Cross-Cut Workshop

This book fills a gap, does it? Of the 72 pages 67 have go contents. Obviously, a topic cannot be treated completely within such a small volume. Nine patterns of cross-cuts are introduced but their selection is a little arbitrary because easily further patterns could be found. Each pattern is introduced by examples and then by problems; later different patterns are mixed. This means that the cross-cuts are already on the board and the reader is asked to understand or predict the best follow-up sequences. Naturally this is useful for encouraging one's reading in case of cross-cuts. Even dan players might become aware of a few minor knowledge gaps. Within the limit of nine basic patterns the shown examples have some variation and this is the book's strong point.

A good percentage of positions is embedded in a handicap environment. Hence we may conclude that the book addresses especially players experiencing a lot of handicap games, i.e. kyu players. However, at the same time sequences are long, sometimes complex, not scarcely presented without important alternatives (where there could be many since cross-cuts let numbers of variations explode), and lacking detailed explanations of reasons for a choice of moves or sequences. This may be suitable for dan players who see all the variations and reasons for themselves. The result in an inconsistent style that can be read by both kyu and dan players but gives either not really what they are looking for.

The book is a recompilation of British Go Journal articles. Nothing would have to be said against that in principle but why is the contents not enriched to make a regular volume of ca. 180 pages? The book omits conditions leading to cross-cuts, purposes and strategic reasons of using them, clear representative applications in professional games, and a really thorough classification of cross-cut types. The author expresses his confidence and provides more structure than the average go book. So we may expect good new books from him in future while the current work is by far not his masterpiece yet. It is a worthwhile workshop but does not go beyond such.

Robert Jasiek <>

Date: 13 Feb 2002