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Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go (Beginner and Elementary Go Books) Paperback – May, 1996

4.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Beginner and Elementary Go Books
  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Kiseido Publishing Co; 2 edition (May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4906574289
  • ISBN-13: 978-4906574285
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a famous book in the Go community. It is the only one we know which is good to read early on (after say 6 months of playing), but which remains a source of fresh insights even after 20 years of playing. I reread it regularly, always enjoy its strange style, and always come back with a better grasp of the fundamentals -- yet again. It is not that you forget them in the meantime, just that they sink in ever deeper with every game you play, so that with every rereading you recognize more of Kageyama's insights explicitly.
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Format: Paperback
This book covers an area that other good go books don't: basic common sense of go. Rather than talking about attack, life and death, territory, it talks about things that a wise teacher might say to a student. It's definitely worth buying this book to learn those concepts that aren't talked about in most go books. The author makes the book very personal with even a few unrelated stories that are still interesting (like going to the movies as a child).
One of the things that really affected me was his talk about ladders. He says that everyone should go back to this and learn to work them out in their head, even when it means thinking 30 or so moves in advance. For the lazy (which includes most of us), he say's he'll grab us by the scruff of the neck and smack some sense into us showing that we CAN solve these things and not to try to rely on tricks or formulas.
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Format: Paperback
With his no-nonsense style, and quick wit, Toshiro Kageyama takes you thorugh 'the basics' of Good Go. Go, like mathematics, is a language (one of its many names is literally translated as 'handtalk'). Here, Kageyama is teaching us how to spell.
We are provided with easy-to-follow instruction and guided problems in chapters on Life and Death, Ladders (including spiral ladders); Territory and Spheres of Influence; How to study Joseki; Good Shape and Bad; Endgame Pointers; and my favorite, Tesuji (snap-backs and the like).
Kageyama also gives us a general feel for how the stones 'move' on the board, and the direction of play. These Lessons, and his writing style, combine with anecdotes from his professional career and television appearances to make this a wholly enjoyable book.
More on his style: The effect of Kageyama's writing is as if he's right there with you; very conversational. He will encourage and support, but he will also slap your hand if you are not paying attention. Make no mistake, his sole intention is that you express yourself, get better, and have fun along the way.
Beginners around 20 kyu and below:
You may want to concentrate on learning the alphabet, so to speak. But you should know that this book has some very simple 'words'. As soon as you feel comfortable playing on a 19x19 board, then find this book.
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Format: Paperback
I personally find this book very useful (at least for myself, but I believe as well for many of you guys). It is especially true if you read it the second and the third time. When I review my own game, I can find out a lot of mistakes which Kageyama has mentioned in the book. (Like forget to struggle to go ahead) There is a Go competition during summer, and I have just finished this book the third time. Some of the tesuji in the book is very useful.
I guess it will be good to learn the basic rule of the Go game and then play for a while. (may be a hundred game), then start reading this book. Then you can get the most out of it. (I believe Kageyama himself has suggested us to play for many games to get the feeling first. He mentioned player usually meet barrier at around 11-13kyu, 5-6kyu and 1-2kyu. So I guess if one train up to around 15kyu and then start reading this book, it will be very useful. And then review the book once a while. Get the fundamental idea in your mindset. And you will find Go even more interesting
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Format: Paperback
Kageyama packs the book full of useful instruction, given in a chatty style with the occasional self-deprecating humour. While not a book for the absolute beginner, he surprises many readers by starting with ladders. But he shows that they are excellent training for reading (calculating) ability which also builds self-confidence during a game.
The book also covers strategic principles, typical endgame play (and a common mistake by handicap takers), josekis (corner openings).
Of course, in such a game full of complex possibilities, books can't solve everything. For example, I presume it requires experience way beyond his book to know whether a move is "proper" or "slack".
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Format: Paperback
This book is an endless source of information. As you get better at go, you get more and more out of it. When I first started playing, I learned little from the book but I did learn valueble basic tactics such as the net and the ladder and so forth. Later, I learned useful tesujis and opening strategies. After putting the book down for about 3 months, and as my skill increased, I went over it again and found more useful info including a generaly good attitude towards go.
I suggest this book to anyone who wants to keep playing go. It may not be useful at the time you get it, but keep skimming through and I gaurantee you will find useful information along the way.
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