All About Ko

BGJ 174 Winter 2015 - 2016

Reviewer: Roger Huyshe

Mastering the Basics Vol. 6
Kiseido ref K76, 250pp

Kos can be fun, yet many players seem scared of them. The book starts with seventeen short chapters on various aspects of the theory of ko, including the value of a ko and of ko threats, and special situations. It also describes the common mistake of invalid kos, in which one player wins the ko in sente so the ignored ko threat cannot actually be exercised. After reading this book you should be able to enter a ko fight with more confidence. The basics are accessible to 10k players yet there is plenty of more advanced material to interest low kyu and low dan players, such as maximising ko threats, creating a ko situation or indeed a double ko, making preparations for a ko fight and examples from professional games. There follow 122 problems and example games. This is a thorough explanation of an important topic. The sections on rare multiple and superkos were written for Japanese rules and need to be read with caution for British tournaments using AGA rules. This reviewer believes it is a topic that many players could benefit from looking at a bit more deeply.

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