm glad I did finally get around to reading this book. I'll probably go back to the Elementary Go series after I finish Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go next.
The chapters on capturing races were very good; these alone are worth the price of the book. I usually avoid rote memorization (EG, I find joseki study boring), but the six types of capturing races seemed quite worth committing to memory, so I did.
(nearly?) every chapter has recommendations on books to read for further study of the subject covered by that chapter.
If you're serious about go, I'd recommend something else as a first book (of course), but it'd be a good idea to make this your second - read concurrently with the first two volumes of Kano's "Graded Go Problems for Beginners".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1998
This book is good to read if you are 10kyu or lower.
Two chapters on capturing races(seki or death of one of opposing groups neither of which can make two eyes) from British Go Journal by Richard Hunter, appear in this new edition. These are excellent. Even some 5kyu+ players aren't aware of the drastic difference in tactics to be adopted for all varieties of races. All possibilities are explained in detail.
The chapter on Attack & Defense and Handicap Go are also very useful.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Sullivan on September 17, 2006
The title says it very accurately. This should be your second book to the game of Go. If you are unfamilar with the game, Go is a beautiful game with the depth of chess, but the openings are a little more abstract than chess. Chess players usually love Go and Go players usually love chess. This however is one of the best primers to a complex strategy game that I've ever seen. If you are brand new to the game, I recommend starting off with "The Magic of Go" and follow it with this book. Both books are just the right size. I find introductory books that are 200 or 300 pages long tend to be good reference books, but are not as easy to learn from. These two books are shorter books that are easy to sit down with, absorb, and complete. After these two books, come a wide range of other excellent books (I find that the quality of Go books that have been translated into English is very high.) I rate "The Magic of Go" and "The Second book of Go" as absolute must haves if you are going to learn more about this wonderful game.
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After you master the concepts for beginners, this book is a really useful tool to improve your go game. There are many topics presented here, some in more detail than others. If I had to pick the best among them all I would have to give it to capturing races. These situations decide many games, and being able to understand what is going on, which ones are settled and which ones unsettled is key in playing better. The authors classify capturing races according to their characteristics and give clear instructions on how to determine who wins the race. This is followed by a set of techniques to apply to win races, for example by playing tesujis to gain extra liberties.

There is a section on the opening that is a little too basic for my taste, and the same can be said for the last section of the book, which deals with ko. I enjoyed the chapter on handicap go, not so much because I play games with high handicaps, but because many of the recommendations can be applied in your even games. Josekis, tesujis and attacking as a means to gain territory were also good sections.

Finally, I found a little disparity between Life & Death and Shape, where the concepts were way too basic, and The Endgame, were it went overly complex. I am 7k in KGS, and the material on the endgame was way over my head. I understood the basic ideas, but when the author gives you a position and tells you to find the next 15 moves, something is not right.

Anyway, overall it is a very useful book, but it does have its faults. Still, it fills a void that not many other books address, which is the jump between beginner and strong kyu player, and the information on capturing races is top notch.
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I think this book fits its title very well indeed - its a great little book. I found the chapter on counting liberties to be invaluable, along with several other insights that the book has scattered throughout. All in all an excellent second book!
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On the upside, this book takes you logically through the stages of a game of Go from the opening, through josekis, attacking, life-and-death, and finally the endgame. The writer clearly has a great understanding of Go. On the downside, the book gives lots of sequences (josekis) of up to 20 moves with minimal explanations; the reader is presumably supposed to memorize the moves. This is quite a heavy demand to put on novices who are only on their second book about this complex game. New players might want to consider going through Janice Kim's excellently written "Learn to Play Go" books and then come back to this one.
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