Star Point Joseki, by the Nihon Kiin. Yutopian Y30; 2001

This is the third volume of the Nihon Ki-in Handbook series. (Which is also known as the Small Encyclopedia series.) As you might expect from the title, it's a joseki dictionary covering star-point joseki. It's a decent joseki dictionary, I suspect; it's accessible, with little bullet point sections of "Essential Points" showing up periodically.

But: is there anything the English-language go world needs less than yet another joseki dictionary? There are already several of them out there; this one seems pleasant enough, but there's certainly nothing particularly impressive about it. Please, go publishers, can't you try to publish books on underrepresented topics? Aside from the interesting new niches that some authors (e.g. Richard Hunter) are trying to find and fill, there are still traditional areas that aren't particularly well covered in English: the endgame is the most glaring example, but even such a basic area as tesuji isn't covered particularly completely in english. Or if you're going to cover an overrepresented topic, at least go at it from a new angle.

But that's not the case here: it's the same material as you can find in many other places, in basically the same form. Go publishers, please stop this; from now on, future joseki dictionaries will probably be "reviewed" by me with a link to this page. Go book readers: please don't support joseki dictionaries published in the year 2000 or later. You'll do fine with earlier dictionaries; spend your hard-earned cash on one of them, or on a recent book that's actually presenting new material.

Update: the preceding paragraphs are rather unfair. After all, there are only three other joseki dictionaries out there, and one of them isn't widely distributed. Furthermore, this book is part of a series, and the other two books in the series both do fill important gaps in the literature. Presumably the rights to the series was acquired as a whole. So I'm not really mad about this book; I just don't want to see any more joseki dictionaries.

david carlton <>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 21:00:11 PDT 2003