Basic Techniques of Go, by Haruyama Isamu and Nagahara Yoshiaki. Ishi G2; 1969.

This is an introductory book, for people who have learned the rules and want to know what to do next. Its chapters cover tesuji, fuseki for even, nine-stone, six-stone, and four-stone games, and the endgame.

It's not a very gentle book. It covers a lot of stuff in a short amount of space, and you need a lot of discipline to read it. If you understand everything in here, you'll know more than you would after reading other introductory books, but it would take quite a lot of work to understand everything in here. It's much more likely that you'll give up with this book, annoyed with it, yourself, the game, or all of the above. Given that there are other, gentler books out there, I wouldn't recommend this book to anybody until they've got a fair amount of go under their belt and have read some other books. It's also pretty heavy on Japanese terms, which doesn't help novices.

There is a newer edition, which I haven't read; it may well correct many of my complaints, at least somewhat. If anybody has an opinion on the differences between the two editions, please tell me. It has a sort of sequel as well, namely Strategic Concepts of Go. It was printed in both hardcover and paperback.

David Godinger (IGS 1d) says:

I've been teaching Go since the late 1960's and, since it was published, have always considered Basic Techniques of Go a major book for teaching people who are beyond the beginner's level. It really gives a lot of vital information, in the organized form useful for teaching courses in Go, that I don't see equalled anywhere else. And, no, I don't see it as a mere dictionary.

To this day, I find myself looking at it every now and then.

I think that, for the serious Go student, it is a wonderful book and I always recommend it before any of the others I have seen--and I think I've examined the gamut.

Adam Atkinson says:

I have the newest edition of Basic Techniques. It has the chapters in a different order, and has done away with most of the Japanese terminology.

cover pic

david carlton <>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:51:32 PDT 2003