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Go Wizardry

All About the Many Aspects of Go
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The Anatomy of a Trick Play

Teaching Ideas

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The American Go Extra offered material for beginners in every issue. GoWizardry.com has followed that lead by bringing the lessons that were published in the AGE to go players looking for instruction online. And that includes beginners. However, some have complained that the material is too complex. The argument is that the concepts that are explained are here are just too difficult for beginners to understand. There is some truth in this complaint, but it entirely misses the point.

Please look at the title of this section of the website: Teaching Ideas. The point is not to cater to the needs of beginners directly, but to the requirements of teachers who are seeking study material to use with beginners. Teachers may alter the material in any way they see fit to make the best use of it in instructing their students. Although the material may be of a high level, it always deals with important ideas regarding how to play go.

The article this time is a perfect case in point. It comes from the Spring 1995 issue of the AGE. That issue dealt with trick plays in go, and gave one specific example of a trick play. Although the sequence in this article is difficult even for amateur dan players to handle, there are multiple lessons to be learned from studying it.

For instance, the sequence starts with the attach and extend jōseki, one of the most common and often recommended for the use of beginners. Then, in Diagram 2 below, Black extends at 3, threatening to cut. Few beginners would realize that. White must answer at 4, a move that makes good shape, another important concept in go. Diagram 3 shows Black making a thick and strong move at 1, another vital move. Beginners might find all of this difficult to assimilate, but one has to start somewhere!

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