Intermediate Level Power Builder, by Wang RuNan. Yutopian Y19; 1997.

This is the a projected three-volume intermediate-level series, only the first volume of which has been published. The first volume talks about the opening and about invading; the second volume will talk about attacking, and the third will talk about defending and some general stuff. As a three-volume series giving an overview of various aspects of the game, the coverage of topics is intermediate between books like Kageyama's Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go that try to say a little bit about everything and books that are devoted to a single aspect of the game, like most other intermediate books. (One caveat: the book is a bit short (150 pages), so those three volumes won't cover as much as one might expect.)

These volumes are based on a TV program that Wang hosted, and as a result have a lecture-style (or classroom-style) format. I think that this fits their overview goals quite nicely. The author can't hope to give a comprehensive treatment of anything, and this format allows him to talk about concepts using a series of concrete examples. The most distinctive aspect of the format, however, is that he has four students whom he periodically asks questions of. They sometimes give the right answer; frequently, however, they give wrong answers which are a lot more like the answers that I would have come up with, and it's great to see Wang talk about the merits of the different answers. It feels a lot more like a class that way, and while I wouldn't want all books to be written like that, I'm glad this one is.

I'm an AGA 2kyu, and I think that the level is good for me; it seems to me like it's targeted at people from about 5kyu through the low dans, and would probably be helpful for anybody who is at least around 10kyu or so.

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

cover pic

david carlton <>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:59:29 PDT 2003