Beauty and the Beast, by Shen Guosun. Yutopian Y17; 1996.

This book is subtitled "Exquisite Play and Go Theory", and it largely consists of examples of people making surprising moves that turn out to be good, and showing how that those moves aren't really as out of the blue as they seem, but that they really arise from proper application of go theory. There's also some background information about the players involved, so you learn something about the Chinese go scene.

I like this book quite a bit. The positions discussed are clearly analyzed, and they're good examples of play. My only caveat there is that this book doesn't start with a principle and give examples of that (or rather, the principles that it starts with are extremely vague and general), so if you're looking for a systematic discussion of theory, this isn't the place to go. Similarly, it doesn't give examples of bad play, places where a principle should have been used. But if you want to see examples and discussions of good moves, this is the place to go. I don't know how much it will actually improve my game right now (I'm an AGA 2k), but I expect that as I get stronger I'll get more and more out of this book.

I also like the talk about the Chinese go scene. Ishi and Kiseido are both Japan-based, so I feel fairly familiar with the go scene there, but I was pretty ignorant about what's going on in China until Yutopian started publishing.

This book reminded me of Nie Weiping on Go, so if you liked that one, you'll probably like this one. (You might like this one even if you didn't like that one.)

Click here to see Yutopian's blurb about the book.

cover pic

david carlton <>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:59:23 PDT 2003