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Teach Yourself Go Paperback – February 1, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Matthews coaches adult and junior players and is the author of many articles on the game of Go.

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Product Details

  • Series: Teach Yourself: Games/Hobbies/Sports
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071429778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071429771
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,614,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Vanier on October 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've been playing go for many years, and I've read many introductory books on go. This is far and away the best I've seen. It covers a tremendous amount of fundamental material, much of which I haven't seen covered in other beginner's books. It has all the standard material on tactics, cutting, connecting, making living groups, opening strategy, and endgames. The author is a gifted teacher and his love for the game comes through very clearly. The only reservation I have is that some of the material will be quite difficult for absolute beginners. Many times the solution to a problem will be given with a minimum of text explanation; the idea is for you to work out the details for yourself. This is fine for people who have been playing for a while, but may put off beginners. For them I would recommend Iwamoto's "Go for beginners", which covers much of the same material but at a lower level. After that, you'll want to come back to this book. Teach Yourself Go occupies a valuable niche between Iwamoto's book and the more advanced introductions to the game, such as the Kiseido Elementary Go series. I also strongly recommend Yoshinori's four-volume series "Graded Go Problems for Beginners"; after you've read Teach Yourself Go you should definitely work through Yoshinori's books.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful introduction to the game. I am a complete beginner and after reading the rules of the game had many initial questions. This book was able to solve many of them in the first chapter. The book begins with illustrations of the basic rules but does not formally outline them, so reading a simple rule book (like "The Way to Go" by Karl Baker -which is available for free on-line from the American Go Association) is probably a good idea.
Matthews does a excellent job of referencing his examples; each time a play is illustrated any use of a rule is referred to the first detailed explanation of the rule. This is extremely helpful for some of the more complex examples. The problems in the book begin at very basic level and build slowly; in many other books I've seen, even the first problems are above a complete novice.
The organization of this book is also superb. The sections are very short and can be read and understood individually. At the end of the first chapter Matthews outlines several options for proceeding, allowing players to focus their study of the game on the area of greatest interest without becoming lost by skipping chapters.
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Format: Paperback
Teach yourself Go is a nice little book that will teach you a lot with its 200 pages. I knew some Go before I started reading this book, and I think that a complete beginner may find Janice Kim's books (Learn to play Go) a bit easier to learn from. With that said, this book is still a great book to start with even if you don't know anything about Go. It's just a bit harder to read, but it also contains twice as much information as the books Janice Kim writes. Teach yourself Go covers all you need to know about Go, from rules to simple strategy, and a bit more. I felt the book was hard to read, maybe due to the layout, and that the book itself is filled with tons of info. This is a book that takes time to read. Reading isn't everything either, so you have to digest what you read, play Go, and try it all out. If you just rush trough the book, you won't get out all its potential. If you invest some time in the book, you will be rewarded. I find some of the words used in the book to be too advanced. There must be easier words to use. This might not be a problem if your english skills are a bit better than mine, and maybe you really have to use words like this to make a good explanation. Some of the sentences are also a bit awkward. After each chapter you will be met by some Go problems that will check that you understood everything in the chapter. These Go problems can be a bit tough, and some of them are actually quite hard :) On the other side, you might become strong ;)
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Format: Paperback
I have checked out several books from the library on Go, and I found this to be one of the better introductory level books. It's not as instructive to the complete novice as Janice Kim's "Learn to Play Go: Volume 1" (an excellent series btw), but it does cover more material. This book goes over some concepts and then has problems that test you on what you've just read about. It covers a wide range of material from basic moves like nets and ladders up to an example of a complete profesional learning game on a 19X19 board.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently became interested in an Asian game of strategy and purchased a GO game. Even though it had a small booklet explaining the game; nevertheless I decided to purchase a few more books on this game. I just looked through this 216 page soft cover (Teach Yourself GO by Charles Mathews) book and found the beginning instructions very clear and straight forward.

This very informative book provides a comprehensive introduction to the game of GO. The following is a small sample of the lessons in this book: The first five lessons for the beginner, five further lessons, capture, cutting and connecting, eyes, a complete game, Ko and seki, the end of the game, corners and sides. I found the last section very helpful which covers the origins and other information about the game of GO.

In conclusion I found this book very informative but like any complex game, there is nothing like actually playing the game with someone who has hands-on experience and can point out the finer details.

Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Tactical Principles of the most effective combative systems).
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