Master Play - The Seven Top Pros


Master Play - The Seven Top Pros
series: Master Play Series
By: Yuan Zhou
Publisher: Slate and Shell, 2010
ISBN13 9781932001501
269 pp.


Zengarden: This book is part of Yuan Zhouís excellent series of commented games of great players. While others have covered single players or pairs of players, this book covers seven top Chinese, Japanese and Korean professionals, with two games each selected for detailed commentary.

The players selected are Sakata Eio, Takagawa Kaku, Fujisawa Shuko, Rin Kaiho, Nie Weiping, Ma Xiaochun and Cho Hunhyun. It is a pity, in a way, that these fine players were not each given a four game survey, as their wonderful games would easily provide enough material for such books!

Overall, this is one of Yuan Zhouís finest books. He is continually aware of the difficulties in understanding experienced by many low ranked but enthusiastic players (ie SDK and below) concerning the overall strategic flow of games. Throughout he uses the Socratic technique of a dialogue with a 4kyu student, interrupting the narrative commentary by asking how the reader/disciple would play next? Then he helpfully explains how both overall vision of direction of play and psychological factors influence the choice of moves. In some games, the winner forced his opponent outside his comfort zone, (e.g. Ma Xiaochun compelling his teacher, Nie Weiping, to play a moyo game rather than the precise territorial game his adversary prefers). Elsewhere, he helps the reader admire the sheer guts of Rin Kaiho facing Ishida Yoshio 3-0 down, and desperately needing a win to stay in the match: what impresses is how Rin courageously plays, taking risks, going all-out for a win; Yuan Zhou constantly describes the tension that must have flowed during this dramatic encounter.

Throughout, the number of variations is kept to a manageable level and the diagrams are well presented.

This book has kept me happily occupied for several weeks - entertaining and instructive and highly recommended.

Table of Contents


1- Sakata Eio

  • A brief introduction to Sakata Eio
  • Sakata begins to rise to the top
  • Sakata scales the mountain

2- Takagawa Kaku

  • A brief introduction to Takagawa Kaku
  • Takagawa stuns Sakata and the Go world
  • Takagawa reaches the top

3- Fujisawa Shuko

  • A brief introduction to Fujisawa Shuko
  • The first kisei title match
  • The first kisei title defense

4- Rin Kaiho

  • A brief introduction to Rin Kaiho
  • A critical turning point
  • Rin Kaiho becomes a world champion

5- Nie Weiping

  • A brief introduction to Nie Weiping
  • A China-Japan super Go triumph
  • Nie takes on a mission impossible

6- Ma Xiaochun

  • A brief introduction to Ma Xiaochun
  • Ma becomes number One in China
  • Ma confirms his number One position

7- Cho Hunhyun

  • A brief introduction to Cho Hunhyun
  • Cho Hunhyun surprises the world
  • Cho holds on to his place at the top

Sample Material

to be added

Master Play - The Seven Top Pros last edited by on January 8, 2014 - 21:30
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