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 Post subject: Top 3 Go books in your opinion?
Post #1 Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 5:23 am 
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hi, guys lets share your 3 favorites Go books

Mine:
1)Kageyama's Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go

2) Attack and Defense by Ishida Akira and James Davies

3) Invincible: The Games of Shusaku by John Power

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Post #2 Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 6:32 am 
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I think of sets, all three in Japanese.

1) Kyu level: Takagawa's Igo Reader, 5 volumes

2) Dan level: Sakata no Go, 6 volumes

3) Handicap go: Okigo Jizai, 10 volumes, by Hattori Inshuku

The fuseki and joseki in the first two will of course need to be read with a bot handy, but I expect that Sakata's tactics is still better than that of today's bots. The third is dated, OC, being a couple of centuries old. But once the bots get up to speed on handicap go, I doubt if they will find much to criticize about the play with 4 stones or more.

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Post #3 Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 6:54 am 
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Answering the question is not so easy because different considerations put different books at the top 3 (in no particular order). Books on specialised topics, such as semeai or entertainment, have no chance in my top-3 lists.


Read the most after publication:

- Ing 1991 Rules.
- Go Player's Almanac, 1st edition. (Because I studied the rules.)
- Fuseki Dictionary (Rin Kaiho)


Read the most including proofreading:

- Ing 1991 Rules.
- Go Player's Almanac, 1st edition. (Because I studied the rules.)
- Endgame 3 - Accurate Local Evaluation


Improved the most (biased by what was published until 1992 when improving as a kyu was "easy"; some 3 of the following 4 books):

- Tesuji (Davies)
- Lessons in the Fundamentals
- Attack and Defense
- Strategic Concepts of Go


Would have improved the most (if those books had been available in 1992; the "Improved the most" are out on a close call):

- First Fundamentals
- Fighting Fundamentals
- Joseki 2 - Strategy


Learned the most (as a dan, of course):

- Endgame 3 - Accurate Local Evaluation
- Positional Judgement 2 - Dynamics
- Fighting Fundamentals


The most essential books whose reading is not to be missed (important but interchangeable books, such as problem books on life and death or tsumego or the Nihon Kiin Tesuji Dictionary, drop out):

- Tactical Reading
- Endgame 2 - Values
- [here should be a book about strategy (including positional judgement) but none is general enough to qualify as "not to be missed"; there should be a combined strategy book going beyond a combination Fighting Fundamentals, Joseki 2 - Strategy and Positional Judgement 1 + 2 by also explaining strategic thinking broadly]


The most carefully researched:

- Endgame 3 - Accurate Local Evaluation
- Mathematical Go Endgames
- [drafts of unpublished Endgame volumes override everything else, such Capturing Races 1 or Endgame 2 - Values, but one might argue that books on combinatorial game theory, such as Combinatorial Game Theory, also deserve their place as go books here]

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Post #4 Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 10:07 am 
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Since Bill Spight opened that backdoor, I'll include sets too : D

1) John Fairbairn's books on Honinbo Shuei (the life and games mainly) - if I ever find my go wanting or my will wavering... I'll return to those.

2) Yi Ch'ang-Ho's sets on tsumego and tesuji (6 volumes each) - still educational and still a nice format (one problem per page).

3) Go/Segeo Tesuji Dictionairy (3 volumes) - more by fame and awe right now because I still hadn't the time or felt sufficently prepared to really tackle those books ^^

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Post #5 Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 2:40 pm 
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1) Kageyama's Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go

2) Attack and Defense by Ishida Akira and James Davies

3) The Thirty-six Stratagems Applied to Go by Ma Xiaochun

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Post #6 Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 2:53 pm 
Gosei
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From the top of my head, there's what I enjoyed reading and what made an impact on my game

Enjoy
1) Hikaru no go, manga
2) First kyu, the novel
3) Lee Sedol's games, with stories
(The treasure chest enigma)

Learn
1) Attack and defense, Ishida
2) Tesuji, Davies
3) Life & Death, Davies
(Killer of Go, Sakata)

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Post #7 Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 3:51 pm 
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Many of my favorites have already been named, but I'll add:

- All About Thickness (Ishida)
- The Power of the Star Point (Takagawa)

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Post #8 Posted: Tue May 19, 2020 10:50 am 
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1. Train Like a Pro: Problems were really hard for me when I started around 4 or 5k. But I got the most improvement in my go from this book.
2. 囲碁の力が10倍になる;山田式トレーニング (10X Your Go Power, Yamada Style Training - my translation is probably subpar, but I haven't studied Japanese in a long time): This book has some great problems, including ladder-like problems. It really helps in visualization.
3. Graded Go Problems for Dan players, Volume 4: What I like most about this one is the progression. Problems start out kind of easy, then ramp up in difficulty. Great book.

