It is a thorough updating and complete rewriting of the Yoshio Ishida Dictionary of Basic Joseki published in the mids. It covers not only the long-established josekis familiar to players of all levels but also the many new variations of old josekis that have been developed in recent decades, including the first decade of the 21st century. The first volume covers all the point josekis, including long sections on the avalanche joseki and the Magic Sword. The second volume covers the star point, and the , , and points. In particular, there has been great innovation in star-point josekis in recent decades, so the coverage has been considerably expanded, compared to the Ishida dictionary.
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Start your review of Dictionary of Basic Joseki: Vol. The world is not what you thought it was. Opening this book felt that way to me. For a fraction of a second, I wondered if I was in a different universe.
I was an extremely serious chessplayer when I was a teenager, and I had read dozens of books on chess theory, particularly opening theory. I knew just what they looked like. You have a tree of possible moves, with diagrams for the key positions, together with commentary, analysis and the occasional witty remark. I picked up Volume 1 of Ishida. It was immediately obvious, right from the first glance at the table of contents, that Go theory was at least as rich and complex as chess theory.
Innumerable variations, positions, judgements and tactics. And all completely different to chess, in every possible way. I read the book many times, and got to know it well.
After a while, I learned that there were correspondences with chess, but there were also divergences. For example, one of the most important Go terms is aji, which literally means "taste", but is usually translated as "potential". If you have a forcing sequence you can play any time you want, you say that you have aji there.
Usually, though, you can play the sequence in more than one way. If you choose a forcing sequence too soon, you are doing aji keshi - losing your aji.
I knew this principle from experience, but I had never been able to describe it in words. It was, indeed, like entering another universe.
21st Century Dictionary of Basic Joseki
Dictionary Basic Joseki
Dictionary of Basic Joseki: Vol 2
Dictionary of Basic Joseki: Vol. 1