The World of Chinese Go
Författare: Guo Juan
Mouse stealing oil
Dredge up the moon from the seabed
Ghost with a big head
Golden chicken standing on one leg
Such were the problems set for young Chinese go students by their instructor during the 1970s and 80s when Guo Juan, who was to become a 5-dan professional, first attended go school at the age of 15. There she trained with many of the players who would become the top names on the international scene.
Sent away at nine with her family to a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution, Guo Juan relates how one day, while living in the midst of extreme deprivation, she
saw some people playing with stones, white and black . . . [on a board] made of wrapping paper. . . . "Oh, no!" "Zhe, zhe, zhe . . ." " No hope anymore." "Of course there is hope, you see that corner. . . ?" "Shut up!" The strongest player in the camp was Uncle Jiang, a colleague of my father and a math teacher in a university. But on the go board they called him Dragon Killer because he simply killed everybody. . . . Dragon Killer's job in the camp was to take care of the fire in the kitchen [and] I was his assistant. . . throwing coal into the oven [as] he was reading or telling me a little about go. . . . Three years later I was discovered by one of my teachers in elementary school. He was very happy to see a girl who knew how to play go.
Writing in a vividly engaging style with the anecdotal gusto of a natural storyteller, Guo Juan is bold-eyed and tart-tongued as she describes her experiences learning go in a prison camp and later studying to become a professional player in China, a distinction she achieved at 19.
Having lived in Holland for more than ten years, she is superbly qualified to convey to Western players the true flavor of the Chinese go world, as is amply demonstrated in this first book, The World of Chinese Go, offering readers her richly-textured views. Chapters are devoted to such Chinese superstars as Nie Weiping, Ma Xiaochun, Chen Zude, Chang Hao, and the great woman player Rui Naiwei. Detailed game analyses are presented along with trenchant and frequently amusing insights into individual characters and personalities. The book also discusses the fierce competition to become a professional and how those failing to make the grade enter the amateur go ranks and thus raise the level of amateur tournaments to near top professional standards.
No matter what your level of play -- whether you want to study games or are just looking for some compelling reading about go -- this book will prove irresistible. As Guo Juan observes: It is said that female players are more aggressive than men; they always try to make the game complicated and never stop fighting.