AGA Annotated Bibliography of Go Books in English

Build Your Go Library Here!

To improve your level of play, you have to study. As you see below, hundreds of books are available. How should you choose? We hope this list, which includes cross-links to reviews in The American Go E-Journal, will help. We have linked each title to its web page when possible; sample pages are available for many books. Try before you buy!

Each listing includes the number of pages, as well a notation of the book's format:

  • Mini format -- 4.5" x 5.5" or so, small enough to carry in your pocket.
  • Small format -- 4.5" x 7" or so, about the size of a paperback novel.
  • Full-size format -- 6" x 8" or so, about the size of a quality paperback.
  • Oversized format -- 8" x 10" and up.

Most of these books are published by Kiseido, Slate and Shell or Yutopian and are available directly from them. Yellow Mountain Imports is another good source for books and equipment. Visit our books and equipment page to learn more about good equipment and where to find it. Many of these books are also available in e-reader format, for instance from SmartGo Books or Kiseido Digital.

Check out Sensei's Library, a go-related Wiki, for more information about these books, and for errata pages for many of these books.

And if you are looking for additional written material about all aspects of go, check out the scholarly research available and especially the Bob High Memorial Library.

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Table of Contents

We have divided the listing into fourteen categories. Each book is only listed once, so for instance if you're studying life and death, check out the whole site, not just the "Life and Death" section.

New and Noteworthy

Games of Wonder by Wu Jun, Wu Jiong. An English translation of Yi Miao, a collection of 40 famous games by some of the best players in the Qing Dynasty. #170pp. Full-size, 2014 (CreateSpace)

Whole Board Opening Problems by Yuan Zhou. The problem situations in this book are drawn from actual games played by amateurs and pros. Each game opening is followed for several moves so that issues of consistency of strategy as well as judgment of the relative size of alternative moves can be considered. #100pp. Full-Size format, 2014 (Slate and Shell)

Four-Stone Games Part I (Amazon) Part II (Amazon) by Guo Bailing translation by Sun Ruoshi. An English translation of the classic Chinese go textbook, Sizi Pu, written by go master Guo Bailing (c. 1587 - c. 1662). This book contains over 400 variations from Guo's research on four-stone handicapped games. Guo is perhaps most famous for his study on the attachment response to the low corner approach. Indeed, almost 300 variations are dedicated to that. In Guo's own words, "It is the author's intention to elucidate the countless variations and let people realize that they all follow the basic principles."
Part I:
 Mighty Cap Opening (66 variations), Big Pressure Beam Opening (111 variations);
Part II:
 Attachment Opening (178 variations)
, High Corner Approach Opening (30 variations), Large-Knight Corner Approach Opening (54 variations).
242/295 pp. Full-size Format, 2014 (CreateSpace)

Three-Stone Games (SL Amazon) by Guo Bailing. An English translation of the classic Chinese go textbook, Sanzi Pu, written by go master Guo Bailing (c. 1587 - c. 1662). This book contains hundreds of diagrams from Guo's research on three-stone handicapped games and 5 game records. It was customary to place the three stones at star points along the diagonal of the board, i.e. two diagonal hoshis plus tengen. Many of the variations contain dozens of moves (occasionally more than 100), as a result of quarter-board or even half-board fights. Particular emphasis is placed on the coordination of the tengen stone. Be prepared for a showcase of tesuji and semeai skills in these intense battles! #134pp. Full-size Format, 2013 (CreateSpace)

The Martial Art of Strategy: Russian Style: Nine Elegant Solutions by Igor Grishin and Mikhail Emelyanov. There are nine elegant solutions for getting out of the most difficult situations people can find themselves in their lives and businesses. The authors explore nine solutions and use business, military and the go board to better explain these solutions. 192 pp. Small Format, Kindle, 2014 (Les Waller International, LLC)

The Elephant in the Paddy: Tsumego in Pictures by Izumi Hase. The creative and amusing pictures involve life-and-death exercises. Their degree of difficulty reaches from very easy to highly advanced – for beginners and Dan-players, for children and adults. 145 pp, 2013 (Boards and Stones)

Secrets of Kiai by Rob Van Zeijst and Richard Bozulich Kiai the ability to come up with innovative and creative moves, is the subject of the eighth volume of Kiseido's Mastering the Basics series. (Kiseido)

Patterns of the Sanrensei by Michael Redmond When Black plays three star points in a row, the game often follows one of six basic patterns. Redmond 9P explains how to attack this formation, and how to use it effectively. 212 pp., large format. Slate and Shell

Modern Masters Volume 1: Michael Redmond on 3 Pro Games by Michael Redmond These three game commentaries, expanded from comments published in The American Go E-Journal, show why Redmond is such a popular teacher. 38 pp., full size format. Slate and Shell

The Gateway to All Marvels translated and compiled by John Fairbairn The Xuanxuan Qijing, first published in 1347, is the third oldest known go book. John Fairbairn has compiled all material from all versions into one compendium of more than 500 marvelous problems. E-book format only.

Graded Go Problems for Dan Players Volume V 4D-7D: 300 Tesuji Problems This collection takes up where Volume II left off. Very few dan players will be able to solve all these problems. (Kiseido)

The Chinese Opening by Yuan Zhou How to play and defend against this popular opening. 73 pp., full size format. Slate and Shell

The Theory and Practice of Tsumego by Valery Shikshin A top Russian coach compiled these hundreds of examples from actual games, and organized them systematically to illustrate basic principles. 297 pp., full size format. (Go Game Guru)

The Theory and Practice of Semeai by Valery Shikshin A systematic attempt to set forth principles involved in capturing races. 219 pp., full size format. (Go Game Guru)

The Theory and Practice of Shapes by Valery Shikshin In press. (Go Game Guru)

The Theory and Practice of Analysis by Valery Shikshin In press. (Go Game Guru)

First Fundamentals by Robert Jasiek This book is intended to help newcomers brreak the SDK barrier.

Positional Judgment 1: Territory by Robert Jasiek A basic orientation to a central go concept.

Simple Tesuji by Glenn Forsythe A British dan player offers some basic insights for players who are just discovering hpow effective these elegant plays can be. 38 pp., full size format. Slate and Shell

The Best of Kido: The Ins and Outs of Life and Death translated by Robert Terry From the pages of Kido, the premier Japanese go magazine. 150 problems look at tsume-go from many perspectives, including the aesthetic. For advanced players. Full size format. (Go Game Guru)

The Best of Kido: Positional Analysis translated by Robert Terry From the pages of Kido, the premier Japanese go magazine. Detailed anaylsis of thirty top pro games shows when to be aggressive and when to play more conservatively. For advanced players. 323 pp, full size format. (Go Game Guru)

Amazing Happenings in the Game of Go (3 volumes) translated by Robert Terry E-book format only.

  • Volume 1: Kido Classics Highlights from the Nihon Kiin's instructional magazine for stronger players, published from the Kiin's founding in 1924 to 1999. Some material may have appeared previously in Go World. Articles by Cho, Sakata, Kato, Takemiya and others, and more than thirty games, many fully commented. 456 pp., E-book format only.

  • Volume 2: Kido Classics Articles by Fujisawa, Rin, Ishida and others, with thirty more pro games, many fully annotated. 438 pp., E-book format only.

  • Volume 3: Joseki Basics and In Context by Kobayashi Koichi 641 pp., E-book format only.

Startling Beauty of the Game of Go by Kobayashi Koichi, translated by Robert Terry 200 carefully selected problems illustrate every aspect of the game. E-book format only.

Modern Master Games Volume 1: The Dawn of Tournament Go by Rob Van Zeijst and Richard Bozulich, with historical notes by John Power Eleven top Japanese games from the mid-twentieth century. (Kiseido)

Commented Games of Lee Sedol Vol. 1: One Step Closer to the Summit by Lee Sedol The world's top player offers highly detailed omments on three of his games, with more than thirty game records per analysis and lots of explanatory diagrams. (Baduktopia)

Brilliance/Power by John Fairbairn Thorough analysis of two famous encounters -- the so-called "blood-vomiting game," and a game in which Honinbo Shusai helped to establish the reputation of the then- nascent Nihon Kiin. Slate and Shell

Deep Thought: Extremely Thorough Commentary on Pro Games by Yuan Zhou Move-by-move analysis of two pro games. 166 pp., full size format. Slate and Shell

Learning From Pro Games by Yuan Zhou Detailed commentary on fourteen pro games. Zhou clarifies the strategies and tactics involved in fourteen famous games, avoiding extended analysis of complex situations and focusing on broader issues that most players can understand. 258 pp., full size format. Slate and Shell

The Life of Honinbo Shuei by John Fairbairn A text-only biography of one of the great go masters of the late 19th century. 151 pp., e-book format only.

