Enjoy high-quality books about the game of Go on your iPad and iPhone. Replay moves and solve problems directly within diagrams. A better experience than printed books, at half the price.

- Free chapter for each book.
- Play and replay moves in diagrams.
- Interactive problem diagrams.
- Text enhanced with inline diagrams.
- Links to pro games in SmartGo Kifu.
- Add your own notes anywhere in a book.
- Adjustable font and layout.
- Some multi-lingual books (Japanese, German, French & Spanish).
- Buy once, read on iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

SmartGo Books currently offers more than 130 Go books that you can buy using in-app purchase; more books are in the works. To help you choose, the free “Guide to Go Books” provides clues as to which books might be appropriate for your level.

Getting started:
- “Learn to Play Go” (vol. 1-5) by Janice Kim 3 dan & Jeong Soo-hyun 9 dan
- “Go: A Complete Introduction to the Game” by Cho Chikun 9 dan
- “So You Want to Play Go?” (levels 1-4) by Jonathan Hop

For more than 20 years, the Elementary Go Series books have been the standard texts for Go players who want to get a firm grasp of the fundamentals. Not only is the theory of Go explained clearly and simply, the reader is also given problems to show how these theoretical concepts are applied in actual games.
- “In the Beginning”
- “38 Basic Joseki”
- “Tesuji”
- “Life and Death”
- “Attack and Defense”
- “The Endgame”
- “Handicap Go”

Improving your technique:
- “How Not to Play Go” (Spanish & French & English)
- “Double Digit Kyu Games”
- “Single Digit Kyu Game Commentaries” (vol. 1 & 2)
- “More Go by example”
- “Basic Techniques of Go”
- “Fundamental Principles of Go”
- “The Workshop Lectures” (vol. 1-5)
- “Cho Hun-hyeon’s Lectures on Go Techniques” (vol. 1 & 2)
– “Counting Liberties and Winning Capturing Races”
- “Tesuji and Anti-Suji of Go” (out-of-print)
- “Making Good Shape”
- “All About Ko”
- “Key Concepts in Life and Death”
- “How to Destroy and Preserve” (out-of-print)
- “Sabaki – How to Manage Weak Stones” (out-of-print)
- “Punishing and Correcting Joseki Mistakes” (out-of-print)
- “Correct Joseki”
- “Vital Points and Skillful Finesse for Sabaki”

Problem books:
- “Black to Play! Train the Basics of Go” (German & French & Spanish & English)
- “Graded Go Problems for Beginners” (vol. 1-4)
- “501 Opening Problems” & “501 Tesuji Problems”
- “Rescue and Capture” & “Tricks in Joseki”
- “Get Strong at Life and Death” & “Get Strong at the Endgame”
- “Shuko: The Only Move” (vol. 1 & 2)
– “Gateway to All Marvels: The Xuanxuan Qijing of 1347”
- “The most difficult problem ever: Igo Hatsuyôron 120” (German & English)

“Invincible: The Games of Shusaku” by John Power has been widely acclaimed as a masterpiece on one of the greatest Go players who ever lived. Enhanced with in-diagram replay, inline diagrams, and links to referenced games, be prepared to experience this classic in a whole new way.

“The Life, Games and Commentaries of Honinbo Shuei” by John Fairbairn provides a full-length biography, detailed commentaries on 79 of Shuei's games tracing the development of Shuei's elusive style, and a collection of Shuei's commentaries. A must-read for every serious Go player and student of Go history.

Pro game analysis:
- “Master Play: The Style of Lee Changho / Go Seigen / Takemiya / Kitani Minoru & Cho Chikun”
- “The Games of Fujisawa Shuko”
- “Modern Master Games: The Dawn of Tournament Go”
- “The Go Consultants”
- “Patterns of the Sanrensei” (Japanese & English)
- “Understanding Pro Games” & “Deep Thought” (vol. 1 & 2)
- Books on games by O Rissei, Naoki Hane, Keigo Yamashita, Go Seigen, Takemiya Masaki, and Sakata

Go is a 4000-year-old board game that originated in China. The two players take turns placing stones in an effort to surround territory. The rules can be learned in minutes, yet the complexity of the game provides lifetime enjoyment. Also known as baduk, wéiqí, and igo, it is played by millions of people worldwide.

What’s New

Version 4.6.2

Update to look better on newest devices.

Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

PeanutPress ,


I have a few paper Go books, and never thought that I would actually prefer electronic books to paper ones, in spite of the convenience of weight and instant download. But For Go books it is a huge advance! The books aren’t simple transcriptions of the original, they have been painstakingly made interactive. If books of Go problems, for example, you click on the board diagrams where you think the stones should go, it plays the subsequent move(s) and when done it tells you whether you got it right with a tick above the board diagram. You then turn the page for the explanation. Similarly, for books describing games, the boards replay a group of moves, which is much better than trying to imagine it where the last few moves are already present but with numbers on them. Lastly, the range of books available for purchase is extensive, growing all the time, of great quality, and actually pretty cheap. Deep thanks to the author for making these available. If only we could get such great book coverage in English of Shogi!

CardiffGo ,

Not just electronic versions of Go books ...

This review is re-submitted as it applies to version 1.6.

This is an excellent app not just because of the healthy and growing range of books, but for the active way in which they are presented. By way of example, the 'Five hundred and one tesuji problems' book by Richard Bozulich allows the reader to enter his guess at the correct sequence of moves. Each correct move or deviation is indicated, so it is very much like the book becomes a Tsumego application all on its own.

The most recent addition is the well respected "Invincible" collection of Shusaku games. The large paperback book was a collectors item, but suffered in the separation of the narrative the diagrams, requiring much page jumping. In addition, most board diagrams were heavily populated with moves. In the SmartGo Books version, there are fewer moves per diagram, and the narrative sits with the diagram.

And the general paperback problem with many moves per diagram is neatly resolved in all books here with the provision of navigation tools, allowing moves to played back and worth with ease.

The author is forging a new route for Go books with this app, and those who dismiss it as a 'free app but you must buy books' fail to see what is being achieved here. This is much more than Kindle for Go. Try it and see for free - there are sample pages for all the books.

Highly recommended.

Al-Suli ,

Indispensable for any Go player

Smartgo books are the answer to prayer! If you are a commuting office worker and want to study Go this is App is essential. The range of books available is growing all the time and caters for all levels. It is a joy and liberating to be able to study tsumegos and master games on a virtual Go board while on the move. This App is a wonderful gift to all Go players anywhere and everywhere! Highly recommended!


Smart Go, Inc.
20.3 MB

Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.


English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish

Age Rating
In-App Purchases
  1. "Understanding Pro Games" by Yuan Zhou £4.99
  2. "Go Seigen's Ten-Game Matches, Volume 1" by John Fairbairn £4.99
  3. "Double Digit Kyu Games" by Neil Moffatt £4.99


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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