K01:INVINCIBLE: THE GAMES OF SHUSAKUCompiled, edited, and translated by John Power
Shusaku was the leading player of the golden age of go in the mid-19th century. He has become known to later generations as the Saint of Go (kisei) and is recognized by modern players as one of the great geniuses in the history of the game. His victories over his contemporaries in a number of matches contributed to his reputation, but its main foundation is his perfect record, not even approached by any other player, of nineteen successive wins in the annual castle games played in the presence of the shogun.
Shusaku's games are considered the best model for aspiring professional players to study, especially his games with black. He was unexcelled in his complete mastery of the strategic principles and the practical techniques of go. His games are a treasure house of all the varied elements of the game, from the fuseki to the endgame, but in particular they provide amateur players with ideal material for studying the art of fighting in the middle game.
Here are some 20th century views of Shusaku:
`Shusaku simplified the complexity of go, concealing his great strength and profound analysis beneath the smooth surface of his game . . . It is not an exaggeration to say that all the principles and all the techniques of go are embodied in concentrated form in Shusaku's go.' - Segoe Kensaku 9-dan
`The speed and forcefullness of Shusaku's play with black are like lightning striking the go board; his skill at finishing off his opponent once he took the lead is unrivalled.' - Hayashi Yutaka, go historian
`Shusaku would read out all the possible variations, then play straightforwardly, making the simplest move, if he thought it ensured a win. This way of playing is only possible if one has a clear understanding of the principles of go and is blessed with superb positional judgement, and it also requires considerable self-confidence. On those rare occasions when he got into a bad position, he would display tremendous strength in fighting his way back into the lead. The castle game with Ito Showa in 1850 is a good example of a game in which he reveals his latent strength . . . Another feature of his go is his flexibility and willingness to experiment. Modern go is still far from surpassing Shusaku.' - Ishida Yoshio, former Meijin, Honinbo.
Considering the quality of the commentaries, the excellent historic research and the attention paid to all details this book is not only the top go book in the English language, but also ranks high among go books of any language.
Contains 143 games, 80 of which are full commentaries by 9-dan professionals players. Go-World size; 442 pages.