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The Book of Go Spiral-bound – May 1, 2002


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WARNING:
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Just one game,"
they said, and started to play.
That was yesterday.
--Traditional Chinese verse

Become a master at Go, the game that has entranced players for thousands of years, using this beginner's guide that includes a fold-out, two-sided perforated board and 169 black and white pieces. Learn to play in just a few minutes--starting with a slightly simplified version and then moving on to the full-fledged one. By the time you've practiced the basic strategies and tactics, you'll be totally engrossed in one of the world's most fascinating and challenging games. Bonus: recommended Internet sites and study problems.
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806927291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806927299
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,745,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ironblayde on January 5, 2003
Format: Spiral-bound
This is the first book on Go that I've read, and I thought it made an excellent introduction to the game. Go can be a difficult game to learn; even though the rules are very simple, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of possibilities on every turn. This book makes the game easily accessible, and it does so with a legion of illustrative examples and text that's very easy to digest.
The book begins by teaching First-Capture Go, which is a simplified version of the game in which the player who makes the first capture wins. It's a little easier to learn than the full game, and it makes for a good transition into Go itself. After the transition into the full game, the book discusses the various types of connections, basic strategy for the overall game, the concepts of life and death, and common capturing tactics. Each section contains sample problems to work on, and full sample games with the author's commentary. There is also a set of additional problems for study at the end of the book, as well as recommendations for further reading.
The book is a bit short; you'll probably get through it very quickly, and it only covers the basics, so advanced players won't get anything out of it. For beginners, though, this is an excellent place to start learning this fantastic game.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter A Smith on August 13, 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
This book comes in a unique format: spiral bound and including 9x9 and 13x13 Go boards and the pieces to play. And it provides a nice overview of the game, but really it often left me either scratching my head or thirsting for more. I still am a bit confused by scoring and how to deal with 'dead pieces.' The suggestion is to keep playing if there's a dispute over whether a piece is dead, but it seems to me that you can force the other player to give up terrain that way. I would've like to have that explained in more depth (and that's just one example...there were a few concepts that I thought were dealt with a bit too briefly).

Of a more personal nature is a problem with how the game is taught. The author begins by teaching "First Capture Go" which is a kind of sub-set of the full game. This is great if you have someone to play with, but in my case I was playing against a computer program or via various internet sites, none of which supported this variation of the game. I'm sure this is a great way to teach, *if* the reader has a friend who is also trying to learn the game.

It would've been ideal to include a CD-ROM with a version of "First Capture Go" for readers to practice against. The cd could've also included some of the excellent open source Go products on the net.

Still, as an *introduction* to Go, the book succeeds; by the time you're finished with it you'll probably have either decided that Go isn't the game for you, or you'll be ready for a more in-depth book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By deoso on November 17, 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
This is an ideal book for the absolute beginner to the game. He starts you off with a simplified version of the game called First Capture Go then proceeds to slowly introduce new concepts that move you along without overwhelming you. The result of this way of writing the book is that the absolute beginner likes the game because the problems are geared to his/her way of seeing the board. If a 'beginner' book is too complex, it might turn a would be go-fanatic into someone who's afraid of the game.

He gives a recommended reading list at the end of the book for those who want a deeper appreciation of the game.

My only problem with it was the mini-board that comes with it was a little to mini- to be useful for me. After you find the killer solution to the snap-back that kills 7 of your opponents stones, you pretty much need a pair of tweezers to remove the said stones without destroying the position on the board; that was my experience anyway.

You can get around that problem by downloading an open-source goban/sgf editor if you want to play through the exercises - don't let the poor quality of the board discourage you from getting the book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 11, 2002
Format: Spiral-bound
First off, it comes with it's own 9x9 and 13x13 boards, and pieces to play. Then is teaches you a simple way of playing first-capture go. It then proceeds to educate you in the game of go, with lots of problems and suggestions to help you learn, and become a good player. I highly reccomend it to beginners (like myself) and people who know how to play, but want to improve and learn some of the tricks of the trade.
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