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Amazing Happenings in the Game of Go Volume 3


Amazing Happenings in the Game of Go

Kido Classics, Volume 3:

Joseki Basics and in Context

By Sakata Eio, Ishida Yoshio and Others

Translated and Edited by Robert J. Terry

Go is a game that demands a high degree of intuition and abstract thinking. It is difficult to get a clear grasp on where to place one’s stones on the board. In that case, it is a relief to most players that there exists a large body of information that can be utilized as a guide. Since logic indicates that the most efficient way to begin to take control of the go board is by playing in the corners, manuals of the set moves that have been established as effective there are among the most popular. Studying these set moves, or joseki [literally established stones, i.e., moves], is one of the keys to advancing in strength in go.

One thing to keep in mind is the perspective that one brings to the analysis of joseki. Different players see things according to their own perception. A joseki that one considers perfectly fine can be rejected by another as being inferior. Understanding these nuances brings another dimension to one’s appreciation of joseki. The inclusion of the evaluations of a number of eminent professional go players in this work provides this benefit as well.

Chapter 1

Through 50 Years Following the War: Popular Joseki is by Sakata Eio, one of the greatest players in the history of the game of go. He gives an overview of joseki over half a century of play. As a player who was active when some of those joseki were invented, he was in a unique position to evaluate them. In fact, he also recounts the circumstances under which he introduced a new joseki himself into tournament play!

Chapter 2

Methods for the Practical Application of Joseki by Ishida Yoshio 9 dan was published a year after his massive work, The Dictionary of Basic Joseki appeared to great acclaim in Japan, quickly followed by the English language version. Both sets of books are still in print more than four decades later. That bespeaks the timeless quality of the material. In this chapter of original subject matter, Ishida shows how to use joseki effectively in the proper context.

Chapter 3

Methods for the Practical Application of Star Point Joseki by Mimura Tomoyasu 7 dan is a similar examination of joseki in the context of the whole board. However, the focus is on the most popular star point joseki used in contemporary play. Mimura has been promoted to 9 dan since that time, so the material here represents the work of a top professional player on the rise.

Chapter 4

Joseki Likes and Dislikes by Takagawa Shukaku, Honorary Honinbo is an individual assessment of joseki which considers how a player’s unique tastes influence the selection of joseki. Also in this chapter is another essay by Takagawa, The Magic Sword of Muramasa and Masamune. Takagawa was on the scene when this joseki first appeared, so he is in a special position to make assessment about it.

Chapter 5

Dead Joseki, Dying Joseki by Kano Yoshinori 9 dan shows how the evolution of joseki over the centuries has relegated once popular variations to the dustbin of history. Here, too, a top professional player scrutinizes joseki from a distinct perspective.

Chapter 6

Thinking About Joseki by Ishida Akira 9 dan with Konishi Taizo 6 dan drives home the point that joseki must be played with the surrounding positions clearly in mind.

Chapter 7

Choose Joseki According to the Background by Kataoka Satoshi 9 dan, explains how to play when no joseki actually fits the position.

Chapter 8

A Tale of Two Joseki dramatically illustrates the agony and the ecstasy of playing joseki from the standpoint of one of the greatest go players in the history of the game, Cho Chikun. First, there is the ecstasy: Cho plays a cutting edge joseki and comes up with an exquisite move that wins the game on the spot. Then, there is the agony: Cho tries a faulty variation on move 10, and loses the game right from the start. He ends up resigning before even 100 moves have been played. These two contrasting examples will give every go player plenty of material to reflect upon.

Chapter 9

Joseki Skills Test presents 15 problems that challenger the reader’s understanding of the subject matter covered. Here as well, the positions have been created by a variety of professional players, so multiple viewpoints are displayed.

In addition, a Glossary of Go Terms has been included, along with biographical information about the authors. One notable game illustrating a specific joseki has also been provided in an appendix.

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