The Games of Honinbo Shuei by John Fairbairn These four collections show why Shuei was the greatest player of his age.

  • Volume I: 19 games from Shuei's early period, 1870-1886. 401 pp., e-book format only.

  • Volume 2: 21 games played between 1892-1897379 pp., e-book format only.

  • Volume 3: Nineteen of Shuei's best games from between 1898 and 1900. 363pp., e-book format only.

  • Volume 4: Shuei at the height of his powers. He was so strong only one of his contemporaries could avoid being pushed to at least two stones. 328 pp., e-book format only.

The Commentaries of Honinbo Shuei Shuei's comments on the games of his students. 98 pp., e-book format only.

Inoue Gennan Inseki A brief biography featuring Inoue's rivalry with Honinbo Jowa. E-book format only.

Tenth Kisei Title Match by John Power This detailed commentary from the 1986 Kisei tournament originally appeared in Go World. 86 pp., e-book format only.

The Best Game Records of 2009 by Chong Tong-sik A compilation of top Korean pro games, translated by Diana Koszegi. (Oromedia)

Getting Started

The Way to Go by Karl Baker Download and print this free brief introduction to the game (46 pages) developed by the AGA, intended for the complete beginner, available online.

Learn to Play Go (5 volumes) by Janice Kim This series of introductory books by U.S. pro Janice Kim 3-Dan is based on lessons from her teacher, Korean professional Jeong Soo-hyun 9 Dan. Full-sized format. Read the E-Journal review of the series.

Go! More Than a Game by Peter Shotwell Now in its 2nd printing, Shotwell's first book for Tuttle combines a game-oriented approach to learning the rudiments with a deep anthropological look at the game's fascinating history. Full-sized format,181 pp. Read the review in this issue of the E-Journal..

Go Basics by Peter Shotwell Shotwell's second book for Tuttle focuses on 9x9 go to introduce concepts and strategies for new players in an easy-to-follow way. Includes the AGA "Go Starter CD" with lots of resources. 154 pp. Full-sized format. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Beginning Go by Peter Shotwell Shotwell's third book uses small and full board games to focus on elements that seem mysterious to beginners, such as when the game is over; what lives and what dies; and how to score the game. Full-sized format. (160 pp.)

EZGO: Oriental Strategy in a Nutshell by Bruce and Sue Wilcox A lighthearted, highly readable romp through Bruce Wilcox's "Instant Go" theories, in his unique style. Full-sized format,266 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

EZGO: An Overview The essence of Wilcox's beginner theories, in a free download.

The Book of Go by William Cobb An introduction to go through the "Capture Game" method, which Cobb learned while training as an International Go Instructor in Japan. Includes boxes of plastic stones and a 9x9/13x13 board. Full-sized format, 124 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Invitation to Go by John Fairbairn A short introduction by the esteemed British writer. Small format, 81 pp.

Teach Yourself Go by Charles Matthews A systematic and thorough introduction. Part of NTC Publishing Group's Teach Yourself series. Full-sized format, 212 pp.

So You Want To Play Go? (4 volumes) by Jonathan Hop This AGA 3D starts with "the bare basics for beginners in the first level, aiming to teach the principles and fundamentals in a fun and interesting way, so that go is enjoyable for everyone."

21st Century Baduk for Beginners by Kim Sung-rae and Sung Ki-Chang This book contains many small problems and explanations designed to challenge, but not overwhelm, a new player. Medium format, 374 pages.

Go - A Complete Introduction to the Game by Cho Chikun One of Japan's top pros wrote this introduction; chapters describing the history, cultural significance, possible relation to intelligence and other aspects of go are interspersed with descriptions of how to play. Small format, 170 pp. (Kiseido)

Baduk, Made Fun and Easy (3 volumes) by Chi-hyung Nam A collection of more than 150 introductory essays by a professor at Myung-ji University Department of Baduk Studies, presenting go as "a harmony, construction and an art." Many of these essays appeared in The Korea Times Full-sized format.

First Fundamentals by Robert Jasiek This book is intended to help newcomers brreak the SDK barrier.

Positional Judgment 1: Territory by Robert Jasiek A basic orientation to a central go concept.

Simple Tesuji by Glenn Forsythe A British dan player offers some basic insights for players who are just discovering hpow effective these elegant plays can be. 38 pp., full size format. Slate and Shell

WeiQi in Culture: Introductory Lectures by Wu Song-sheng 9-Dan Mr. Wu, a top Chinese player since the 1960's, intersperses essays about the value of go with a description of the game for the complete beginner. Full-sized format, 84 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Go Pack by Matthew Macfadyen Includes The Game of Go (128 pp.), an introduction by British champion Matthew Macfadyen, and playing equipment.

Go for Beginners by Kaoru Iwamoto Written by a top-ranking Japanese professional who devoted himself wholeheartedly to spreading go in the West. Small format, 160 pp. (Pantheon/Random House) Read the E-Journal review.

Let's Play Go! by Yasutoshi Yasuda Written specially for children by the author of Go As Communication (see "Other books" below), who has been teaching go to children in Japan for many years. Full-sized format, 74 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Go For Kids by Milton N. Bradley A detailed introduction interspersed with cartoons, intended especially to engage a young audience. Full-sized format, 250 pp.

A Scientific Introduction to Go Ing Foundation Director Yang Yu-chia has written a unique introductory book, a large format, soft cover "Whole Earth Catalog" of go, stuffed with useful insights, interesting information and a new way of expressing the basic concept of the game to the Western beginner. Oversized format, 288 pp.

Master Go in Ten Days by Xu Xiang and Jin Jiang Zheng All the fundamentals in ten chapters, including extended analysis of three famous games. A standard text for aspiring players in China. Full-sized format, 172 pp.

Learn Go by Neil Moffatt Moffatt, a kyu level player, has aspiring newcomers in mind as he explains the basics step by step with a separate diagram for each play, to help the reader visualize what's happening more clearly. Click the title above to see sample pages. Large format, 123 pp.

Games of Go by Neil Moffatt Moffatt applies his "one move per diagram" approach to the analysis of twelve games in complete detail. Click the title above to see sample pages. Large format. 218 pp.

Go and Go-Moku: the Oriental Board Games by Edward Lasker First published in 1934, this classic has been overshadowed by several recent excellent books for beginners, but probably did more than any other book to put go "on the map" in America in the mid-1900s. Lasker, a grandmaster of chess himself and the nephew of the great Emanuel Lasker, was one of the founders of the American Go Association. Small format, 215 pp.

Go Made Easy by Sam Sloan Another perspective on go. Medium format, 336 pages.

Improving Your Strength

The Second Book of Go by Richard Bozulich Aiming to fill the gap between introductory books for the total beginner and instructional materials aimed at more experienced players, this book spells out the basics. The four-volume Graded Go Problems for Beginners was written specifically to accompany this book. Full-sized format,122 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal. Read another E-Journal review.

Graded Go Problems for Beginners (Four Volumes) by Kano Yoshinori Over 1500 problems in all that will help new players reach mid-kyu strength. Full-sized format. Read an E-Journal review. [Read another E-Journal review.](/go-book-reviews-2001-2003#graded_go_problems for beginners2)

Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go by Toshiro Kageyama Highly readable and entertaining, accessible to all players, but with deeper meaning for stronger players, who tend to return to the book again and again. Small format, 268 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another E-Journal review. Read yet another review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Fundamental Principles of Go by Yi-lun Yang 7-Dan America's greatest teacher has spent years thinking about how to explain the essence of go to the Western mind. This book is the result of those efforts. Full-sized format, 188 pp.

The Workshop Lectures (six volumes) by Yi-lun Yang 7-Dan Mr. Yang has been teaching Americans for more than twenty years. These lectures contain the essence of what he believes Western players need to understand. Full-sized format.

  • Vol I: "When to Tenuki in the Opening," "Choosing the Direction of Attack" and "Playing Complicated Josekis." 68 pp.

  • Vol II: "How to Invade," "Choosing the Correct Pincer," "Side Extensions in the Opening" and the difference between "Playing A Territorial Game" and "Playing a Moyo Game." 81 pp.

  • Vol III: "Playing the Opening," "Developments Around the 4-4 Point," "Punishing Weak Groups Directly," "Using Forcing Moves" and "Handling Weak Stones". 76 pp.

  • Vol IV: "Good And Bad Shape," "When To Play Slow Or Fast," "Playing A Fighting Opening" and " Destroying Large Or Nearly Completed Positions." Full-sized format, 72 pp.

