How to Become Strong

Dismissing the book because of its title's euphemism might be a mistake. That it analyses positions originated from a 4-stone handicap and is organized in long chapters about corner attacks and side attacks, and a short chapter about exploring dead groups is of little importance as well.

The book takes representative, almost typical positions where invasion attacks or similar ploys are possible and then carefully provides one or two dozen crucial variations. At first the reader might think: "Boring, yet another middle game joseki book." Fortunately, this is a premature and wrong impression. The book's strength is its choice and rather extensive coverage of variations so that one is taught what to read tactically, what not to forget, which nearby formations of stones to consider as well, which stratgegic aims to apply for finding favourable sequences, and how to cooperate knowledge about local tactics, nearby formations, and strategic aims. Although principles are not provided on a theoretical basis, the thorough practical analyses of the examples lets the reader convincingly learn application in general. He will become stronger tactically because he is taught what to read, how to read, and how to apply reading to strategic aims or circumstances. The book's title is a usual exaggeration, nevertheless it is not a total fraud. Reading is recommended. Besides the book is unreasonably cheap by Western standards.

Robert Jasiek <>

Date: 30 May 2002