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Review [#2563]

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Sebastian: Review (2011-05-25 20:47) [#8482]

I just found this book in a used books bin and bought it as a gift for a beginner. I'll see how it will be appreciated, but my impression of it so far is good.

It starts very simple, dedicating the first 3 chapters (31 pages) pages to first-capture go. This is more than I would dedicate to this variant, but it shows me that it is richer than I had thought. He introduces the term "fort" as "group[...] that surrounds inside free places", which inspires me to try that out next time I introduce the game to newbies. Because of these chapters, and because it comes with board and simple stones, this is the perfect gift for a newbie if you are teaching him or her first-capture go. The board is on wood-like brown cardboard, which is great for making the white stones stand out. It is perforated so that it can be taken out of the book, but there is no place to store it afterwards.

Chapters 5 through 10 are the core part of the book, which neatly builds up one on the other. Some of the material is obligatory for any obligatory go book, such as explanation of life and death. Some of it is a bit idiosyncratic, such as when he introduced 9-stone handicap on a 99 board as standard, when he declares that "sente" to be pronounced "sin-tay", or when he introduces shapes as proverbs. This also may apply to selection of shapes or tactics: He introduces the crane's nest as a proverb (which seems like an underhanded attempt to introduce oiotoshi to me) and omits much more common shapes or tactics, such as the bamboo joint or the monkey jump. But some of the material is simply brilliant, especially the chapter on strategy, which explains concepts that usually are only explained on bigger boards very elegantly on small boards.

The layout is neat, and diagrams are generally easy to read. However, in some cases, too many moves are crammed in one diagram, such as on page 69, with 26 moves. There is enough white space to split that up in three diagrams. That is not a problem if the reader plays out the game with the board and stones that come with the board; but a reminder to do so would be in order. Speaking of that sample game; I'm also not sure if a beginner really understands why the monkey jumps would kill the corners.

Chapter 12, Go on the internet, is unfortunately out of date in my 2002 edition, most of the links don't work anymore. I'll add some that merely have changed to the errata section.

The book is apparently written for self-study, but I can't really comment on that, since I'm not using the book for that. I think that this should be a great gift to someone with whom you play go occasionally, and who wants to spend some time with the game in between.

tapir: ((no subject)) (2011-05-25 20:58) [#8483]

I don't know where people got the impression they should hide their stuff in some forum thread or so. Be brave! Be brave! Be brave! You can put reviews on the main page, if they get too long, you can still make a subpage, but there is no need to hide 'em.

Sebastian: Re: Talk on subpage (2011-05-25 22:58) [#8486]

Mhh, you may be right. This website has had comments directly in articles for a long time, and has been in a transition away from that for many years now. I feel that in most cases SL would be better if such personal comments were moved out of the articles, but I've been away for too long; I won't claim to know what's best for SL. Certainly you have a point that this isn't really what the discussion page is meant for, because reviews are usually monologues, not discussions.

BTW, I got inspired to my review by the ones I found on crux's home page; and there I was thinking: Wouldn't it be nice if these were in an appropriate article instead of his user page? So, how do you feel about convincing him to do that? I just wasn't sure if it would be best to have each review on the book's page, or maybe one page for all reviews.

tapir: Re: Talk on subpage (2011-05-26 00:04) [#8487]

In fact, I was considering to put a copy of his reviews to the page in question. (You can have some text twice, too.) Anyway, I was not complaining that you put the review here, I was just wondering why you didn't put it on the main page.

Sebastian: Re: Talk on subpage (2011-05-26 04:06) [#8488]

Of course, no worries, it never occurred to me to see it as a complaint. I'm just pondering about what would be best, in the bigger picture.

crux: Re: Talk on subpage (2011-05-26 13:35) [#8489]

I'm not sure about making copies, but it would probably be a good idea to add links. I couldn't figure out a good way of linking to subsections of a page though :-(

Sebastian: Re: Talk on subpage (2011-05-26 17:40) [#8490]

The way it works is like this: TextFormattingRules#toc7. But of course, that's not a very good solution if you want to be able to reorder your sections. I would support a request for an improvement here. However, for now, we have to live with what we got. A good workaround is to simply keep reviews on the article or subpages; that practically eliminates the section link problem, since it doesn't matter much whether you link to the general page or to the specific review section, as long as we don't have more than a handful of reviews per book, which is very unlikely to happen any time soon.

That also would also be good in view of the bigger picture. Generally, we want to keep related information together, as much as possible. What matters in a review is the book, not the reviewer, so the prime location for book reviews is not on user pages, but on a place closer to the book itself. That said, I'm grateful for your reviews, and I'd rather have them on your user page than not at all. Re: Talk on subpage (2011-05-26 17:54) [#8491]

fractic:You should take a look at the anchor template.

reply Goban manufacturers (2012-08-11 05:59) [#9577]

I am making a trip to Japan in October, and will be traveling the entire length of the country. Our family owns an old Goban; I only learned to play and to enjoy gomoku narabe, not the more difficult Go game. As part of my retirement woodworking hobby, I will be constructing a Goban. During my month-long stay in Japan I would like to see Goban-making artisans in action. If anyone has information on who and where I can visit any such craftsmen, please let me know at:

Thank you, Ron Takata

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