I'm currently reading Lee Sedol's biography in Korean, mostly to practice Korean. It's good so far, but it's purely entertaining - not educational for go at all, really.

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Post #9 Posted: Tue May 19, 2020 2:22 pm 
Gosei

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In English:

1. Invincible
2. The 1971 Honinbo Tournament
3. The Treasure Chest Enigma

In Japanese:

1. Shuei Nihon Igo Taikei 17 (comments by Takagawa)
2. Go Seigen Omoide no Juuhachi Kyoku, Ima nara Kou Utsu (18 memorable Games, How would I play Now?) commented by Go Seigen
3. Showa Igo Fuun Roku by Nakayama Noriyuki (A Record of the Winds of Change in Showa Go)


This post by gowan was liked by: Bill Spight
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Post #10 Posted: Tue May 19, 2020 5:58 pm 
Gosei

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Kirby wrote:
2. 囲碁の力が10倍になる;山田式トレーニング (10X Your Go Power, Yamada Style Training - my translation is probably subpar, but I haven't studied Japanese in a long time): This book has some great problems, including ladder-like problems. It really helps in visualization.

This book is available as a a PDF from mynavi: https://book.mynavi.jp/ec/products/detail/id=23501

I've only gone through a little bit of it but so far I like it too. It feels like it is specifically about reading out long sequences rather than spot-the-tesuji, which I really appreciate.

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Post #11 Posted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:51 pm 
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Great Tesuji Encyclopedia (手筋大事典) published 1992

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Post #12 Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 6:02 am 
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A tough question, different books have been favourites at different times e.g. I read a lot of beginners books and have my favourite amongst them that I would recommend to others, but they don't really belong as a lasting favourite.
Similarly I think my favourites now will also change.


Generally I'll be reading something in each of three categories so I'll make it easier by sticking to those;

Problem set- currently a large Chinese set of problems, something like "Go ladder basic training." Just the tesuji and l&d books, there are others in the series that I have but don't spend time with. I like them over other sets/books I have because they repeat the same/similar problem types over and over which I don't see as much in English problem sets. And maybe I'm a bit dense and need the repetition. The progression in very gradual and feels more like drilling shapes/techniques. I think these will keep me going for a while, there are over 6000 problems.

A book for entertainment, motivation or inspiration- quite often something by John Fairbairn, Kageyama would fit here too. Currently it is "The Meijins Retirement Game".

A book for study/theory- mostly I rely on lectures for theory, but commented pro games fits here. A firm favourite is Lee Sedol's self commented games, these will probably hold this spot for a long time. EDIT; recently got hold of "Relentless" which is another excellent collection of commented games, and contains a lot of general useful theory

I guess the last two categories have a lot of overlap, depending on how much effort I'm putting in to reading/studying or how much is over my head


Last edited by zac on Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Top 3 Go books in your opinion?
Post #13 Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 8:41 am 
Lives with ko
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So many books, oh dear!

Learning:

Invincible
1971 Honinbo Tournament
Ishida's Dictionary of Basic Joseki (learned a lot, was stuck with it, learned out of it)

Joy:

Master of Go
Hikaru no Go
Finnish Sente Essays (my RJ card :))

Cheers,
Vesa

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Post #14 Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:00 pm 
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My top 2 books are:

Attack and Defense
and
Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go

Hard to pick a 3rd book, too many come to mind, so I'll choose instead not a book, but the Go World monthly collection.

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Post #15 Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 8:55 pm 
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I dunno about yall, but these 2 helped me get started with GO, it was these two that pushed me thru sdk in a very short time

1) Learn to Play Go series by Janice Kim
2) Graded Go Problems for Beginners

If i have to find the 3rd one(didn't read others), and that would be

3) Dictionary of Modern Fuseki - Korean Style

This book helped me with most oldschool fuseki back then, although i forgot most of it, and even though it's oldschool fuseki isn't played much anymore, it's still pretty useful to study it

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Post #16 Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 1:46 pm 
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Hi,
For me it will be Learn to Play Go vol 4 and 5, because they summarize all the fundamentals.

Then Level Up Vol 1 to 10. These are exercises but the philosophy is a bit different from Graded go Problems or other problem books, because they insist more on examples and repetition than on solving problems. That's exactly what I needed.

So far we have theory and exercises... my third book will be different : The Go Player's Alamanch 2001, which is a kind of encyclopaedia about the game of go. Very interesting and a great source of information.

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