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In the Beginning

(Elementary Go Series #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The opening is theoretically the hardest part of the game of go. To professional players, it is the hardest part in practice, as well; in championship games that last two days, for instance, the first day is usually spent playing and thinking about the first 50 moves, and the second day is spent finishing all the rest. Such is the consistency of professional play in the mi ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published June 9th 2017 by Kiseido Publishing Company (first published October 1973)
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 ·  177 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, go, gaming
Is there a perfect go book? I haven't found one yet, but so far I learn a little bit from each one, and In the Beginning covers a lot of fundamentals relating to the beginning of the game: how to play in the corners, with follow-up moves (shimari and kakari), then some discussion of extending along the sides, into the center, invasions, and pincer attacks. Then, a list of nine concepts for improving your opening game:

Make Your Stones Work Together
Play Away from Streng
Iron Mike
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: games
Good intro to the opening in go. My only issue with this book is the typography sometimes was missing some indicators, like when they were pointing out "...this moves is related to which is in atari." The blank spot would refer to a marked stone on the board, but which black-triangle stone? Most of the times it was easy to figure out, but it is a ding against the editor of this volume.

FWIW, I have the sixth printing, May 1995, version of this book.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I just finished reading it cover-to-cover, working most of the examples out on a board and playing games in between. I still failed most of the 10 problems at the end. I could read it again in a few weeks and get almost as much out of it the second time.

Before this book, I would play on star points, then connect some of my groups or just start fighting because I had no idea what I was doing. After this book, I'm establishing bases, extending along the side, and playing for territory more success
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: go
I really enjoyed this book and I think it improved my game. I immediately wanted to re-read the book once I finished it!
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Libro bastante didáctico sobre la apertura (opening), la primera fase del Go. Desarrolla varias ideas y consideraciones a tener en cuenta durante esta fase. La complejidad de dicha fase es inabarcable y uno debe conformarse con una lista de factores a tener en cuenta a la hora de tomar decisiones, pero aún así en el libro consiguen tratar en bastante profundidad una cuestión: la disyuntiva del juego en la tercera o en la cuarta línea.
Valentyn Danylchuk
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: go, baduk, non-fiction
Nice. Another beginner-friendly perspective on Go opening, and some associated attack and defense theory. I especially liked the self-test problems with multiple possible solutions ranked in points, and with detailed explanations.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Exactly what I was hoping for: not a detailed analysis of joseki but a more general overview of basic principles of the opening. Recommended.
Sep 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: igo
A fairly good book for the beginning igo player. I picked it up from the local library in pure joy of actually seeing a go book on the shelf, and I must note that I'm about 5kyu in level. Thus this book is not for me to begin with (though I still think I can give something of an adequate review of it). I think Ishigure starts off well and explains things that a lot of beginners need to know, but I think that he doesn't continue as long as he should. Many of the complaints I got from beginners I ...more
Serge Pierro
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: go
Between this and "Opening Theory Made Easy", the beginner/intermediate student of Go would have a solid foundation as to the moves and thought process of the opening of a game of Go. Covering all of the vital opening points, such as 3-3, 3-4, 4-4 etc. in detail, as to the ideas behind them, the book then goes on to extensions, pincers, shimari, kakari, etc. There is a section of 10 test positions that the student can choose the move they would make and then turn to see how they would score... wi ...more
Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: go
While I feel that "Opening Theory Made Easy" is a better book than this one, I still read "In the Beginning" twice. There is a lot of fundamental information to be gained from it. It's well written, with clear examples.

It ends with a series of 10 problems which are graded on a sliding scale. You can get partial credit for playing 2nd- or 3rd- best moves, which are all explained.
Steve Paulson
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Beginning to Intermediate Go Players
Shelves: go
An excellent book to follow introductory books by Shotwell, Cho Chikun and Kaoru Iwamoto.

I finished a second reading a few months ago and am now near the end of a 3rd. Each time a grasp a bit more and look forward to a 'full' understanding in a few years and 3-4 more readings.
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: games
Great book for those who've mastered the basic rules and concepts of go/baduk/weiqi. Once you've read this, you'll feel a lot less confused about where to place your next stone on that giant empty board; it offers basic principles and has lots of illuminating examples.
Chloe Moon
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This and Kageyama's Fundamentals were my first Go books. I read this as a 15-20k. Much of it was beyond my ability at the time, but I still got a lot out of it! I've revisited it a few times, and will continue to. A wonderful book.
Nov 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opening is an abstract concept that few amateurs really understand. This is certainly a good book on opening theory. I'd say it's well-written enough that advanced beginners (about 10k) can follow it. However, it's probably useful into the low dan levels.
May 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wei-chi
Good book, but not for beginners!
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Elementary Go Series (7 books)
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