Fundamental Principles of Go

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Fundamental Principles of Go
By: Yilun Yang
Publisher: Slate and Shell, 2004
ISBN10 1-932001-21-2

The book, Fundamental Principles of Go, written by Yilun Yang and published in 2004 by Slate and Shell ( ISBN: 1-9320012-1-2) surveys principles and heuristics that should be used to decide the direction of play. Each principle is visually emphasized being in bold type and surrounded by a box border, making the priciples easy to find and quickly review prior to a game. The 188 page book is divided into four chapters entitled: Key Points in the Opening, Relationships and Combinations, Effective Use of Joseki, and Invasion and Reduction. Each chapter is composed of several sections and a set of a dozen review problems. In each section, the fundamental principle is stated and then illustrated with numerous diagrams and accompanying text. Both the positive result of following the principle and the consequences of ignoring it are shown.

The publisher's [ext] note

See also


Robert Jasiek: Judging from the sample pages, if they are representative, then I do not buy the book because I would get too little from it. It seems more worthwhile for 3-12 kyu. In about 6 or 12 months it is likely that the book will be available for sale at some German go tournament. Then I will have a second chance to judge whether I should buy the book. However, I do not buy it just to review it. Sorry.

bayesian: I like this book a lot. There is the kind of slow learning you get from studying 10 variations of joseki. This book is not like that - rather it consists of general principles that quickly open your eyes to the board. One example has to do with invading. There are books on how to invade (for example, Get Strong at Invading) but their weakness is that they don't have much to say on WHEN to invade. Yang not only gives invasion techniques, but tells when such techniques are unadvisable. In my opinion this is a must-have book.

petri Robert has it right for the target audience. maybe the 3k range would prefer a another book still. But 6-12k range this book adresses issues that may make you stronger. Mostly about opening though/ early middle game. very little about middlegame. Well the typical invasions + invasions are about middle game. Quite decent book. Bit expensive though.

kryft (EGF 10k) I bought the book yesterday and am about halfway through it now; I love everything about it so far. I'll try to write a more detailed review in a few days.

Mark356 (KGS15k) First, the good. This books clearly lays out principles of opening and early-game development, invasion, and reduction. He gives a numbered checklist of what points are important in the beginning, but carefully explains what fighting points are more important than any of them. Probably everyone reading this right now would be able to briefly tell the basic properties, advantages, and disadvantages of the 4-4 point, the 3-3 point, etc; but he goes a step beyond that and explains how each of these points works in a whole-board context, what kinds of frameworks each tends towards, and what kind of fighting you could expect to follow.

Likewise, his treatment of pincers is also rigorous. He classifies pincers as either tight or loose, depending on whether they are one-point pincers or larger, and high or low, depending on whether they are on the third or fourth line, and he carefully explains the use of each of the resulting types of pincers depending on the placement of the stones already on the board and the goals you want to accomplish.

Now, the not-so-good. There is a lot of information here, but very few introductory notes, linking notes, or concluding notes to help you assimilate and make sense of the information. It's just one thing after another, more like notes for a lecture than a transcript of a lecture. Furthermore, although he does give very solid guidelines on how and when to use various types of attacks, he gives so many of those guidelines that it is difficult to remember them and apply them even for the practice exercises he gives at the end of the chapter, let alone in an actual game. Also, he does not pay much attention to the flipside of any tactics he discusses: he gives methods of invasion, but doesn't give methods of defending against those methods of invasion, for instance.

Also, all of the principles he discusses are for the opening and early middle game, perhaps to 50 or 100 moves into the game. There are no late middle game fighting techniques, and no endgame. This makes his discussion of opening principles much less enlightening than it would be, because unless you know how your shapes might play out until the very end, you don't really know why or how to play them at all. I feel like this is only half a book at best.

That said, your mileage may vary. Perhaps I don't like this book so much because I'm only 15k, and you really need to be 12 or 13k to really get much good out of it. The book is very good for what it is, as a useful set of hints for the opening.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Key Points in the Opening

  • I. Special Properties of the Corner

A. The 4-4 Point B. The 3-4 Point C. The 3-3 Point D. The 5-3 Point E. The 5-4 Point

  • II. Ranking the Big Opening Moves

A. First Class Moves B. Second Class Moves C. Third Class Moves D. Fourth Class Moves Outline of Ranking of Big Opening Moves

  • III. Key Points for Influence

A. Key Points for Positional Influence B. Key Points for Attack and Defense

  • IV. Problems
  • V. Solutions to Problems

Chapter 2: Relationships and Combinations

  • I. The Efficiency of Combinations and Relationships
  • II. Techniques for Making Efficient Combinations

A. Speed and Flexibility vs. Solidity and Strength B. Long vs. Short and High vs. Low

  • III. Problems
  • IV. Solutions to Problems

Chapter 3: Effective Use of Joseki

  • I. Choosing an Approach Move
  • II. Selecting a Pincer

A. Tight vs. Loose pincers B. High vs. Low pincers

  • III. A Whole-Board Perspective on Joseki
  • IV. Problems
  • V. Solutions to Problems

Chapter 4: Invasion and Reduction

  • I. Invasion

A. Types of Invasion 1. The Attacking Invasion 2. The Territory-Destroying Invasion 3. The Disrupting Invasion B. The Timing of Invasions

  • II. Reduction

A. Reduction Techniques B. The Timing of Reductions

  • III. Problems
  • IV. Solutions to Problems

Chapter 5: Invasion and Separation of Some Typical Formations

Sample Material

[ext] Sample [pages

Fundamental Principles of Go last edited by Mark356 on September 26, 2010 - 10:00
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