Chapter 1 distinguishes 'sure territory' and 'incomplete territory', estimates the territory of influence stones and thickness, and estimates the territory of moyos. Each of the three aspects is explained with one example having a few diagrams. Sure territory appears to be just another name for what is known as 'current territory' in the literature since 2009: a player's amount of territory remaining after the opponent's sente reductions. Excess influence stones and excess thickness stones are assumed to be worth additional 5 points each. The major method used for assessing a moyo's territory is called 'conditional half' and, only at first glance, the same idea as my 'half territory', that is, count half the number of intersections.
Chapter 2 consists of 25 problems and answers about counting simple, local standard shapes.
Chapter 3 explains how to use the seven aspects of estimating the territory balance, noticing urgent moves, noticing sente moves, attack and defense, noticing big fuseki points, controlling the center, and noticing big versus small formations. Per aspect, there are zero to four examples. Attack and defense is emphasised a bit, but the book mentions only 5 of 13 major types of fights. An 'attack on one group' is called a 'direct attack'. Next moves are occasionally queried as short exercises.
Chapter 4 analyses seven game positions by applying the aspects of Chapter 3 (and so also Chapter 1) and implying good strategic planning. Although only seven aspects are studied, they are, according to the author, the important ones. When necessary, attack and defense are discussed a bit more carefully than the other aspects. Although discussion is short and only very few variations are shown, the reasoning developing strategic plans is convincing.
Chapter 5 carries the bombastic title 'Path to Perfection', but mainly consists of studying key decision moments of games as next move problems. In a text section, the author recommends intuition for speedy preliminary strategic planning and time-consuming logical analysis for verification. It remains, however, a not discussed mystery why speedy, sparse logical analysis could not replace intuition.
Chapter 6 outlines a teacher's perspective of a way to study a player's games and identify and correct his mistakes. Chapter 7 suggests how to prepare against a particular tournament opponent by studying his games. Finally, Chapter 8 gives a few hints for studying professional games.
The games are from Russian (top) players. In between, there are a few unrelated notes on Russian go history. An incomplete glossary of the used Japanese terms and a few photos finish the book. However, there is no index of keywords referring to the contents; this would have been more useful than the glossary.
A big Arial font, much empty space and whole board diagrams, when only a corner or half of the board is interesting, waste so much space that the entire book contents could fit on half the number of its pages. I needed 11 hours to read the book carefully, but I am familiar with the topic. Despite only 1 diagram per page on average, the situation is not too bad, because readers unfamiliar with the topic can find enough interesting text, principles or methods to justify reading the book.
Nevertheless, the saved space could have improved the book a lot by showing als the imagined move sequences for determining territories instead of only the resulting diagrams showing the territory boundaries. Game sequences with very many moves could have been split into more diagrams.
A quarter of the diagrams show territory boundaries and numbers of every region's territory points. Chapters and subchapters start with introductory text. The principles and methods are pretty useful, but not as general or worked out as detailed as possible. This can be perceived as simplification for kyu readers or as incomplete study by the author; maybe it is a combination of both. Further hints with general applicability can be found in ordinary text sections, but a note that 'points' are "only the newly gained additional points" would sometimes be very helpful for the reader's understanding. There are elliptical parts, where the reader wishes further explanation and diagrams, but must continue study by himself. This has the side effect that I recommend EGF 5 kyu as the weakest reader level. The missing sequences presumed for territory boundaries hint in the same direction. As far as the author shows variations at all, they are (with the exception of one typo) correct and instructive.
Altogether, Shikshin shows that there is some justification for being the only person carrying the highest possible degree of Russian go teachers, and this could have led to a '+' value for Subjective Rank Improvement. Unfortunately, there is also the black side of this book, which devalues to '-'.
One can choose to tolerate the mistakes in translation and language proofreading. However, they exist in quite a number. It can be too much for readers with only an intermediate tolerance level that, for example, the co-translater and co-proofreader Svetlana Shikshina 3p, who was European Champion, overlooked that that tournament is not Men's only and that 'handicap stones' is not the English expression for 'star points' ('hoshis'). For a book translated from Russian, I can easily tolerate such trivialities. The very many mistakes related to assessing amounts or values of territory, however, are an entirely different matter.
Whether caused by carelessness, laziness or insufficient knowledge of related go theory, the author has made the following systematic, recurring mistakes:
Russian language isolation may explain part of the mistakes. However, this is insufficient excuse: the author could have read diagrams and value calculations in more existing literature about positional judgement. Shikshin shows potential for rediscovering potentially valuable go theory on his own, but he lacks, judging from my similar experience and discoveries, several years as a researcher in go theory. This additional time is needed to replace a level of presenting scrapbook ideas about newly invented go theory by a level of presenting well researched go theory. Shikshin avoids mistakes about commonly circulated go theory, but is too rash with trying to teach his reinventions.
As a consequence of the too many mistakes related to assessing territory, the book can be recommended only with a great warning for the reader. 1) The reader already knows territory assessment and can, with the help of this review, distinguish mistakes from correct information; 2) the reader reads a different, correct and detailed book on territorial positional judgement before starting to read the reviewed book; 3) the reader ignores all territory diagrams, values and related texts and learns only from the other topics in this book. Readers unfamiliar with territory assessment are in the great danger of becoming weaker by trying to learn from the mistakes directly. This can slow down their further improvement, until they learn correct territory judgement elsewhere.
The territory counts in the diagrams can be incorrect by several points. Therefore the introduction's claim for 1/2 point precision, optimistic chapter titles, references to the author's teaching successes and PR speech on the backcover are very misleading.
Besides the mistakes, there are great didactic weaknesses with respect to explaining counting of prisoners, boundary defense and privileges.
The book title speaks of 'the' theory of analysis and the introduction claims the book to cover everything. Therefore, let me point out aspects of analysis missing entirely in the book:
In my opinion, no single book can discuss all the analysis topics, but therefore also no book should pretend to have done the impossible.
The book is a study in black and white: the countless mistakes related to territory assessment oppose the valuable, but short discussion of strategic planning. The quick and dirty work can still be useful for tolerant readers with the ability to ignore the flaws. Needless to say, a second edition and major revision is urgent.