  • Vol V: "Choosing Areas In The Opening," Handling Unusual Opening Moves" and "Protecting A Position.". 79 pp.

  • Vol VI: "Entering The Middle Game," "Attacking Severely," "Dealing With A Moyo, and "Playing With And Against The San-Ren-Sei" . 76 pp.

Winning Go by Richard Bozulich and Peter Shotwell The first single volue in English to cover every phase of the game in detail, from fuseki to yose, with attention to joseki, tesuji, life and death, and more along the way. An ideal first problem book.

Level Up! (12 volumes) by Lee Jae-hwan This colorful, engaging set of books for children offers a systematic problem-based course of study from beginner to dan level, developed by Mr. Lee over decades of teaching children. These books contain hundreds of basic problems -- but no solutions! Download answers separately. Translated from Korean. Large format, 168 pp per volume. Available from Yellow Mountain Imports

Elementary Go Series (7 volumes) Seven volumes covering all aspects of the game in detail. Generations of Western go players have cut their teeth on these books. Small format.

Mastering the Basics (seven volumes) Aims to strengthen the reader's grasp of fundamentals by reinforcing lessons from The Elementary Go Series with lots of problems. Full-sized format.

Get Strong at Go (ten volumes) This series, designed for more advanced study, sets forth fundamental concepts and illustrates them with dozens of problems. Full-sized format.

The Theory and Practice of Tsumego by Valery Shikshin A top Russian coach compiled these hundreds of examples from actual games, and organized them systematically to illustrate basic principles. 297 pp., full size format. (Go Game Guru)

The Theory and Practice of Semeai by Valery Shikshin A systematic attempt to set forth principles involved in capturing races. 219 pp., full size format. (Go Game Guru)

The Theory and Practice of Shapes by Valery Shikshin In press. (Go Game Guru)

The Theory and Practice of Analysis by Valery Shikshin In press. (Go Game Guru)

The Elephant in the Paddy: Tsumego in Pictures by Izumi Hase. The creative and amusing pictures involve life-and-death exercises. Their degree of difficulty reaches from very easy to highly advanced – for beginners and Dan-players, for children and adults. 145 pp, 2013 (Boards and Stones)

100 Tips for Amateur Players by Youngsun Yoon This three-volume set adds up to 300 interesting essays on different facets of the game, suitable for kyu players from 15K or so onward. From Oromedia, in English and Korean.

  • Volume I: 14 Basic Joseki; 11 Important proverbs; 6 Useful Tactics

  • Volume II: Life and death; invasion and attacking.

  • Volume III: Capturing races; the endgame; common amateur mistakes.

Nihon Kiin Small Encyclopedia from the Nihon Kiin Translations of the popular Japanese "Quick Study" series. Full-sized format.

Speed Baduk for Beginners 12 volumes: by Sung-Rae, Kim Pro 1 Dan Problem-oriented format intended to express complex concepts in simple terms, over 1000 problems in all. Answers sold separately. Oversized format.

Kiseido's Digital Bookshelf Volume 1: Five timeless classics, now available only in digital format. Read this article from the E-Journal.

Come Up to Shodan by Rin Kaiho A great champion takes a brief look at the skills you will need to earn your "black belt" in go. This series of articles originally appeared in Go Review a monthly English-language magazine published by the Japan Go Association in the 1960's. Full-sized format, 42 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal. Read another review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Basic Techniques of Go by Haruyama and Nagahara Excellent chapters on 9-, 6-, and 4-stone handicap go, as well as sections on tesuji and endgame play. Full-sized format, 169 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal. Read another review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Go Proverbs by David Mitchell In the 1960's Segoe's Go Proverbs Illustrated, now out of print, taught the Western world the principles of sound play. Now David Mitchell has refined some of Segoe's thoughts, while also presenting some original material. Twenty-two proverbs are defined in all, including "Eyes win semeais" and "Strange things happen at the 1-2 point." Full-sized format, 62 pp.

New Go Proverbs Illustrated by Milton Bradley 25 proverbs that address common strategic concerns of kyu players. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Intermediate Level Power Builder Volume I (153 pp.) and Volume II 148 pp. by Wang Runan 9-Dan Transcripts of 13 lectures on the fundamentals from Chinese television with plenty of explanatory diagrams. Full-sized format. [Read an E-Journal review.](/go-book-reviews-2001-2003#intermediate_level_power_builder Read another E-Journal review.

100 Challenging Go Problems for 100 Days of Study from the Nihon Kiin A selection of problems taken from Kido magazine's "Challenge Corner," which offers ranking diplomas to readers who mail in the correct answers to problems testing the reader on every facet of the game. These are really hard! Full-sized format, 220 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Capturing Races 1 by Robert Jasiek First book in a planned series on capturing races. Click here for sample pages. Available from the author.

Joseki (Three volumes) by Robert Jasiek Volumes 1 and 2 offer a thorough discussion of Fundamentals (Volume 1: 268 pp.) and Strategy (Volume 2: 272 pp.) in the opening and middle game, applying general principles to examples. Volume 3 is a joseki dictionary (Volume 3: 256 pp.). Medium format. Available from the author.

Fighting Fundamentals by Robert Jasiek Fighting Fundamentals answers all the essential questions of why, about what, where, when and how to fight. For example, the reader learns which group to attack or defend, while choosing good development directions. Fighting regions are identified and compared by their values, so that one can play in the most important region. (256 pp.) Full-Sized format. Available from the author.

Startling Beauty of the Game of Go by Kobayashi Koichi, translated by Robert Terry 200 carefully selected problems illustrate every aspect of the game. E-book format only.

Advanced Strategies and Tactics

A Way of Play for the 21st Century by Go Seigen The greatest player of the 20th century, and possibly of all time, is still alive and absorbed in the study of go. In the 1930's, he and Kitani Minoru discovered a "new fuseki" that revolutionized play throughout the world of professional go. Here, the master presents the fundamentals of good play with his own unique insights. Full-sized format, 263 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

The Gateway to All Marvels translated and compiled by John Fairbairn The Xuanxuan Qijing, first published in 1347, is the third oldest known go book. John Fairbairn has compiled all material from all versions into one compendium of more than 500 marvelous problems. E-book format only.

Graded Go Problems for Dan Players Compiled and published by the Nihon Kiin and translated by Richard Bozulich, this problem series picks up where the Get Strong At Go problem series lets off. Medium format.

Positional Judgment: High-Speed Game Analysis by Cho Chikun "Rich men don't pick fights," the proverb says. If you're ahead, play safely; if not, you need to fight for the lead. When you know how to estimate the balance of territory and influence, you can decide whether to fight or play cautiously. Full-sized format, 178 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

The Heart of Go Discovery Series Top Japanese pros address the needs of the average player. Published by Hinoki Press. Full-sized format.

  • Perceiving the Direction of Play by Kobayashi Satoru A top pro tells how to decide where to develop next in the opening. 225 pp.

  • Catching Scent of Victory by O Rissei A top pro tells how he made it to Kisei. The first section focuses on the opening; the rest explores the middle game, often continuing with the same games shown previously 225 pp.

  • Otake's Secrets of Strategy by Otake Hideo The "revered elder figure" of the famed Kitani Dojo sets forth his own "Ten Commandments of Go", then demonstrates them in action, first with illustrations from typical amateur games, then with examples from famous games throughout history. 254 pp.

  • Changing One's Conceptions: Awaji's Aphorisms by Awaji Shuzo Awaji's proverb-oriented teaching style, and tales from his"cram school" for amateurs. 262 pp.

  • The Way of Creating a Thick and Strong Game by Naoki Hane 9P "Use thickness to attack", the proverb says, but Hane takes a different approach. 254 pp.

  • Zone Press Park by O Meien A strange book mixing humor with philosophical insight; the author adopts the term "zone press" from soccer to express his unique approach to the game. 254 pp.

  • Breakthrough Attacking Power by Keigo Yamashita Yamashita retraces his career, analyzing ten games in detail to show how he has shifted from "attacking to capture stones" to "attacking to gain an advantage", and Kikuchi Yasuro analyzes his style through another dozen games.

Pure and Simple: Takao's Astute Use of Brute Force by Takao Shinji The author, who won the Honinbo and Meijin in the same year, explores the concept of thickness. 220 pp. Full-sized format.

Train Like a Pro: Volume I Volume II Answers to Problems Vol I & II Complete Set by Sung-Rae, Kim Pro 1 dan Difficult problems intended for students who aspire to pro level play, more than 350 pages in all. Oversized format. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Think Like a Pro: Haengma by Youngsun Yoon Examples of haengma (good shape) in four categories: taking control, breaking out, attacking, and shapes derived from jeong-sook (joseki). Text in both English and Korean. Full-sized format, 192 pp.

