The Power of the Star-Point, by Takagawa Shukaku. Ishi G32; 1988.

This is a book on the sanren-sei opening, which is where black plays on three star points on one side. It's an influence-oriented opening. There's a chapter on fundamentals, a chapter on josekis, some chapters with portions of sample games, and a chapter of problems; there are also a couple of brief 'fuseki interludes' with historical comments.

I'm not very good at the sanren-sei (either playing it as black or against it as white), and this book didn't help me, but I think that that was more due to my almost complete lack of feel for how thickness works when I read this book than any fault in the book itself. It seemed like a pretty good book in general; also, even if you don't want to play sanren-sei openings, it can still help your handicap go, because it has a good discussion of some 4-4 joseki, and because if you're taking a lot of stones, you can hardly help playing a sanren-sei at some point in the opening. And of course it will help when your opponents play sanren-sei against you.

David Godinger (IGS 1d) says:

I believe that it is the single finest work for developing Go intuition and the understanding of the center of the board.

Paul Brennan (BGA 5k) says:

I found this book quite interesting and I think I will continue to do so for quite a while. I found playing the sanren-sei fitted right into my experiences of handicap go. It talks through the joseki not just in a vacuum (as 38 Basic Joseki does a little) but in a context I could relate to since I was seeing these patterns in many of my games, both handicap and when playing black. I have no doubt that it made me much more confident making thickness and large moyos. However, using them to win games has of course proved a little more difficult. I found the text mostly well written, the explanations clear and the topic interesting. Of all my books, this and Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go are the books that seem to spend much more time in my pocket (or hand) rather than on my shelf.

Dan Schmidt (NNGS 5k*) says:

I am much more comfortable in the fuseki (as Black) after reading this book. It's similar to being familiar with an opening system in chess. I thought the analysis and principles were quite clear. If you feel at sea in the fuseki, this will ground you somewhat. And of course learning the sanrensei is very applicable to handicap games as well.

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

This is an excellent book. I found that it really tangibly improved my go play. It deals with situations that I constantly encounter in my games. It has lots of useful joseki with good explanations of times to use them, and a lot of theory.

cover pic

david carlton <>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:51:48 PDT 2003