The Second Book of Go

  Difficulty: Introductory   Keywords: Books & Publications

The Second Book of Go
By: Richard Bozulich
Publisher: Ishi Press, Kiseido?, July 1987 (Ishi Press), January 1998 (Kiseido second edition)
ISBN10 4-87187-031-6
ISBN13 978-4-87187-031-3
124 (Ishi Press), 153 (Kiseido) pp.

The Second Book of Go, by Richard Bozulich.
The first edition was published by The Ishi Press. A new edition, with several differences, was published by Kiseido in 1998. A Revised Edition copyrighted in 2017 and released by Kiseido in digital and print formats features new changes, and removal of the chapters on counting liberties and winning capturing races.


See also David Carlton's [ext] review.

DavidPeklak I found this book extremely helpful, interesting and fun to read. It brought me from nothing to 22k* on IGS.

Table of Contents

First Edition

This is a book for those who have just learned the rules and now start to want to know more about the game. The first edition is divided into four parts.

Second Edition

Revised Edition

    • Preface
    • Preface to Revised Edition
    • A Brief Glossary of Go Terms
  • Part One: Strategy
    • Chapter One. The Opening Moves
    • Chapter Two. Handicap-Go Strategy
    • Chapter Three. Josekis
    • Chapter Four. The Basics of Attacking
  • Part Two. Tactics
    • Chapter Five. Life and Death
    • Chapter Six. Tesuji
    • Chapter Seven. Good and Bad Shape
    • Chapter Eight. Ko
    • Chapter Nine. The Endgame
    • Go Books Published by Kiseido

Sample Material

to be added

Chapter 6 and the last three chapters are a bit short, in my opinion. But the rest is excellent!

Dieter: Chapters 7 & 8 are the famous articles by Richard Hunter, one of the most helpful and self-contained treatments of an aspect of the game. The book is certainly worth buying for these chapters alone.

Jan: Yes, those chapters were one of the reasons I bought this book over a year ago. However, I still don't have the theory memorized :-) All I know is: 'Count! Read! Count! Read! Count! Read!' (and be aware of eyes and approach moves). That's good enough at my level - perhaps even better?

In retrospect, those two chapters stand out from the rest of the book: in thoroughness as well as in level. I think they would have merited a 'Workshop'-like book, a la Monkey Jump Workshop.

Dieter: The author agrees with that: see Richard Hunter.

Jan: Great minds think alike! I probably got the idea from SL anyway :-)

TaoVegan: This is a great book! It's well organized and the material is presented in an interesting and applicable manner. It is, as stated above, perfect for the beginner who is moving on from the basics and looking for that first taste of detailed Go instruction. It's a great overview of strategy, tactics, and concepts to be read many times over, learning something new each time.

juhtolv: IMNSHO you'd better skip those chapters 7 and 8 and get a book called "Counting Liberties and Winning Capturing Races" instead, if possible. In that book those chapters are in extended form.

Tirian: All of the chapters are covered more comprehensively in other books. In fact, the whole book seems like a subtle ad for the reader to go out and buy the entire "Elementary Go Series". This is not a weakness of the book -- it's marvelous to have a single work that takes you from just knowing the rules to having a basic understanding of every phase of the game. Then you lose your first fifty games and plan your course of study appropriately.

I'm rereading the book for the fiftieth time now (1st edition), and am wondering what more advanced players think of the joseki that are taught in the book. I'm only really used to knights-move approaches to the 4-4 point, but I've never seen anyone play quite like Bozulich suggests. Have his styles gone out of fashion in the past twenty years?

yu6?: I'm still a beginner (I don't know exactly how strong I am, but I know I'm above 30 kyu), but this book helped me improve my game tremendously. The only problem I had was near the end of the Counting Liberties chapter where I began getting confused. I don't doubt I'll be able to understand it when I learn more.

Charles It's interesting to get such a clear indication of why there are so few books intended for the 15 kyu/one-volume works in the go literature. There is always the comment that you need more detail, or more joseki, and so on. Not really true. What a 10 kyu needs is about one book, what the 4 kyu needs about three books, what a 1 dan needs about 10 books.

Velobici: Charles, do you have a list as to which books these are for each level listed (10 kyu, 4 kyu, and 1 dan) ? Needless to say, I have many books withe the emphasis recently being on problem books. I find these very useful and am currently of the opinion that the more problems I solve or attempt to solve the better.

Charles Of course these notional books don't really exist. The publishers want to sell more books than that. I'm talking about the amount of content you should have, ideally. (Plus problem books - this concerns pure theory.)

Buitenland I found the chapter about handicap go a real eye opener. I'm playing 9 stone handicap games in my club and this really helped to beter my game. Excellent for my level! (14 kyu KGS)


The Second Book of Go last edited by 15oio3 on November 22, 2021 - 05:40
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