Think Like A Pro: Pae (Ko) by Young-sun Yoon "Pae (ko) is the beauty of go!" exclaims the author in Volume 2 of the "Think Like A Pro" series in Korean and English. 187 pp. Full-sized format.

Step Up To A Higher Level by Abe Yoshiteru 9-Dan Test your skill with this series of 150 problems. Includes sections on the opening, capturing, shape, life and death, and the endgame. 156 pp. Full-sized format.

Improve Your Intuition by Shukaku Takagawa A great Japanese go master shows how to quickly perceive basic features of the situation on the go board in this series of three booklets. Volume I (38 pp.) discusses the opening, while Volume II (43 pp.) focuses on the middle game. Volume III, a review of endgame principles, is out of print. These essays originally appeared in Go Review. Mini format.

Nie On Go: The Art of Positional Judgment by Nie Weiping Nie was the first Chinese player to earn fame and respect when China entered the international go scene in the 1970s. Includes detailed analysis of many of his games. Full-sized format, 197 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another E-Journal review.

Golden Opportunities by Rin Kaiho "The weak wait for opportunities to arrive. The strong search for and grasp opportunities. The wise create their opportunities," says the preface. The author of Come Up to Shodan examines this theme on the go board, while drawing on the lives of Davy Crockett, Napoleon, Joseph Pulitzer and others to illustrate the same theme in a broader context of life. Full-sized format, 308 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Lectures on Go Technique by Cho Hun-hyeon An elucidation of basic go elements -- surrounding and secaping; connecting and cutting; attachments; diagonals; tigers (hangs); empty triangles; and hane -- with 45 full-board problems so the readers can test his new knowledge. Full-sized format, 222 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Tesuji and Anti-Suji of Go by Sakata Eio In this volume, Sakata takes up the question of good style, examining 61 model positions to find the elegant move and its undesirable opposite. Full-sized format, 224 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

36 Stratagems Applied to Go by Ma Xiaochun The 36 Stratagems is an ancient classic Chinese treatise on military theory, written in a style similar to the Tao Te Ching. Ma shows that these precepts can be applied on the go board as well. Full-sized format, 200 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Strategic Fundamentals of Go by Guo Tisheng and Lu Wen The first English-language book to discuss strategy from a Chinese viewpoint, in a series of ten lessons. Full-sized format, 167 pp.

Game Analysis

Most teachers agree that to improve one's strength, nothing beats studying professional games like the ones found in these collections.

Invincible: The Games of Shusaku edited by John Power In a class by itself, with detailed reviews of more than 80 games played by the man who may have been the greatest go player of all time. Oversized format, 419 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

The Best of Kido: Positional Analysis translated by Robert Terry From the pages of Kido, the premier Japanese go magazine. Detailed anaylsis of thirty top pro games shows when to be aggressive and when to play more conservatively. For advanced players. 323 pp, full size format. (Go Game Guru)

Amazing Happenings in the Game of Go (3 volumes) translated by Robert Terry E-book format only.
* Volume 1: Kido Classics Highlights from the Nihon Kiin's instructional magazine for stronger players, published from the Kiin's founding in 1924 to 1999. Some material may have appeared previously in Go World. Articles by Cho, Sakata, Kato, Takemiya and others, and more than thirty games, many fully commented. 456 pp., E-book format only.

  • Volume 2: Kido Classics Articles by Fujisawa, Rin, Ishida and others, with thirty more pro games, many fully annotated. 438 pp., E-book format only.

Modern Master Games Volume 1: The Dawn of Tournament Go by Rob Van Zeijst and Richard Bozulich, with historical notes by John Power Eleven top Japanese games from the mid-twentieth century. (Kiseido)

Commented Games of Lee Sedol Vol. 1: One Step Closer to the Summit by Lee Sedol The world's top player offers highly detailed omments on three of his games, with more than thirty game records per analysis and lots of explanatory diagrams. (Baduktopia)

Brilliance/Power by John Fairbairn Thorough analysis of two famous encounters -- the so-called "blood-vomiting game," and a game in which Honinbo Shusai helped to establish the reputation of the then- nascent Nihon Kiin. Slate and Shell

Deep Thought: Extremely Thorough Commentary on Pro Games by Yuan Zhou Move-by-move analysis of two pro games. 166 pp., full size format. Slate and Shell

Modern Master Games: The Dawn of Tournament Go by Rob Van Ziejst and Richard Bozulich with historical notes by John Power A collection of eleven masterpieces by some of the great players of the post-war era. E-book format only, 400 pages.

The Games of Fujisawa Shuko by John Power Detailed analysis of the great master's 40 Kisei title games. Digital format only, 642 pp.

Kamakura by John Fairbairn The Kamakura jubango (ten-game series) between Go Seigen and Kitani Minoru was one of the greatest matches of the twentieth century. Fairbairn draws on numerous sources, most not available in English, to analyze the games and provide detailed cultural and historical background information. Large format, 205 pp.

Final Summit by John Fairbairn Fairbairn's second book-length exploration of one of Go Seigen's jubangos (ten-game series), this one against Takagawa Shjukaku, who held the top Japanese title (Honinbo) for ten years straight. Medium format, 165 pp.

The Go Consultants by John Fairbairn In 1934, two top Japanese pros, Segoe Kensaku and Suzuki Tamjiro, began a "team consultation" game against two young upstarts who were threatening to revolutionize the world of go -- Go Seigen and Kitani Minoru, whose famous jubango (ten game series) as opponents is chronicled in Fairbairn's Kamakura. The result is a book-length analysis of one game played on five days over the course of a month. Medium format, 151 pp. Read this review from the E-Journal.

9-Dan Showdown by John Fairbairn In Kamakura and Final Summit, Fairbairn presented the first and last of Go Seigen's great jubango matches. Here, he fills in a good chunk of the middle, covering two jubangos and two shorter encounters against Fujisawa Karanosuke (later Fujisawa Hosai). Large format, 335 pp.

The Meijin's Retirement Game by John Fairbairn This is the game made famous by Yasunabi Kawabata in his prizewinning novel The Master of Go, with thorough discussion of the game itself and related cultural and historical factors. Large format, 142 pp.

Old Fuseki vs. New Fuseki: Honinbo Shusai Plays Go Seigen by John Fairbairn A game that deserves its own book, in which young Go Seigen plays an astonishingly unorthodox, almost impudent opening. Full-sized format, 133 pp.

Modern Masters Volume 1: Michael Redmond on 3 Pro Games by Michael Redmond These three game commentaries, expanded from comments published in The American Go E-Journal, show why Redmond is such a popular teacher. 38 pp., full size format. Slate and Shell

Understanding How to Play Go by Yuan Zhou Written by a top American teacher and prolific author, this book goes into move-by-move detail, examining seven games between top amateurs in great detail. Full-sized format, 210 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another E-Journal review. Read yet another E-Journal review.

Understanding Dan Level Play by Yuan Zhou A top American player and teacher analyzes games he played as the US representative to the 2009 Korean Prime Minister's Cup. Medium format, 113 pages.

Learning From Pro Games by Yuan Zhou Detailed commentary on fourteen pro games. Zhou clarifies the strategies and tactics involved in fourteen famous games, avoiding extended analysis of complex situations and focusing on broader issues that most players can understand. Full-Size format, 258 pp., Slate and Shell

How Not to Play Go by Yuan Zhou Zhou identifies six common kyu-level strategic errors and illustrates them through analysis of three kyu-level games. Also available in Spanish as Como No jugar Al Go. Medium format, 32 pp.

Single Digit Kyu Game Commentaries by Yuan Zhou Zhou highlights common kyu-level tactical errors by analyzing six kyu-level games.

Master Play In this series, Zhou takes a detailed look at the special qualities of many of the top players of our time.

Tournament Go 1992 translated by John Power In 1992, Go World temporarily suspended publication. John Power, GW's editor, filled this gap in English-language coverage of top Japanese pro tournaments by publishing everything that would have appeared, and more, in one volume, including extensive comments on more than 50 games. Oversized format, 264 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

The 1971 Honinbo Tournament In-depth analysis of a title bout between two of the great modern masters: Ishida Yoshio and Rin Kaiho. Full-sized format, 203 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

This Is Go the Natural Way! by Takemiya Masaki The great master explains how to follow"the natural flow of play." 172 pp. Full-sized format.

