Reviews - What do customers think about Basic Techniques of Go?
Dense and Economical... Mar 18, 2006
If you know the basic rules of go and want to improve, how do you move from beginner to intermediate play? One option is to buy a bunch of intermediate books, each covering a different topic (like tesuji or handicap play). Sound expensive? Maybe this is the book for you.
As an intermediate book that covers most major elements of the game, "Basic Techniques of Go" is hard to beat. Where else can you find a Go book that covers so many topics? Overall strategy? Got it. Detailed tactics of common positions? Got it. Tesuji? Yose (endgame)? Fuseki? Joseki? Handicap play? Got them all. That being said, the largest sections of this book cover tesuji, yose (endgame), and 9, 6, and 4-stone handicap play.
Now of course, having all these topics means this book is DENSE. Be prepared to work out positions that seem obvious to the authors. Also, the introduction lets you know which chapters are more difficult, so just save those for later (or just skim them).
I only give this book 4 stars because the layout could be more organized. It's systematic enough to be a reference, but it may be hard to find the specific thing you're looking for. Also, the number of Japanese go terms can be a bit daunting, and there is no glossary (this may have been fixed in recent editions).
Overall, I feel that "Basic Techniques of Go" is an excellent whole-game intermediate book that will last you a long time. I think this book will help players ranked 15-kyu to 1-dan, but I especially recommend it for 10-kyu to 5-kyu players.
Good book for the beginner Aug 18, 2003
This is a good go book for the beginner. It doesn't teach the basic rules to the game, nor does it discuss initial beginning play, but once you've learned the rules and have played a few games, this book may be a good choice.
I've only gotten part of the way through the book so far, but I have already gotten a lot of good go theory. The book does require some work on your part, either through using a go board while looking at examples, or SGF software. (Some diagrams show the play order of 20 stones, which is hard to read for the beginner).
As a prerequisite to this book, I'd suggest... (A series of newspaper articles on the basics and history of Go).
EDIT: I'm now >3k AGA and have to downgrade this book significantly. Unless you're having significant trouble with very basic play, this book is not for you! I never finished this book - in fact, I never got past somewhere in the middle of the book. I would suggest this only for people who want to know more about handicap play (as black).
I purchased this book by mistake instead of "The Second Book of Go." Although I can't review the latter (having never read it), I'd suggest taking a look at it instead.