Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game (Learn to Play Go, #1)
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Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game (Learn to Play Go #1)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  175 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Learn to Play Go, the elegant game that has enthralled millions of people around the world for millennia. In Volume 1 of this award-winning series, professional Go player Janice Kim 3 dan helps you brush up on the fundamentals, or learn the game from scratch. Suitable for children, de-mystifying for adults, with plenty of historical and cultural notes and resource lists to...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by Ishi Press International (first published 1994)
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So, a little history: I first learned go way back in college. Told myself I was going to keep playing. Didn't play again until I spent a year and a half in Korea, and hung out with the Korean go club. Told myself I would learn to play well this time. Stopped playing when I left Korea, even though I'd bought a bunch of Go books, most of which I never read through.

So now, after reading ten volumes of a children's manga series called Hikaru no Go, I am inspired to maybe break out the books again an...more
This book covers the rules, basic concepts, and shapes and structures of Go in a very easy-to-read fashion. I already knew the rules and understood the basic ideas (two eyes, ko fights, capture races, etc) from reading on the internet, and was worried that the book would be too simple; however I found the catalogue of the different types of basic connections and dead-or-alive shapes very useful, as I hadn't seen them all explained in one place. There are problems on each concept, and the authors...more
Excellent for those that are completely new to the game.

There are several beginner books out there, this one fits well those people that pretty much have never played a game and need to learn about the objective and rules of the game. People that are beginners but have already played a few games, understand about captures and basic life and death will probably be better served by going straight to Volume 2 of this series or look for a different beginner book, such as Go for Beginners by Iwamoto....more
I thought this was a very good introduction to Go ("Weiqi", in China, the country of origin). I've read complaints that this book is a bit too simplistic but that's its goal; it's for the beginner! It does a great job pointing out the key elements of both rules and strategy. I've also read the second book in the series and I think they both do a good job of explaining, giving a good variety of practice problems, and building on what was already learned.

This book will not make you a master but i...more
For those of you interested in getting started in learning to play Go, this is a must read. Janice does an excellent job of explaining many of the basic concepts needed to play Go. She covers territory developement, capturing stones, life and death, ladders,and basic stratagies. She uses several actual games to demonstrate and explain these concepts to make it easier for beginners to grasp these concepts and improve their playing ability. If you read all of Jancie Kim's books and play diligently...more
David S
Jan 31, 2008 David S rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to learn how to play Go
Shelves: non-fiction
The first book in Janice Kim's five volume series on the game of Go is the best of the widely available introductory books I've seen. If a store carries books on Go it's a good bet that Learn to Play Go Volume I will be in stock. This installment gives an easily understandable explanation of the rules and basic technique, and it fills in the corners with a little history, etiquette, and a few short bios of some of the top professional players. An excellent, well-rounded introduction to the game...more
I read this book long ago and unfortunately no longer have a copy. This is an excellent beginning book on go (baduk, weichi). I found it easy to read, clear, and informative. I have read the second and third books in the series and they are very good. I especially like the focus on concepts and general rules of thumb. I much prefer this learning method to spending hours memorizing joseki or puzzling over sparsely commented professional games. I highly recommend this series.
Malcolm Bastien
I really enjoyed it. Though as of now, it's the only Go books I've finished so I can't say for sure if it's really 5/5 without comparing it to others.

That said everything was very clear, the lessons were organized very logically and I had no problems through the book. I really liked how they included information about Go, to put the lessons into better context for the reader. I hope to see more of that extra information in the proceeding volumes.
Aug 20, 2009 Jdl rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: go
This covers the very basics of the game, starting with the rules and finishing with counting and some fundamental life and death positions. The chapter on capturing moves introduces the concepts of ladders, nets, and snapbacks which are all important for any beginner to learn. Kim writes in a clear style, and keeps things simple. This and "The Second Book of Go" should be read by anyone who is just getting started.
This was my second reading of the first and second volumes of this series. I highly recommend this book, and the whole series to anyone interested in learning Go. For a game with so few actual rules, it can be challenging to understand how to actually play. Not only will you learn to play the game, you'll start to develop some neat tactics. The other volumes are equally good, with increasingly advanced strategies.
A great book for learning the rules and basic strategies of Go. I was able to get my game up to where I am competitive with the easiest computer player on small boards. It might be nice if they went a little more step-by-step through some of the examples and problems, but I was able to follow them all with a little focus. And the fact is, if you're not going to put in that focus, you won't get very good at this game.
Ondřej Sýkora
A good introduction to the game; easy to read, and more important, contains things that most Go tutorials don't. Even though I already knew the rules and played a couple of games (and went through some Go problems), it was an interesting read and I'd say I've learned some new things.
I have re-read this book at least 3 times in the past 8 years. It is part of my ritual of "getting back into go" when the desire hits me to play. This series and the graded go problems for beginners really help drill in the basics and get me ready to do deeper reading.
Jul 07, 2010 Whynot rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: go
This was the first go book I read and I completely taught myself to play with it. It covers everything from the rules, to how to hold a stone, to basic tactics. I have lent this book to two people who wanted to learn to play and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Christopher Sears
I bought the entire Learn to Play Go series a few years ago. This book is an excellent introduction to playing Go.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to master Go to the level that I wish, so it's time for me to move on to other projects.
I met Janice in 1988 or 89, about the time she was featured in Sports Illustrated. I was so happy to see this series by her. A perfect introduction to the game, and equally valuable for experienced players.
Easy to read and understand guide to Go, presented is a series of exercises and tests to teach the game and improve play at a beginner's level . Now I just need to find someone to play with!
Serge Pierro
An excellent primer on the game of Go. Covers all the necessary information to get started - all in a well presented manner. (4 stars for the book + 1 star for the inclusion of the pieces and board)
One can only read so many introductory go books, but this is a good place to start. I didn't read it as one of my first, so I didn't get as much out of it as I could.
Elizabeth Tangora
A very handy guide-- but I'd recommend also having somebody who knows the game to teach you, so you can just use the book as a reference.
Jun 16, 2013 Toni rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: games
If you don't know anything about Go then go ahead. But you can probably check the basics from web and move straight to the second book.
Oct 10, 2011 Finlay rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: go
A very gentle introduction to the game. Not a lot of content here compared with some other "first books"
Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game (Volume I) by Janice Kim (1995)
William Herbst
An excellent introduction to the absolute basics of a game I would love to play better.
Michael Dickens
An easy-to-read and informative book about the basics of Go.
Very friendly. Seemed like a good place to start.
Her other books are good too!
Jacob marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
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