Shuko: The Only Move Volume I: The Joseki/Fuseki Collection by Fujisawa Shuko A famous player presents opening positions from eighty of his most interesting games, in a "Next Move?" problem format. 216 pp. Full-sized format.

Shuko: The Only Move Volume II: Fighting/Middle Game Collection by Fujisawa Shuko A famous player presents highlights from eighty of his most interesting middle games, in a "Next Move?" problem format. 216 pp. Full-sized format.

Go on Go by Go Seigen 9p A series of his own now famous games commented almost move by move by the master himself. Full-sized format, 539 pp.

The Best Play: In-Depth Game Analyses by Feng Yun 9P From a series of lectures given in 2002 by the former World Women's Champion, now living and teaching in the US. Full-sized format, 53 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Dramatic Moments on the Go Board by Abe Yoshiteru This collection of classic oversights ("tragicomedy in the endgame," "hullabaloo in the middle game," "turning points in the opening," and so on) will amuse and instruct. Written by a 9-Dan Japanese professional. Small format, 220 pp.

Beauty and the Beast by Shen Guosun Game analysis focusing on prominent Chinese professionals, interspersed with colorful anecdotes about them. Full-sized format, 172 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Positional Judgment 1: Territory by Robert Jasiek A basic orientation to a central go concept.

The Life of Honinbo Shuei by John Fairbairn A text-only biography of one of the great go masters of the late 19th century. 151 pp., e-book format only. The Games of Honinbo Shuei by John Fairbairn These four collections show why Shuei was the greatest player of his age.

  • Volume I: 19 games from Shuei's early period, 1870-1886. 401 pp., e-book format only.

  • Volume 2: 21 games played between 1892-1897379 pp., e-book format only.

  • Volume 3: Nineteen of Shuei's best games from between 1898 and 1900. 363pp., e-book format only.

  • Volume 4: Shuei at the height of his powers. He was so strong only one of his contemporaries could avoid being pushed to at least two stones. 328 pp., e-book format only.

The Commentaries of Honinbo Shuei Shuei's comments on the games of his students. 98 pp., e-book format only.

The Best Game Records of 2009 by Chong Tong-sik A compilation of top Korean pro games, translated by Diana Koszegi. (Oromedia)

Tenth Kisei Title Match by John Power This detailed commentary from the 1986 Kisei tournament originally appeared in Go World. 86 pp., e-book format only.

Games of Wonder by Wu Jun, Wu Jiong. An English translation of Yi Miao, a collection of 40 famous games by some of the best players in the Qing Dynasty. #170pp. Full-size, 2014 (CreateSpace)

Life and Death

In addition to these books solely devoted to this crucial topic, you will find many other books about life and death in instructional sets listed elsewhere on this page. In fact nearly all instructional books will discuss related concepts in depth at some point.

Essential Life and Death (4 volumes) Volume I Volume II Volume III Volume IV by Lee Jae-hwan The author of the Level Up! series focuses on life and death. All problems - download answers separately. Translated from Korean. Large format, 168 pp per volume.

Creative Life and Death Volume I and Volume II by Cho Hye-hyon Dozens of dan level life and death problems in each volume. (Oromedia)

The Best of Kido: The Ins and Outs of Life and Death translated by Robert Terry From the pages of Kido, the premier Japanese go magazine. 150 problemslook at tsume-go from many perspectives, including the aesthetic. For advanced players. Full size format. (Go Game Guru)

Yi-lun Yang's Ingenious Life and Death Problems Volume I 224 pp. and Volume II 214 pp. Mr. Yang has been teaching go full time in the United States since 1986, so he understands the specific needs of Western players. He is also a devoted student of life and death, creating a new life-and-death problem every day as part of his daily routine. Full-sized format.

Yilun Yang's Go Puzzles

  • Volume I: Life and Death by the Numbers A delightful collection of 40 problems, in which the Black stones are arranged in the form of numbers "1" through "40." You may never see these problems in an actual game, but they are fun and instructive to solve. Mini format, 100 pp.

  • Volume II: Life and Death in Chinese Characters Learn how 50 common words are written in Chinese while solving life-and-death problems based on each character. Mini format, 103 pp.

Igo Hatsuyo-ron: Life and Death from the 18th Century from the Nihon Kiin First published in 1713, this collection of 63 problems evokes a bygone era while illustrating the timeless nature of go. Full-sized format, 196 pp.

Life and Death: Intermediate Level Problems by Maeda Nobuaki 110 classic problems in a book small enough to fit in your back pocket. Maeda is known as a leading life-and-death expert in Japan. 140 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

The Theory and Practice of Tsume-Go by Valery Shikshin A top Russian coach compiled these hundreds of examples from actual games, and organized them systematically to illustrate basic principles. 297 pp., full size format. (Go Game Guru)

Life and Death Problems 1: Basics by Robert Jasiek. The book contains 171 problems and their answers. Most of the problems are newly invented. There are about three problems per finer technique. Since every major technique has three finer kinds, the altogether nine problems per major technique allow the reader to become familiar with it. The final problem chapter has ten mixed problems. (196 pp.) Full-Size format. Available from the Author.

Opening Strategies

Patterns of the Sanrensei by Michael Redmond When Black plays three star points in a row, the game often follows one of six basic patterns. Redmond 9P explains how to attack this formation, and how to use it effectively. 212 pp., large format. Slate and Shell

21st Century New Openings Volume I and Volume II by Kim Sung-rae 31 new opening patterns that have become popular in Korea are explored in detail.

Jeong-seok (Joseki) Compass (4 volumes) by Lee Jae-hwan The Level Up! author explains basic opening principles. Problem-oriented -- download answers separately. Translated from Korean. Full-sized format, 168 pp per volume.

This Is Haengma Kim Sung-rae and Sung Ki-Chang The author of the Speed Baduk series and other books attempts to explain an elusive concept. Medium format, 288 pages.

Master of Haengma Sung-ho Baek A further attempt to explain the Korean concept that equates roughly to "style." Medium format, 288 pages.

Volume 3: Joseki Basics and In Context by Kobayashi Koichi 641 pp., E-book format only.

All About Joseki by Mingjiu Jiang 7P and Guo Juan 5P Two popular teachers team up to review the basics, reviewing amateur games and identifying common errors. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal. Read another review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Opening Theory Made Easy by Otake Hideo Twenty easy-to-grasp principles that will help low- and mid-level players get off to a better start in your games. 167 pp. [Read the E-Journal review.](/go-book-reviews-2001-2003#Opening _Theory_Made_Easy) Read another review in this issue of the E-Journal. Read yet another review from this issue of the E-Journal. And one more.

The 21st Century Dictionary of Basic Joseki by Takao Shinji A thorough update and revision of Ishida's 3-volume Dictionary of Joseki.

Dictionary of Basic Fuseki by Rin Kaiho A great master catalogs the great opening strategies of the 20th century. Full-sized format, 510 pp. in all.

A Dictionary of Modern Fuseki: The Korean Style A massive compliation of Korean approaches to standard opening patterns. Oversized format, 290 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal. Read another E-Journal review. Read two additional E-Journal reviews.

Whole Board Thinking in Joseki by Yi-lun Yang Pro 7-Dan and Phil Straus "Think globally, act locally," the authors tell us, then explain in detail how to utilize a whole board perspective to do the right thing in a local situation. Full-sized format.

Essential Joseki by Naiwei Rui This Chinese 9-dan won the 2000 Kuksoo Title, becoming the first woman in history to win a title not restricted to woman players. In this book she draws on knowledge she gained while studying with the great Go Seigen in Japan. Full-sized format, 228 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another E-Journal review. [Read yet another.]](/files/ejournal_archive/20041223.htm) Read yet another E-Journal review.

The Direction of Play by Kajiwara Takeo Classic elucidation of a strategic concept that plays a key role in every opening, by an entertaining, opinionated character. Sample chapter title: "Move Two Lost the Game." Small format, 248 pp.

Korean Style of Baduk 1 by Chang-ho Lee and Sung-rae Kim The greatest living player discusses the avalanche jongseok (corner pattern) and the mini-Chinese opening. The first of a three-volume series. Oversized format, 280 pp.

Modern Joseki and Fuseki by Sakata Eio Detailed analysis of local and global considerations in the opening. Volume 1 focuses on parallel fuseki, while Volume 2 looks at diagonal openings, more characteristic of older styles of play. Full-sized format, 346 pp.

