This book, part of a four part series is a nearly perfect book for the new player of go. Written in a simple, straight-forward manner, with illustrations for almost every concept discussed, the book allows the student to learn at his on pace, and is ideal for a quick review of any rule or concept. Regardless of the facet of the game being presented, the authors first give the simplest examples, and then build each chapter with increasingly advanced ideas- so that each aspect of go is completely discussed in an easy to understand, step by step approach.
The book is divided into two parts, covering fundamentals and basic techniques. Part I consists of eight chapters dealing with topics such as capturing, connecting, life and death, and ko. Part I also contains, in chapter 8, the score of an actual 19x19 game that the reader can follow, with excellent annotations, move by move. After the reader has learned "the basics," Part II, in six chapters, cleverly builds on that foundation with topics such as: capturing techniques, connecting techniques, capturing races, and ko fighting.
In addition to this excellent introduction to Go, Learn to Play Go, Vol. I also has two extra features that make it an outstanding book for the novice player. The first is that each chapter is followed by a section called "Try it Yourself" which amounts to a section of problems that test the ideas presented in the preceding chapter. The second is ten "extra sections", with from one to three pages, that are dispersed throughout the text, and give the reader more of a "feel" for the game. For example, one section explains go etiquette, another go strength, i.e. the rating system. One gives information about go on the Internet, and still another introduces the reader to some of the more famous players of the game. Another unique feature of this volume is that each copy comes complete with a reversible 19x19, 13x13 and 9x9 board, so that the reader can start playing immediately. The 'stones" are paper and can be difficult to use, but still a nice addition to the book, which is highly recommended for anyone from 30 to roughly 25 kyu.
Copyright, © 2004. PaGoda Go Egyesület