Go and Go Moku

Go and Go-Moku
By: Edward Lasker
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf?, 1934
215 pp.

Written by Edward Lasker and originally published 1934 by Alfred A. Knopf. Second Edition published 1960 by Dover Press ISBN: 0-486-20613-0.

This volume, which fairly or not is criticised for its dense wording, is the second book in English about Go (Smith's The Game Of Go in 1908 is the first), and apparently has had a fairly wide circulation.

The book has two prefaces (Dover and Original), and a history of Go (repeating the Shun myth of origin, as well as a story on a later Emperor having invented it).


Pros and cons

Tim Brent: The negatives of the book are the somewhat clumsy dense style (seemingly all game books of the 1930's were like that), the way the diagrams are placed (probably not Lasker's doing, but whoever laid out the graphics at Dover), and the fact that in the example game he shows the end before the start and middle of the game (some chess books of the era do this).

The positives are that there is a wealth of information in this book if you have the patience to read through it, as well as the Shusai-Karigane game.

Some oddities of the book are the way the names of Chinese players are written (Lin Kai Ho for Rin Kaiho and Go Sei Gen for Go Seigen). This could be just a convention of the time (the 1960's edition when Rin would have been playing as well as Go Seigen), of expressing Chinese names, and not wishing to use the "Japanized" versions.

Table of Contents

The first part of the book proper is Fundamentals -- board and stones, rules (in a descriptive paragraph form, written 15 years prior to the first Nihon Ki-in rules), how stones are captured, ko, ladders, simple combinations, seki, me (eyes), false me (false eyes), dame, and scoring (using the Japanese method).

The second part of the book is Elementary Tactics, including traps and sacrifices, building live groups, maintaining lines of communication, throwing a position into ko, the proper way to start a game (fuseki), endgame play (yose), and handicap Go (which Lasker referred to as "games at odds").

The third part of the book is Basic Strategy, which includes building bases in the corners, the economical use of stones, even game joseki, high and low positions, untimely cuts, handicap joseki, and a Master Game (Shusai-Karigane 1926).

The fourth part of the book, Advanced Strategy (in the 1960 edition), talks about aggressive and defensive play, fuseki, attack and defence of the corner, invasions, direct attack on a corner stone, proper width of side extension, and diminishing large territories.

The last part of the book is Go-Moku.

Sample Material

to be added

Go and Go Moku last edited by TheBigH on January 4, 2014 - 00:31
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