Archive: undefined/2013

Taking The Path You Create

Earlier today, I was reading Otake’s Secrets of Strategy by Hideo Otake 9P when I stumbled upon an interesting quote:

In the opening there are no predetermined shapes. - Otake 9P
I know that it might seem terribly obvious to some of you, but it struck me as rather profound when I read it.

Otake was discussing the fact that many amateur players play joseki faithfully believing that since they are joseki it can’t be that bad. He considers this a huge flaw with our rationale because joseki are only as good as the position it was meant to be used in. So when he said that “there are no predetermined shapes” in the opening, it opened my eyes as to how unimaginative I have been with my openings lately.

Perhaps this quote will cause me to start playing some very odd experimental games where I lose and drop rank; but if it means that I’m developing my own creative style as I play, I have a feeling it will be an enjoyable journey: win or lose.

Book Review: Get Strong at the Opening

Get Strong at the Opening Cover

Get Strong at the Opening

Description: In the first volume of the Get Strong at Go Series, Bozulich presents 175 problems on the opening (fuseki) ranging in difficulty from easy to difficult. The problems begin with an analysis of the Chinese, niren-sei, sanren-sei, Shusaku, and tatsuki (diagonal) fusekis as well as other important opening strategies while the remainder of the problems are designed to hammer home to the reader the basic principles of the fuseki.

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Book Review: The Direction of Play

Book Details

Title, The Direction of Play
Author, Takeo Kajiwara
Translators, John Fairbairn and The Ishi Press Staff
Publisher, Kiseido
Published, “1st Edition - March 1979”
Language, English
ISBN, 978-4-896574-26-2
Length, 250 Pages

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: The Direction of Play in the Opening: The Corner Stones
  • Chapter 2: The Early Stages Are Decisive
  • Chapter 3: Move Two Lost This Game
  • Chapter 4: The Professional Approach
  • Chapter 5: The Direction of Play and Joseki
  • Chapter 6: Once Upon a Game
  • Chapter 7: Test Yourself
  • Chapter 8: The Direction of Play for Fighting


  1. An excellent, although a bit advanced, book on direction of play.
  2. Fills a much needed gap in understanding the opening and fuseki as a whole.
  3. Requires a basic understanding of whole board thinking to really appreciate and understand the explanations.

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Book Review: The Chinese Opening (Zhou)

Overall Rating: 8 / 10 Ponnuki

Basic Information

  • Title: The Chinese Opening
  • Author: Yuan Zhou
  • Publisher: Slate & Shell
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Page Length: 184 pages


  • A great introductory book to the Chinese Opening.
  • Explanations are kept at a high level and thus allows for easy reading.
  • Appropriate for 10 kyu and stronger.
  • Recommended for serious players.

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Book Review: The Chinese Opening (Kato)

Overall Rating: 9 / 10 Ponnuki

Basic Information

  • Title: The Chinese Opening: The Sure-Win Strategy
  • Author: Masao Kato (translated by Steve Lloyd)
  • Publisher: Kiseido
  • Publication Date: May 1989
  • Page Length: 145 pages


  • An in-depth explanation of the Chinese fuseki.
  • Covers a lot of various scenarios that players might encounter when trying to play the Chinese fuseki.
  • Appropriate for 8 kyu and stronger.
  • Recommended for serious players.

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Ranked Games and My Slow Brain

Lately I’ve noticed that I seem to have trouble finding time to play ranked games. On the other hand, whenever a friend asks to play a game, I always manage to scrounge up the necessary time to play. After some thought, I believe it is for any of the following reasons:

  1. With ranked games, I have this subconscious fear of not playing my best and losing.

  2. When playing against friends, the burden of playing to win is lifted from my shoulders. As a result, even though the games take just as long as a ranked game normally would (or even longer), I’m at ease playing them because I don’t have a problem resigning the game if anything were to come up.

  3. Continuing with that idea, I think part of me is fearful that I will be unable to complete a ranked game in its entirety. In my defense though, I have lost a game on time before because I was interrupted and needed to take care of some things. So the idea of losing a ranked game because of anything other than skill makes me shudder.

Also, I’m at this weird point in my growth where my abilities are directly proportional with how much time I spend thinking about a move. Although this may sound common sense to many, I have heard that there are a number of players who can think all day long but will still come up with the same types of moves regardless. An obvious example of this would be joseki. Some players play joseki faithfully by the book because it says that the result is even. For me, it seems that the longer I spend thinking about a move, the more likely it is a better move than what I thought of previously.

Recently, I have found myself spending more and more time in the opening trying to figure out how certain moves or potential responses will affect the game as a whole. As a result, I am finding myself in byoyomi even as early as the middle game sometimes. Since it’s such a new way of thinking for me, it is a very laborious and intensive process that takes a while for my brain to trudge through. Can’t wait till it becomes more innate and engrained into my go…

Archive: undefined/2012

Book Review: The Sanren-Sei Opening

Power of the Star Point Cover

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5 Ponnuki

Basic Information

  • Title: The Power of the Star-Point - The Sanren-Sei Opening
  • Author: Shukaku Takagawa, Honorary Honinbo (translated by John Power)
  • Publication Date: July 1988
  • Page Length: 134 pages


  • This is a fantastic book for players who want to be exposed to lots of different concepts without being inundated with dense diagrams and explanations.
  • The book covers a very broad range of material that makes it a valuable purchase for those who have a difficult time with some of the other more dense material.
  • Appropriate for 12 kyu and stronger.
  • Recommended for serious players and above.

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