The Chinese Opening: A Sure-Fire Win Strategy by Kato Masao This distinctive arrangement of three stones along the side has become popular and effective. Kato explains why and how to use it or oppose it. Full-sized format, 142 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

The Chinese Opening by Yuan Zhou How to play and defend against this popular opening. 73 pp., full size format. Slate and Shell

The Power of the Star Point by Takagawa Shukaku Explains how to make use of stones played on the "new fuseki" that Kitani and Go Seigen brought to prominence in the 1930's. Full-sized format, 133 pp.

Go Problems for Kyu Level Players from the Nihon Kiin This six-volume series of books you can fit in your shirt pocket. Mini format.

Jungsuk In Our Time by Seo Bong-soo and Jung Dong-sik; translated by Chi-hyung Nam A discussion of the opening from the Korean point of view. Full-sized format, 351 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Punishing and Correcting Joseki Mistakes by Ming-jiu Jiang Pro 7-Dan and Adam Miller What to do when things go wrong in the opening. Full-sized format, 120 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Tricks in Joseki by Yi-lun Yang Another mini-book with 80 problems illustrating how to play flexibly in the opening and avoid tricks and traps. 161 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal. Read another review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Whole Board Opening Problems by Yuan Zhou. The problem situations in this book are drawn from actual games played by amateurs and pros. Each game opening is followed for several moves so that issues of consistency of strategy as well as judgment of the relative size of alternative moves can be considered. #100pp. Full-Size format, 2014 (Slate and Shell)

Tactical Studies

New Moves Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P and An Younggil 8P A collection of trick plays, from Dinerchtein's hamete.net site. Medium format, 160 pages.

Magic on the First Line by Nakayama Noriyuki The author, a legendary supporter of Western go, explores "miraculous things" that can happen at the edge of the board in the later stages of the game. Medium format, 119 pp.

Vital Points and Skillful Finesse for Sabaki by Yoda Norimoto A problem-oriented discussion of how to use this important concept to play lightly and flexibly, while making the opponenot's stones ineffective, over-concentrated and misdirected. 232 pp. Full-sized format.

501 Tesuji Problems by Richard Bozulich Volume Four of the problem-oriented Mastering the Basics series shows the 45 or so most common types of clever moves that can save the day.

Magic of Go Series Volume I: Magic of Placements by the Nihon Kiin The Japan Go Association produced this series of instructional books. Volume One focuses on moyo invasion and reduction techniques. Full-sized format, 328 pp.

Dictionary of Basic Tesuji (four volumes) by Fujisawa Shuko 9-Dan A great champion reveals clever plays you never dreamed of. Full-sized format. Read the review in this issue of the E-Journal.

200 Tesuji Problems by Shirae Haruhiko 7-Dan From the popular Nihon Kiin Pocket Series. Full-sized format, 212 pp.

Reducing Territorial Frameworks by Fujisawa Shuko A comprehensive review of techniques for erasing the opponent's influence and territory without invading. Full-sized format, 200 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

After Joseki by Kim Sung-rae Many joseki books end each analysis by saying, "Black/White can play later at a." In his latest book, Myung-ji University graduate Sung-rae Kim explains what happens next in more detail. Full-sized format, 241 pp.

Keshi and Uchikomi: Invasion and Reduction in Go by Iwamoto Kaoru During the 1980's, chapters from the study of middle game techniques were among the most popular features in The American Go Journal. Now those articles have been reassembled for publication in book form, along with additional material that has never appeared in English. Full-sized format, 206 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Utilizing Outward Influence by Jin Jiang and Zhao Zheng Deepens your understanding of this elusive concept with a brisk outline of principles, followed by fifty problems and explanations. Full-sized format, 140 pp. [Read the E-Journal review.]/go-book-reviews-2001-2003#UtilizingOutwardInfluence)

Killer of Go by Sakata Eio The legendary Sakata, long at the forefront of the professional go world, wrote this classic text on the theme of killing stones. The book went through more than 100 printings in the 1960s. Now in English for the first time. Full-sized format, 238 pp.

Fighting Ko by Jin Jiang Ko positions in opening, middle game and endgame settings, as well as those that arise in standard joseki and invasion sequences; strategy and whole-board analysis as they apply to ko fights; special properties of the 1-2 and 2-2 points in the corner. Small format, 146 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

A Compendium of Trick Plays from the Nihon Kiin A whimsical but detailed treatment of the kind of crude, sleazy tricks we all dream of coming up with when we're in a hopeless position! Includes an extended dialog between "Joe Patzer" and the "Honinbo of the Alleyways," a cartoon, 25 real problems, and more. Full-sized format, 220 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Winning a Won Game by Go Seigen How to avoid giving your opponent the chance to catch up when you're ahead. Written by one of the great players of all time. Full-sized format, 166 pp.

Lee Chang-ho's Novel Plays and Shapes Mr. Lee has more international titles under his belt that anyone else. In this book he looks at fifteen games containing opening moves that seem to go against standard go wisdom, but actually put the player in a winning position. Full-sized format, 230 pp. Read the review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Whole Board Living Tesuji by Sangit Chatterjee and Huiren Yang Tesuji problems drawn from actual games. Full-sized format, 147 pp.

Cross-Cut Workshop by Richard Hunter Weak players fear the cross-cut because it leads to complications. Understand how it works and you will strengthen your game. Full-sized format, 76 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Monkey Jump Workshop by Richard Hunter Hunter explores this popular maneuver in depth. Full-sized format, 154 pp. Read the E-Journal review. Read another review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Counting Liberties and Winning Capturing Races by Richard Hunter Tricks and shortcuts to help you read out complicated fights. Full-sized format, 240 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another review from this issue of the E-Journal.

The Middle Game of Go by Sakata Eio With more than 70 titles under his belt, Sakata has won more pro titles than anyone in Japanese history. Here he gives very detailed analysis of the chubansen (middle game) of four of his favorite battles. Full-sized format, 143 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

The Art of Go Series Problem-based instruction on these two crucial techniques. Full-sized format.

Playing the Endgame by William Cobb Fundamental concepts such as double sente, reverse sente, and how to calculate the value of an endgame move. Small format.

200 Endgame Problems from the Nihon Kiin Pocket Series Most professional games are won in the yose, the final phase. Strengthen your ability to turn close games into victories. Full-sized format, 252 pp.

Liping Huang's Problem Book The Chicago-based Chinese-American pro offers an intriguing series of problems. Full-sized format, 40 pp.

Mastering Ladders by Thomas Wolf A longtime student of this aspect of go offers useful guidelines. CD included with 1000's of problems.

Handicap Go

How to Play Handicap Go by Yuan Zhou 7D The author of Understanding How to Play Go offers his thoughts on handicap play. Full-sized format, 183 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal. Read another E-Journal review. And yet another. And one more.

Masterpieces of Handicap Go from the Nihon Kiin Translated by Robert McGuigan from a variety of Japanese sources, many of these games appeared originally in The American Go Journal. They show actual handicap play between established masters and rising stars of the future. Full-sized format.

ABCs of Attack and Defense by Michael Redmond 9-Dan Pointers on how to make the most of handicap stones, by the strongest Western player in the history of the game. Full-sized format, 221 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another E-Journal review.

Mastering the Basics of Go by Eugene Lim and Herve Dicky Insights from"the father of French Go" focusing on how to win a nine-stone game. Now in English for the first time since it appeared in France in 1974. Full-sized format, 152 pp.

How to Play Against the Stronger Player by Sakai Michiharu 8p A popular classic since it was published in Japan in 1969, this translation is available only in electronic format. Download it, print it out, and it's yours at no charge! Full-sized format.

Pro-Pro Handicap Go from the Nihon Kiin A collection of three-, four- and five-stone handicap games between established Japanese pros, so the analysis is interesting, but outcome is never really in doubt. Full-sized format, 224 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Secret Chronicles of Handicap Go by Kageyama Toshiro Based on the author's popular Japanese television programs for amateur players, analyzing pro-pro handicap play. One of the few go books with a sense of humor. Small format, 204 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Cosmic Go: A Guide to 4 Stone Handicap Games by Sangit Chatterjee and Hui-ren Yang Pro 1-Dan Written by a strong amateur in consultation with a pro, this book examines specific aspects of four-stone handicap strategy, taking its inspiration from the "cosmic" style of top Japanese professional Takemiya. Full-sized format, 174 pp.

Galactic Go: A Guide to 3 Stone Handicap Go by Sangit Chatterjee and Hui-ren Yang Pro 1-Dan Starting where Cosmic Go left off, Chaterjee and Yang explicate the more advanced mysteries of three stone handicap go. Full-sized format.

