Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go, by Kageyama Toshiro. Ishi G28/Kiseido K28; 1978.

This is lots of people's favorite go book. It's written in a chatty, very entertaining style. It covers all sorts of different topics, from general concepts like "The Struggle to Get Ahead" to specific tesujis, so it's a real grab bag.

It's probably a good idea to read this book early and often, but not to worry too much about it while you're reading it. I've always enjoyed reading it, but when I first started reading it, I was really annoyed by the fact that his principles seemed quite imprecise: how can I tell if a move is a solid one or a meek one? I couldn't (and I still can't), but on the other hand, that's not the sort of thing that you can give a recipe for. So use the more conceptual sections of this book as an introduction to certain concepts that are important to think about, but don't worry too much about the fact that you can't do a very good job of thinking about them quite yet.

Paul Brennan (BGA 5k) says:

This is a book that had a major effect on my go. I would suspect that I improved about from about 10 to about 8 kyu from just reading it once. I read it while reading some of the Elementary Go Series, and it put many of the things discussed in those volumes into perspective. I have just reread much of it again, and I find much stuff that I missed or just didn't appreciate the first time around. I would recommend it for anyone between 4 and 12 kyu (or maybe even above that).

Lukas Biewald (eggroll, 3k* IGS) says:

I used to like this book a lot, but now it feels too easy. I'm not sure though, because Kageyama warns endlessly about feeling too superior to study it. I would especially recommend it to someone who has finished The Second Book of Go and wants something harder.

Patrick Bridges (NNGS 7k*) says:

A fantastic book. I keep re-reading it to have Kageyama hammer, through humor, goading, and bullying, the basic fundamental strategy and tactics of the game into me. My favorite go book.

Tom Rose (BGA 4k) says:

Lessons is a fantastic book. It is called ... in the Fundamentals of Go but a lot of the advice applies to just about any subject, endeavour, or skill in which you might aim to excel.

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david carlton <carlton@bactrian.org>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:51:23 PDT 2003