- Hardcover: 148 pages
- Publisher: Pantheon Books; 1st American ed edition (1 Jan. 1976)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394413520
- ISBN-13: 978-0394413525
- Package Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Go for beginners Hardcover – 1 Jan 1976
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Top Customer Reviews
The style is concise (but not terse), and moves rapidly from the basics through increasingly complex board positions and plays. But too often he dismisses a new layout of stones (just a jumble of black and white to the novice!) with statements such as "in this position, black's best move is obvious..." It may well be obvious to an expert, but the whole point of the book ought to be to explain why a certain move is the correct/best one - and the lack of this explanation makes the book frustrating and ultimately unsuitable for beginners. The style is also occasionally patronising - Iwamoto refers to one common beginner's error as "boorish behaviour" which is neither helpful nor encouraging to a novice looking to an expert for advice and motivation.
This book's strength however is its comprehensive coverage in a neat and small package. I think it works much better as an 'aide memoire' for the developing player, who is past the novice stage and wants some reminders of strategy and positional play to bolster learning gained elsewhere. Approach this book with that aim and it succeeds wonderfully. Approach it as a complete beginner wanting a gentle, hand-holding introduction, and you may be confused and disappointed.
(Personally, I found 'Teach Yourself Go' by Charles Matthews much more suitable for a complete beginner to the game).
If you can tough-out this work, you are probably Shodan material, but, if it proves too daunting, fall-back to Kim or Chikun. Then, after it all makes sense to you, revisit Iwamoto; the insights of a 9-Dan are invaluable to any player.
What I liked most about the book was that the chapters were broken up by problem sections which tested one's understanding of the material just covered.
It's a book that was written a long time ago, there is a list of addresses of national and USAian Go club addresses, which are presumably mostly out of date.
The introduction is intensely USAian oriented, Britain and Europe have their own histories, even in Go, and an introduction that only mentions the introduction of the game to the USA is not entirely appropriate here.
There are issues with the "ko" and "bent four in the corner" rules, as these have changed in wording though not so much in effect, since the book was published.
If a revised edition is ever written, which with the number of other (more expensive) books on the subject is unlikely, it would be a good idea to have all the diagrams on the same page as the text which refers to them, and the references to marked stones in the text is made difficult by the fact that the ink flows which means that the marks are somewhat obscured in the text. This is a common fault in go English language Go books, but since the marked stones in the figures show up almost perfectly, it should be possible to fix this in another printing.
All in all, authoritative but out of date, it will do so long as someone who is aware of the new rules can mention that there are minor issues to potential readers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great, clear description and arrived before time, thank you will deal with you againPublished 18 months ago by helen bowker