Three-Stone Games (SL Amazon) by Guo Bailing. An English translation of the classic Chinese go textbook, Sanzi Pu, written by go master Guo Bailing (c. 1587 - c. 1662). This book contains hundreds of diagrams from Guo's research on three-stone handicapped games and 5 game records. It was customary to place the three stones at star points along the diagonal of the board, i.e. two diagonal hoshis plus tengen. Many of the variations contain dozens of moves (occasionally more than 100), as a result of quarter-board or even half-board fights. Particular emphasis is placed on the coordination of the tengen stone. Be prepared for a showcase of tesuji and semeai skills in these intense battles! #134pp. Full-size Format, 2013 (CreateSpace)

Four-Stone Games Part I (Amazon) Part II (Amazon) by Guo Bailing translation by Sun Ruoshi. An English translation of the classic Chinese go textbook, Sizi Pu, written by go master Guo Bailing (c. 1587 - c. 1662). This book contains over 400 variations from Guo's research on four-stone handicapped games. Guo is perhaps most famous for his study on the attachment response to the low corner approach. Indeed, almost 300 variations are dedicated to that. In Guo's own words, "It is the author's intention to elucidate the countless variations and let people realize that they all follow the basic principles."
Part I:
 Mighty Cap Opening (66 variations), Big Pressure Beam Opening (111 variations);
Part II:
 Attachment Opening (178 variations)
, High Corner Approach Opening (30 variations), Large-Knight Corner Approach Opening (54 variations).
242/295 pp. Full-size Format, 2014 (CreateSpace)

Historical Interest

Inoue Gennan Inseki A brief biography featuring Inoue's rivalry with Honinbo Jowa. E-book format only.

These books are currently unavailable, but you might find a copy here and there online from time to time.

Go Proverbs Illustrated by Sensaku Segoe Published in 1960, GPI was the first attempt in English to express some of the deeper elements of go.

Strategic Concepts of Go by Yoshiaki Nagahara Almost poetic in its attempt to describe several fascinating, elusive concepts. Some say this is the simplest book ever written on go; others say it is the most difficult of all go books for even strong players to understand. Both may be right. Full-sized format, 138 pp.

Imagination of a Go Master by Takemiya Masaki 9-Dan A collection of games that illustrate Takemiya's logic-shattering cosmic style. Spiral-bound to lay flat for easy reference. Full-sized format, 222 pp.

The Treasure Chest Enigma, 2nd Ed by Noriyuki Nakayama A delightful collection of essays about the human side of go -- the milieu of professional life in Japan, the history of the game, and some rather special go problems by one of the most popular teachers of the game. Full-sized format, 186 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another review in this issue of the E-Journal.

All About Life and Death Volume One and Volume Two by Cho Chikun Pros and strong amateurs agree: to get stronger, study life and death. This comprehensive look at the subject tells you most of what you need to know. Full-sized format, 346 pp.

The 3-3 Point by Cho Chikun Neglected since Kitani's time because of its emphasis on territory, the 3-3 point opening can work quite effectively and is likely to surprise your opponent. Small format, 214 pp.

Appreciating Famous Games by Ohira Shuzo Detailed review of ten great games from Japanese go history. Small format, 279 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Cho Hun-hyeon's Life and Master Games Through analysis of twenty great games, the author shows how he managed to completely dominate Korean go for twenty years until the rise of Lee Chang-ho in the early 1990's. Full-sized format, 234 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Dictionary of Joseki 3 volumes by Ishida Yoshio Although this work has now been superseded by Takao Shinji's 21st Century Dictionary of Basic Joseki , it remains a valuable resource, with numerous references to professional games, a feature that does not exist in the update, and it is still in print. Full-sized format. Read the E-Journal review.

The Great Joseki Debates by Honda Kunihisa Originally serialized in Go World magazine, these "debates" look at 24 common positions, examining various alternative moves in detail. Full-sized format, 254 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Top European Players Training Six top Europeans play twelve games and discuss what they were thinking. Published by the EGF to raise funds to train top Europeans. Full-sized format.

Rescue and Capture by Yi-lun Yang This little series of 80 middle game problems fits easily in your back pocket. It shows how to make sure your groups escape -- and your opponent's groups don't! By the California-based master teacher from Shanghai. Mini format, 163 pp.

How to Destroy and Preserve by Yi-lun Yang Highlights of Mr. Yang's workshop in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 2000. Mini format. 112 pp.

Beyond Forcing Moves by Takagi Shoichi This book could be called "All About Sente." How and when to play forcing moves, and just as important, how and when to refrain from playing them. Full-sized format, 186 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Sabaki: How to Manage Weak Stones This limited edition was based on lectures by American master teacher Yi-lun Yang. 106 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another E-Journal review.

Goh or Wei Chi by Horace Cheshire Published in 1911, this little-known book is mainly of historical interest. This book can be downloaded from The Internet Archive as a pdf.

How to Play Go by Takagawa Shukaku A classic introduction by the legendary master who held the Honinbo, Japan's top title, for almost 10 years.

Vital Points of Go by Takagawa Shukaku A companion volume to How to Play Go, with deeper descriptions of the fundamental principles.

The Game of Go: The National Game of Japan by Arthur Smith First published in 1908, this was the first book to gain wide circulation when it was taken over by Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc., in 1956. Used copies may still be found here and there, although Tuttle has replaced it with Go: More Than a Game (see above). This book can be downloaded from The Internet Archive as a pdf.

The World of Ki by John Goodell A philosophical treatise on the nature of go, seen by the author as "a symbolic structure capable of reflecting and suggesting various processes of thought" and more generally on the use of games in many different applications. Published by Riverside Research Press (St. Paul) in 1957. Full-sized format, 215 pp.

The ABC of Go Walter De Havilland Written in the 1940's by the father of Olivia De Havilland and Joan Fontaine (both of whom were born in Tokyo.)

A Go Primer by Gilbert Rosenthal An introductory monograph circulated in the US in the 1940's. Oversized format, 81 pp.

Starborne by Robert Silverberg On a long trip seeking out planets in the distant reaches of the universe that will support life, what else is there to do but play go?

General Interest

The Go Player's Almanac 2001 by Richard Bozulich The authoritative, newly updated reference on every aspect of go -- history, players, rules, you name it. 377 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another E-Journal review. Read yet another E-Journal review.

The Go Companion by John Fairbairn and T. Mark Hall The co-authors of the GoGOD CD omnibus have combined some of GoGOD's best essays with mostly original material to present a unique view of the history and culture of the game. Large format.

400 Years of Japanese Go by Andrew Grant Drawing on the work of noted go historians John Fairbairn and John Power, Grant has written a detailed yet accessible illustrated account of the evolution of the game to its current form. Includes the records of 37 famous games. Full-sized format, 198 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Reflections on the Game of Go by William Cobb A collection of columns written for the The American Go Journal and The American Go E-Journal in which a former professor of philsophy at the college of William and Mary expounds on the true meaning of go. Full-sized format, 116 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Japanese Prints and the World of Go A thoroughly annotated history of go in the "floating world" of ukiyo-e. Medium format, 204 pp.

Go as Communication: The Educational and Therapeutic Value of the Game of Go Japanese 9-Dan Yasutoshi Yasuda expresses the joy of teaching "The Capture Game", a beginner's variant of go, to disabled children and adults. Full-sized format, 70 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

The Bob High Memorial Library: Dozens of fascinating articles cover every imaginable historical, cultural and scientific aspect of go.

Contemporary Go Terms by Chi-hyung Nam An extensive glossary in Korean, Chinese, Japanese and English. Full-sized format, 335 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

The AGA Songbook from the American Go Association Dozens of song parodies, ranging from clever to painful. Oversized format, 109 pp. Click here to download the 2002 supplement.

The World of Chinese Go by Juan Guo Ms. Guo grew up in China and earned her pro credentials there before settling in Europe, where she now teaches go. She tells about life in a Chinese go school, the fierce competition to become pro, and the lives of top Chinese players, while offering lots of analysis and instruction along the way. Full-sized format, 162 pp.

A Journey in Search of the Origins of Go by Shirakawa Masayoshi An award-winning Japanese writer and anthropologist travels to China to investigate 3000 years of go history. Full-sized format, 244 pp.

Striving for Excellence by Chen Zude The autobiography of a great Chinese champion who came of age in the 1960's. Written in the 1980's when Zude was recovering from cancer. 208 pp.

Go: An Asian Paradigm for Business Strategy by Yasuyuki Miura Written by a successful Japanese businessman who is also a dan-level go player, this volume helps a Westerner to understand how Japanese businessmen think, using go as a context. Full-sized format, 269 pp.

The Protracted Game: A Wei-chi Analysis of Chinese Military Strategy by Scott Boorman Boorman's doctoral thesis about go as an influence on military thinking. Full-sized format, 234 pp.

