Report of Choong-am Research

(So far I have read some 60% of vol. 1 but vol. 2+3 are conceptually very similar.) At first sight you might think to have books similar to Lee Chang-ho's Novel Plays and Shapes. Maybe the authors have even intended to create something like this, i.e. detailed studies of special positions. Here they are from the middle game or the opening. However, if you should use the books from that perspective, then they are nothing more but a tiny selection of well worked out trick plays. Not really trick plays, rather even working plays and sequences - but you could apply them only if you happen to see them in your games.

The right approach to the books is to think of them as example study material for local strategic reading. "local" does not necessarily mean disregarding the rest of the board but all analysis diagrams are closely related to a local area of development. Analysis is not detailed enough to speak of tactical reading. Instead the strategically most representative sequences are given. This is the particularly strong point - coverage and choice of sequences is very impressive and many are shown. Possible strategic choices are flexibly discussed in diagrams and enhanced flexible thinking draws conclusions as to further directions of flexible analysis. Despite the high number of diagrams per discussed position only strategic highlights for every reasonable first move are included so that the reader must fill the "trivial" gaps and make sense of strategic planning following from all available strategic choices. The books show the reader what to read but they do not tell him how to find and concentrate on this in general, what is the most typical for teaching by nothing but examples. The study material is very good but the reader must teach himself how and what to learn the most from it. You feel like a computer program that is fed with an extensive joseki database but without any reasons supplied for joseki moves. Luckily you are brighter than a dull program, are you? If yes, then you can learn quite a lot about how to develop an unstable subposition in your favour.

Each book discusses ca. 30 positions with ca. one to three dozens diagrams each. The game sequence before a position is also given. The short texts next to the diagrams can be disregarded, except that they might sometimes give a hint which colour is better or which other diagrams are referred to.

Robert Jasiek <>

Date: 2001-06-27