Go - the oriental game of controlling territory - challenges each player to balance strategy and tactics. Each move must balance competing needs: to build your influence or weaken his, to connect your stones or to cut apart the opponent's, and, finally, to secure your territory or to invade hers. Each player strives to find moves that work at multiple levels, and to counter their opponent's aims.
The concept of connecting stones is crucial in the game of Go. Beginners learn very quickly when stones are firmly connected and when they are cut. The Art of Connecting Stones teaches a harder concept - fashioning a connection between seemingly separated stones. As a player discovers how to connect, he or she will naturally learn how to cut the opponent's stones apart as well. These two skills will better allow a player to balance those needs in his or her games. By studying this book and applying its principles, many players can become a few stones stronger.
The Art of Connecting Stones is a problem book. It alternates problems, which increase in difficulty through each chapter, with their solutions. The first four chapters each concentrate on a different technique for connecting. Chapter one concentrates on connections along the edge of the board. Chapter two considers connections made by capturing stones. Chapter three emphasizes using influence of friendly forces. Chapter four considers applications of these methods in the endgame. The final, fifth chapter consists of exercises testing all of these concepts.
List of Content
007 Chapter One - Connecting at the Edge of the Board
075 Chapter Two - Linking Up by Capturing Stones
115 Chapter Three - Utilizing Support From Friendly Forces
143 Chapter Four - Endgame Moves
173 Chapter Five - Exercises and Applications
Connecting seemingly separated groups of stones is an important part of go. If a player can learn to make such connections, he or she can often rescue an endangered group or attack an opponent's group with unexpected fury. Studying the ways to fashion such connections is thus crucial for improving a player's skill.
This book consists entirely of problems requiring a connection, and their solutions. It is designed for independent study. One or two problems are presented at a time, followed by their solutions. This allows the reader to move at his or her own pace, and to check a solution immediately. Just as in a game of go, some problems require fighting a ko to connect, while others do not - the reader has to decide!
The problems are grouped into five chapters. The first four each have a theme, such as connecting by capturing stones, which runs through the problems in the chapter. The fifth chapter consists of exercises, reviewing the methods developed earlier.
Problems like the ones in this book occur in every game. Players who master these methods of connection can apply them in every game, and will take a big step upward in strength. They will notice, and their opponents will notice as well.