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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
10

VINE VOICEon 10 February 2010
First of all the book is readable. This isn't always true of Go books. The wisdom is mixed in with anecdote which kept me there as I struggled with the topic.

The book is credible - the author does a very good job of "been there made that mistake" which also helped me stay engaged.

Uniquely, in my experience, this book also spends a reasonable amount of time discussing stupid moves and why they are so, which I found to be invaluable. Further I was pleased to get advice on what not to do, e.g., (slightly exagerated for effect) "don't bother studying Joseki, get the principles right" which validated my inability to read even two pages of "38 Joseki".

Before I even finished it the first I think I improved by one stone. Definitely value for money there, then.

It will require re-reading, it is a book to keep by your side, to dip into, gleaning a bit more each time. It's the best book I've ever bought since Iwamoto (which is a great place to start)

Of course, anyone that has previously bought any book called "Fundamentals of <subject matter>" will realise this isn't a beginners book. However, as a self taught player, this one has definitely improved my understanding.

Highly recommended
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on 19 December 2014
Great book, and nicely written in an often amusing style which makes it easy to dip into when you feel the need to improve your game, and this book will improve your game as it focusses on building solid technique and getting the basics right.
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on 20 February 2000
This book is ideal for anyone interested in go who has got beyond the basics. It is particularly suited to anyone who has got stuck in a rut with his/her game and no amount of studying or playing the game seems to make any difference. It's certainly the best book I've ever read on go and it improved my game by 4 stones (8 kyu UK to 4 kyu UK). Though you should be slightly beyond the mere beginner stage, this book is aimed at anyone weak or strong. Don't be misled by the 'Fundamentals' in the title. This is not really a book that someone who has just learnt the rules should be reading. What Kageyama means by 'fundamentals' is the simple things that professional players take for granted but which amateurs often mishandle or get confused about. Just as a successful rugby team will always get the fundamentals of passing, handling and tackling right, a successful go player will habitually be strong at the fundamentals of reading, cutting, connecting, getting ahead, counting and so on.
What makes this a classic is Kageyama's delightful, conversational style constantly challenging you to review your weaknesses and work at strengthening your grasp of the fundamentals. This is written by someone who's been through the mill himself and knows what it's like to struggle at improving one's game. An amateur for many years, Kageyama eventually turned professional and developed into a strong if not brilliant player, never actually emulating the top players. The book is full of amusing anecdotes chronicling his career as professional player and teacher.
A must for every go player.
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on 2 October 2015
I am very happy.
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on 24 April 2009
I have been playing Go since 1990, and have acquired a plethora of bad habits. My play is a hybrid of snippets from here, there and everywhere. This, I suspect, is not so uncommon - learning by example.

This book arrests such tendancies. Nips them in the bud, and roots you back in the very basics of sound play. But all is not apparent from the first reading. I strongly suspect that each re-reading enhances the message.

And such rereading is very much in accord with the principle message of the book. Namely that the fundamentals should be so heavily ingrained that they are second nature, allowing you to play effortlessly.

My only real concern is that for kyu players, there is sometimes an assumption that a resultanting position is obviously superior, but without much investigation into rebuffing typical kyu player responses.

However, such omissions do not really detract from the value of the book. Indeed, digressing to discuss the handling of kyu play variations would make the book more of a labour, and re-expose us to failing playing styles.

Buy and read it slowly 5 times.
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on 6 February 2000
This book is ideal for anyone interested in go who has got beyond the basics. It is particularly suited to anyone who has got stuck in a rut with his/her game and no amount of studying or playing the game seems to make any difference. It's certainly the best book I've ever read on go and it improved my game by 4 stones (8 kyu UK to 4 kyu UK).
Though you should be slightly beyond the mere beginner stage, this book is aimed at anyone weak or strong. Don't be misled by the 'Fundamentals' in the title. This is not really a book that someone who has just learnt the rules should be reading. What Kageyama means by 'fundamentals' is the simple things that professional players take for granted but which amateurs often mishandle or get confused about. Just as a successful rugby team will always get the fundamentals of passing, handling and tackling right, a successful go player will habitually be strong at the fundamentals of reading, cutting, connecting, getting ahead, counting and so on.
What makes this a classic is Kageyama's delightful, conversational style constantly challenging you to review your weaknesses and work at strengthening your grasp of the fundamentals. This is written by someone who's been through the mill himself and knows what it's like to struggle at improving one's game. An amateur for many years, Kageyama eventually turned professional and developed into a strong if not brilliant player, never actually emulating the top players. The book is full of amusing anecdotes chronicling his career as professional player and teacher.
A must for every go player.
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on 6 April 2010
This is simply the best English language Go book I've seen.

It has a light, conversational style but gently teaches the mode of thought of the author, an impressively credentialled professional player.

Strongly recommended- a must for players of every strength from about 20 kyu upwards.
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on 18 October 2007
if you can only buy 1 go book, this is the one! A must for go players of all levels.
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on 18 November 2011
A systematic look at GO for the improver, very well regarded by amateur go players.

Worth reading once you are out of beginner stage, and worth re-reading after that to get a push to the next level. Some commentators have claimed that reading this book made them 2 stones stronger.

For beginners who want to improve quickly, Graded Go Problems for Beginners: 1 (Beginner & Elementary Go Bks.) is an excellent first problem book that starts very gently, and ramps up gradually.
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on 7 March 2009
This is THE book. For kyu players, it will instantly improve your strength by at least one stone, and over time many more. It did wonders for my game when I was first learning the fundamentals. I'm looking forward to reading this book again - currently it's on loan to a friend, then he finished it and lent it to someone else. It's one of those books that's just a pure classic that everyone should read.
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