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Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game (Volume I) (Learn to Play Go Series) 3rd Edition
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Not that the praises for this book is wholly undeserved. This is a very well-exposited introduction to the game. Whatever it covers, this book takes you by the hand and treats in a easy-to-follow manner. Coupled with the easy-on-the-eye layout, this may well be the gentlest introduction to the game that you can find. ("Go for Dummies" may be a more apt title as another reviewer has noted!)
In summary, my advice would be to consider this book if you are a complete beginner (ie. with no knowledge of the game) and find other introductions to be overwhelming.Read more ›
What Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun have done here is to present the central ideas of the game in a careful, step-wise manner that is readable by anyone from about nine years old on. If a parent were willing to take the time, he or she could use this book to learn enough to teach a much younger player. Yet the information presented is still substantial, covering the basics of life, forming territory, capturing, connecting, and Ko fighting. I hate to admit it, but I found a thing or two in it that I had forgotten.
Frequent examples and questions are provided so that the reader has many opportunities to test his or her knowledge. Little bits of Go history are provided as well. In the back of the book is a cardboard folding board and pop out playing pieces. These are a really too small for a playing adult, although they would make a neat lightweight traveling package for working out puzzles and playing in unexpected places. It does allow a child to get some practice playing before then investment in a decent board and pieces it made.
I have been recommending this series to people for some time, since really good texts for beginners are rare. However, I have never taken the time to read them from cover to cover. Having done so, I am quite impressed. I do think that at one should buy at least the second volume in this series as well. This book reads very quickly, and one needs a bit more for a fair start. One thing is certain, it would be hard to get a better start at the world's most popular board game.
One word of caution: Go proponents love to say how simple the rules of Go are. However, they are ignoring scoring issues which make the rules complex. As a beginner, it is very confusing to know how to end a game because of "dead stones". The authors don't even touch on this issue until almost half-way into the book, where they explain a real game. Unfortunately, the only words the authors give at this point are "Dead stones are taken out at the end of the game. It is not necessary to play extra moves in order to capture them." A little more explanation would have been nice. They don't even mention what kind of scoring they are using (Japanese), which punishes you for playing extra moves.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
spells things out so clearly that even someone who has never heard of the game will be able to play a game after reading it.Published 1 month ago by Spencer
A great introductory book to Go. I emphasize that this is probably a book best suited for children. There is a lot of white space on these pages, and simple to digest paragraphs... Read morePublished 3 months ago by The Iron Marx
Like a lot of folks, I recently took an interest in Go as a result of the Lee Sedol - AlphaGo tournament, and I started combing online and print sources for introductory material. Read morePublished 3 months ago by R. Hurwitz
If you know nothing about the game of go whatsoever START RIGHT HERE. This book is amazing. I bought the whole series of 5 books and in two months of reading them and playing on... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jack
Review – Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game”
This book is the first volume to a 5 volume set by Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun, both masters of the... Read more
Written for almost the base beginner. My Korean girlfriend found this the only book that she liked to learn go/baduk from.Published 21 months ago by Feilongshi