9 new Go books for beginners now available

I’m happy to announce that we’ve recently expanded the range of Go books for beginners available in the Go Game Shop.

Learn to Play Go

Volume I of the award winning Learn to Play Go Series, by Janice Kim.

You can now get all five volumes of Janice Kim’s award winning Learn to Play Go Series with fast local shipping in the USA, Europe and Australia, and affordable international shipping everywhere else.

Janice only recently finished updating all five of the books and releasing new editions.

In my opinion, Janice’s books are one of the most accessible introductions to Go for beginners, which is why we’ve arranged with Janice to also wholesale these books to small games shops.

Learn to Play Go Value Bundle

Savings aren’t only for wholesale customers though. You can also save money on these books when you buy the whole series as a set. See the Learn to Play Go Value Bundle page for more details.


So You Want to Play Go?

So You Want to Play Go, by Jonathan Hop.

But printed books aren’t everyone’s thing these days, which is why we also have an e-book option available.

So You Want to Play Go is Jonathan Hop’s four volume series, designed to take you from complete beginner to dan level player. These books are available for purchase and instant download here.

Already read these books? How about reviewing one?

One thing Go Game Guru could really do with is more book reviews, especially for beginner books.

When potential new players visit the shop in search of books, we want them to be able to make the right decision. But we can’t really go reviewing all the books ourselves – that would be weird, wouldn’t it?

If you’ve already read one or more of these books, please take a few minutes to write a brief review over at the beginner Go books section of our site. Or, if you prefer, browse the Go books pages for your favorite book and review it instead.

We really appreciate it whenever anybody takes the time to write a review, because it helps other Go players and also helps us to keep doing what we’re doing, and to keep making Go Game Guru even better for you!

About David Ormerod

David is a Go enthusiast who’s played the game for more than a decade. He likes learning, teaching, playing and writing about the game Go. He's taught thousands of people to play Go, both online and in person at schools, public Go demonstrations and Go clubs. David is a 5 dan amateur Go player who competed in the World Amateur Go Championships prior to starting Go Game Guru. He's also the editor of Go Game Guru.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. Great news for all the beginners! Thank-you David!

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks Logan,

      The first volume of Lee Sedol’s commented games is about to arrive soon, which might be more interesting for you. Have you already got a copy though? 🙂

      I’ve been looking at the sample copy we got and it’s great. Lee goes into an amazing amount of detail explaining each game.

      • I don’t, but I plan to. The amount of detail seems to be the standard for when top modern professionals are commenting on their own games, such as Go Seigen (吳清源名局細解) and Gu Li’s (龙渊·古力李世石28番激斗详解) self-commented works.

        Recently I purchased about twenty Chinese tsumego books. I really wish there was a Western seller that carried more of these, because the west has always been in desperate need of more quality tsumego books. For example, the “Graded Go Problems for Dan Players” series is about 25$ for 300-problems, but in China one can get at least 2,000 problems for the same price. Next is the problem with the quality of tsumego. Many asian books have them usefully categorized either by technique or shape theme (e.g. common l&d corner shapes), but in the west they are mainly all over the place or categorized in too-short-to-be-useful segments. Last, there an alarming number of classic tsumego collections that the west is sadly unfamiliar with. If they were released here they would surely become staples of tsumego in the west too — even if it took a couple of decades for their stature to grow.

        • David Ormerod says:

          Logan, I agree, but I still wonder how representative our views are.

          I have a lot of problem books in Chinese and, even before I could read the characters, I didn’t think there were issues with just solving the problems and checking the answers. However, I also thought that Baduk TV was quite easy to follow without translation and, based on the majority of feedback, I was wrong about that one (so we’re fixing it now). I think a lot of people just prefer English, which is fair enough.

          Anyway, we have some doubts about whether people would want to buy many Chinese language Go books, but we’ll give it a go at some point. I had some plans lined up to get books from China about six months ago, but they fell through and it was one of the disappointments of this year. Often when this site seems to get a bit quiet it’s because something like that is taking up a lot of spare time.

          Anyway, it’s not that bad overall. Before the end of the year we’ll have some more new books, Baduk TV should be finished, Go equipment will arrive and we’ll have some software available (possibly even Zen in English – I’m really hoping that one works out).

          After that’s all taken care of, I’ll look into Chinese Go problem books again. Probably some time next year. Another option, of course, is to make English versions of the classical problem collections, which might take a long time.

          • Definitely! I hardly buy English Go books anymore. 🙂 Equipment and software, too? Do you plan on offering any high quality equipment?

            • David Ormerod says:

              Yes, but with expensive floor boards and the like, we’ll ship them from one location and offer free worldwide shipping instead – at least at the beginning.

              For more basic equipment, we’ll try to store it closer to customers, like we do with books at the moment.

          • One thing that bugs me about Chinese books is that the quality of both paper and binding tends to be disappointing, to say the least. Have you had similar experiences?

            • Sometimes yes. It’s one of the reasons I tend to prefer Korean or Japanese books, but actually books from Taiwan are not bad either.

          • Thomas DiMattia says:

            You have been a great help for the improvement of Go in the English speaking world. Besides promoting Go with the youth, which is actually #1 for the future of Go, I would like to help by doing some translations from the Japanese. I lived in Japan for 5 years (only a 7 minute walk from the Nihon Kiin), and still occasionally teach Kanji after school at Wichita State University in Kansas.
            My preference would be to translate some of the articles from old issues of Igo Club, since that was such a great magazine in its day. But do we need permission to do that?
            Thomas DiMattia (KGS matsutoya)

            • David Ormerod says:

              Hi Thomas,

              Thanks for the kind offer to help. I’ll email you to discuss this further. Whether we need permission to translate articles depends a bit on how old they are, but I think it’s always better to ask first regardless.

      • Will the commented games be translated, or is it an import?

        • David Ormerod says:

          The books are being translated into English by Daniela Trinks.

          It’s part of a three volume set and only the first volume has been translated so far. Volume II will be available sometime in 2013.

          We’ll post an article here when the book’s available, maybe next week.

      • mark monaghan says:

        Hi David

        Silly question but is the Lee Sedol book in English?



        Still working through the books I bought from you previously, their excellent!

        • 네, 영어를 있어요! ㅋㅋㅋ (Yes it’s in English. xD)

  2. Definitely consider offering EPUB format. I, and I suspect many others, would never buy a PDF ebook.

    • David Ormerod says:

      I agree that more formats would be better.

      It’s up to the author or publisher to decide which formats they want to sell their books in though. I asked about epub and mobi, but Jonathan only had pdf available. I’ve heard the same thing from other publishers too.

      If more people feel the same, please leave a comment, because I’ll show it to publishers when trying to convince them that people want Go books on e-readers.

      When we publish our own books we’ll make sure they have better support for e-readers too.