The Way of Go by Troy Anderson A former insei (pro-in-training) applies the lessons of go to other aspects of life. Full-sized format, 248 pp. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

The Martial Art of Strategy: Russian Style: Nine Elegant Solutions by Igor Grishin and Mikhail Emelyanov. There are nine elegant solutions for getting out of the most difficult situations people can find themselves in their lives and businesses. The authors explore nine solutions and use business, military and the go board to better explain these solutions. 192 pp. Small Format, Kindle, 2014 (Les Waller International, LLC)

Eurogo by Franco Pratesi A detailed history of go in Europe. Full-sized format.

Bibliogo (259 pp.) by Theo van Ees and Franco Pratesi An annotated bibilography of every go book ever published in a non-Asian language. Full-sized format.

Chilling Gets the Last Point: A Mathematical Analysis of the Endgame in Go by Berlekamp and Wolfe Wolfe conducted a mathematical study of the endgame in go as his doctoral thesis, under the supervision of well-known game theorist Dr. Elwyn Berlekamp, the inventor of "Environmental Go." Full-sized format, 232 pp.

Games of No Chance edited by Richard J. Nowakowski Contains many fascinating articles on games and game theory; includes four papers on go. Available as a free download.

Literature

Hikaru no Go This coming-of-age manga/anime, set in the world of competitive go, introduced a generation of young Western players to go.

The Master of Go by Yasunari Kawabata A parable of youth's challenge to the established order; the author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. If you don't play go yet, reading this book will make you want to learn the game. If you already play, you're sure to enjoy the story of an epic contest between two masters. Read the E-Journal review.

The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa This novel about a young girl's experiences in Manchuria during the 1930's was originally published in French. Ms. Sa won the 2004 Kiriyama prize for this novel. 280 pp. Read an E-Journal review. Read another review in this issue of the E-Journal. Read other reviews of this book.

First Kyu by Sung-hwa Hong This novel by the late top Canadian player is based on his own experiences and observations of the world of baduk while growing up in Korea. 198 pp. Read the E-Journal review.

Shibumi by Trevanian Expatriate Nicholai Hel, born of Western parents in China, studies martial arts while also learning the wisdom of go philosophy in this thriller that has developed a cult following over the years.

Almost Sente by Kamil Budzinski A series of strange comic strips that seem to have something to do with go. 72 pp.

Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse Did Hesse play go? In his futuristic masterpiece, artistic expression has become redundant, except in one realm, which bears a striking resemblance to our favorite pastime. Read the E-Journal review.

Periodicals

The American Go Journal Published from 1949 to 2003 by the American Go Association; back issues are available.

Go Review Published in English by the Nihon Kiin, first monthly and then quarterly, starting in 1961. Many of the highlights of these magazines are now available as books from Slate and Shell. The Nihon Kiin's decision to suspend publication in 1977 inspired Richard Bozulich and John Power to begin publishing Go World the following year. Available from the Kiseido Digital Bookshelf.

Go World The definitive resource for serious study, with detailed analysis of top games from major pro tournaments and a wide variety of instructional articles. Issues 1-108 (1977-2006) are available from the Kiseido Digital Bookshelf. Read the E-Journal review.

Ranka Online: The International Go Federation Newsletter by the International Go Federation The IGF is the worldwide organization of national go associations, and this newsletter tells what's happening on the international scene year by year.

The British Go Journal Online Archive Every issue ever published since 1967, in their entirety as pdfs.

The International Go Newsletter Published in Russia.

Go Winds PDF files of back issues of this quarterly from Yutopian Enterprises, with excerpts from Yutopian books and more.

Notable Articles

Go and Chess Ethan Goffman compares two great games as vehicles for learning. This reprint made available by Knucklebones Magazine.

To Test A Powerful Computer, Play an Ancient Game New York Times science writer George Johnson explains the unique challenge go poses for computer programmers.

In an Ancient Game, Computing's Future New York Times staff writer Katie Hafner tells why computer scientists view the game of go as "the fruit fly of intuition."

The Game to Beat All Games This article in the December 2004 issue of The Economist tells why go is "the most mentally testing game of all time."

On-Line Samurai Transform an Ancient Game Katie Hafner tells how the Internet has revolutionized the world of go.

Dreaming Dreams Building Bridges Seattle teacher Carter Kemp takes eight students to Beijing to play go.

Chess Is Becoming Like Checkers This New York Times article is mostly about chess, which has been more or less "solved" as a programming problem. Today's strongest programs can beat just about anyone, so for a new challenge programmers are looking at go.

How Chess and Go Affect the Brain This article compares two recent studies using functional MRIs to assess brain function in chess players and go players, respectively. Links to the original sources are included.

Kissinger on Go In his 2011 book On China, Dr. K argues that principles derived from weiqi influence Chinese geopolitical thinking. This argument was widely discredited, especially by Bozulich, Shotwell, and in The American Go E-Journal.

Life Magazine article (1942) This fascinating historical document appeared five months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The anonymous author goes on at some length trying to completely explain the principles of play, while peppering the piece with some jarringly jingoistic comments that illustrate how far we have come from those days. Discovered and submitted by Anton Ninno of the Central New York Go Club.

Weiqi Sighting, NY Times, 1892 The chess-playing author of this book review seems a bit daunted, not to say terrified, by the size and complexity of go.

Vintage Camel ad In this cigarette ad from 1976, the model is even holding the stone correctly. Discovered and submitted by Anton Ninno of the Central New York Go Club.

Film and Video

We can't possibly list all the films, books where go has made an appearance, but here are a few films about go or featuring go as a prominent element.

Goebasics The American Goe Institute in San Francisco produced this fifteen-minute video for children in which two narrators explain the rules of the game.

Go: More Than a Game Filmed at the venerable old San Francisco Go Club on Bush St. in 1989, this 15-minute film describes the importance of go to Asian culture, and its increasing popularity.

The AGA Summer Go Camp video A five-minute film that shows American children learning go and having fun at the annual children's camp sponsored by the AGA.

The Go Masters No list of important go publications is complete without mention of this award-winning film. The first joint venture between Chinese and Japanese film companies, the sweeping epic tells a tale of enduring friendship, chronicling a Chinese master player's experiences in Japan before and during World War II.

The Go Master Not to be confused with the film listed above, this Go Seigen biopic drew mixed reviews. Read a review in this issue of the E-Journal.

Pi Darren Aronofsky's first film, about a mathematician obsessed with the search for the secret algorithm of the universe, has become a cult classic. Care to guess where he finds it?

Restless An American woman traveling through China gets involved with a go teacher. Starring Catherine Kellner. Read the E-Journal review.

A Beautiful Mind A portrait of Nobel Prize winner John Nash's struggle with mental illness. In an early scene Nash, who was in real life a "charter" member of the American Go Association, establishes his pride and conceit when he declares the game "flawed." Read the E-Journal review.

Dominos Pizza Ad The world's smartest man attempts to explain the concept "2 for 1" while playing go.

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) Deborah Kerr gets to know Robert Mitchum on an island occupied by Japan during WWII. Mitchum sees two Japanese officers playing. Later she tries to explain (incorrectly) how to play. Kerr was nominated for an Academy award for her performance.

Additional Mainstream Culture Reference Links

Go Spotting: The E-Journal publishes references to go in popular media in a category called Go Spotting.

References To Go: Sensei's Library contains a page with references to go in popular media.

Mainstream Go Sightings: LifeIn19x19 forums contains a Media Sightings thread that is regularly updated.

Internet Go Filmography: Many films, TV shows and anime containing go equipment are listed.

Submission Guidelines

The AGA wants this page to be the most thorough and reliable list of important English-language go media anywhere on the Internet. Please send corrections or additions to webmaster@usgo.org.

To submit your book for inclusion on this page, please send all of the following information to webmaster@usgo.org.

  • Book Title
  • Web Link directly to a page explaining the book
  • Author
  • Short Descripion (about the length of the other descriptions on this page. Please refrain from excessive "marketing".
  • Number of Pages
  • Print Format (mini, small, full-sized, oversized according to the measurements below)
  • E-book formats; all that apply (PDF, SmartGo Books, Kiseido Digital, Kindle, Nook, other (please specify))
  • Year Published
  • Publisher Name
  • Publisher Link

Print Format Sizes

  • Not printed
  • Mini format -- 4.5" x 5.5" or so, small enough to carry in your pocket.
  • Small format -- 4.5" x 7" or so, about the size of a paperback novel.
  • Full-size format -- 6" x 8" or so, about the size of a quality paperback.
  • Oversized format -- 8" x 10" and up.