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Go for Beginners

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Go is an ancient, subtly beautiful game of territory. But with its nearly endless possibilities and challenges, it is more than just another game; it is a way of life for tens of millions of players throughout the world. Embodying four thousand years of Oriental thought and culture, go is the oldest game in the world still played in its original form.

Go is the kind of game
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 12th 1977 by Pantheon Books (first published January 1st 1972)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  254 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Chess presents clear battle-lines; with advances and fortifications defined by movement and proximity. By contrast, Go is the board-game equivalent of a Rorschach Test, with black and white stones flowing like monochromatic water into pools and fissures. Deciphering who's ahead in chess is typically a matter of counting the pieces, with some dispensation for sharp attacks and ambitious pawns. Discerning the leader in a Go match not only requires a ten-fold accounting job, but also a keen analysi ...more
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Only for ambitious beginners.

There are gentler books for beginners out there, such as the excellent volume one in the Learn to Play Go series by Janice Kim and Soo-hyun Jeong. Whether this book by Iwamoto is right for you or not will depend on how hard you want to work. If you are brand new to the game and need someone to walk you step by step through all the basics with clear explanations and simple examples, this is not for you.

Iwamoto starts by talking to those that have never played go befor
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: go, non-fiction, gaming
This is a go classic, written by Kaoru Iwamoto, who has kind of an interesting history. He was one of the players of the famous "atomic bomb game" that took place in the outskirts of Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped. Apparently he devoted much of his later career to spreading go to the West, which is why this is one of the most well-known go books in English.

Iwamoto doesn't write with the same "personality" as Toshiro Kageyama in Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go. He doesn't want to sc
Iron Mike
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: games
Great intro to the game. Read this first maybe 20 years ago? 15? Haven't played the game in a while but wanted to try it again, so quickly reread this.
Enoch Page
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dunia Adel
Recommended to Enoch by: A Welshman
I have read this little book since I bought it new soon after it originally was published. It took me years to comprehend its value while I missed many opportunities to dedicate myself to mastering the ancient game of Go. For more than twenty years I presumed that I knew the game but my rudimentary knowledge failed to advance until I tried to use this book again. I am not the reader I once was due to disability, but I need not stand on the sidelines. I can take my time with this book. Less than ...more
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Vaguely explains the game of go.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent introduction to the classic game of go. It's a bit dated in its style but it's a perfectly workable first book for a novice. It's not a long book but there is a lot packed in there. The rules of the game are presented by walking the reader through an example game, which is a nice touch. The second part of the book is a thorough overview of tactics and strategy. Many of the exercises I think are a bit too difficult for a raw beginner, but it is worth spending time going over them any ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
For a book for beginners, the chapters were laid out in a very strange way. I had to jump back and forth trying to figure out the game and any advice the book was trying to give. This might work as a book for intermediate to expert level players.
Leon Altherr
Mar 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: guides
Has taught me the basic terms of Go and most of the beginner techniques. I will work on my tsumegos and furikawari and then get back to the later chapters of this book which were a little more advanced.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A nice overview of Go, but not really for complete beginners.
Kevin de Ataíde
Complicated, yet intriguing.
Killer of Dreams
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: go
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: games
A decent beginner book on Go (for me having played for a couple of weeks). Many useful concept and tactics which you probably could not come up with learning on your own. The writer is an expert player, and though for most part he writes in simple, friendly language intended for beginners, I don't necessarily understand all the concept he explains, especially analysis of two professional games at the end. Also, contain a lot of Japanese terms, which were explained in the first mention and in the ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: go-baduk
This was my first go book, and so I owe it a lot for starting off a long time love affair. I've since looked at many other beginners go books, and still think this is excellent. The Learn to Play Go series is also very good, and will take someone on a gentler progression than this single volume. But this is cheaper, and shorter. It has a little less hand-holding, which can be either good, or bad.
I'd advise people to buy this, play lots of games, and work through the Graded Go Problems for Beginn
Feb 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very dense read. Do not let the small page count dissuade you from reading this very valuable introduction to the game of go. Concepts are explained clearly and simply. Examples are plentiful and challenging. This is a book to which I will return frequently. See especially Iwamoto's explanations on ko fights (pp. 28-34) and eyes (pp. 38-40). These explanations strike a great balance of clarity and challenge.
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read_2010
I had dabbled in Go previously, but after reading this book it became clear why I had always been decimated. That is, my background is entirely in chess, and I tried to play Go with a chess strategy. This was a very eye-opening book and I can see an inkling of why so many say that it is a beautiful game. I must explore more.
Jan 20, 2009 rated it liked it
A slim beginners guide to Go with an explanation of the rules, example games with commentary and some elementary tactics. The text is dense with ideas, so this will definitely need re-reading at some point.
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is good but not an easy read. I had to take out my go board and played along while reading. I only read the first part though. This is a book that I hope to finally finished reading one day. It's a gem, but needs work and persistence.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not an expert on go and this is the first go book I've ever read. But I've read dozens and dozens of rule books for board games and this book certainly works for me.
Lina Skoldmor
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Perfect for beginners.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
A tad overwhelming and perhaps it would have been less so if I had a Go board next to me. I may reread Hikaru no Go and try to actually pay attention to the rules, instead....
Aleksandr Fedorov
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The best introduction to the Go. Covers everything you need to start playing. For further reading I recommend The Second Book of Go by Richard Bozulich.
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
A good introduction to beginner Go plays. Expect technical explanations with good images.
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
A solid introduction to the ancient game of Go. The book gives enough information and basic strategy for a newcomer to start playing.
Samuel Pryor
rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2020
Melissa Fan
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Jun 26, 2013
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Jul 18, 2015
Patrick Dugan
rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2014
Chris Wayland
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May 03, 2016
Alexey Vyskubov
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Jan 24, 2016
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