Books for larger boards

Any suggestions on good go books for learning to get to get to grips with larger boards. I play quite a bit on 9x9 boards (8kyu) but feel totally lost on the bigger boards. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!


Okay, welcome at OGS, hope you enjoy your stay.
Here are some books:

  • Ikuro Ishigure - In the beginning
  • Toshiro Takeyama - Lessons in the fundamentals of go
  • Takeo Kajiwara - The direction of play
  • Akira Ishida - Attack and defense

All from Ishi Press.

Maybe switching to 13x13 first before you try 19x19 is a smart idea.

Teaching games with stronger player focussing on the direction of play.

Good luck!

Edit: @fiddlehead is correct. It is Toshiro Kageyama.



Great, thank you! Just bought “In the beginning” and “Attack and Defence”. Cheers!

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keep in mind that, while all these books are very good, these have vaying levels of reading difficulty. If any of these are too abstract for you, feel free to stop and try something else for a time. In particular The Direction of Play is something I personally would start recommending at SDK (and maybe more for strong SDK), Attack and Defense is a book you’ll start reading at strong DDK and reread till dan (and maybe after), and fundamentals is recommended usually for 18-15k, but mileage may vary.

There are also some very good video lectures about 19x19, such as the clossi approach lecture, as well as batts basics lectures, which focus more on the strategy elements of 19x gameplay


Super! Thanks for the advice.

Good point.
I read it as DDK and did understand some things. Later I reread it (several times) and grasped more (and more) things. That book is like a good red wine, it gets better over time.
Most important it gave me a sense of what direction of play means.

And OP is a 8 kyu. So I think he could have a try.

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I found Otake Hideo’s “Opening Theory Made Easy” the most accessible and useful book when I was starting out. (I haven’t read “In the beginning” but I’ve heard that it is more difficult). “Attack and Defense” by Ishida and Davies is good for the middle game, but much harder for a beginner to follow; some of it I still can’t use because it assumes knowledge of what kinds of shapes are sufficiently well connected for their purpose, which I don’t yet have. But some of it is still usable even for a relative beginner.


For the record, the author of Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go is Kageyama, not Takeyama. My good housekeeping deed for the day. :slight_smile:


99% of go books are written considering a 19x19 board so the main concern is your level and that shouldn’t be any problem at 8k.
I would say that 99% of go books are good worthy and and written with serious care.

Just avoid books for stronger players like encyclopedias of josekis, difficult life and death problems… And you’ll be fine. I would recommend you to read what seems attractive for you.
If you like to attack: Kato’s attack and kill, if you have concern how to reduce: Shuko’s books etc…

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