Go Books 4+

Books to learn the game of Go

Smart Go, Inc.

Designed for iPad

    • 4.8 • 33 Ratings
    • Free
    • Offers In-App Purchases



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 4.6.3

• Improve visibility of some controls on dark backgrounds.
• Various bug fixes.

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

ChilliTrav ,

⚫️😁EXCELLENT books app😁⚪️

HIGHLY recommended!! Read previous reviews for more details. They’re very well written and helpful. This app is a spectacular resource for books to improve at Go. Some of my favorite app highlights include...
- Interactive diagrams! Being able to rewind and SEE a sequence as it plays out is vastly superior to simple numbered diagrams in paper books. It’s much easier to really UNDERSTAND the moves.
- Syncing and reading books between devices (both iOS and macOS).
- Huge book selection in store, readily organized by strength/level, making it easy for a kyu player to select a book good for their level.
- Suggested reading lists and other resources.
- If there’s a better Go ebook library out there, I haven’t found it.
...and of course, it saves weight and space over paper books 🙂

I really don’t have anything to complain about. There is room for minor improvements...
- The interface is not as polished/easy as some other ebook apps. I don’t really mind. Not a hindrance; just a note.
- Place in book (and sometimes bookmarks) don’t seem to sync. Not a big deal.
- DRM! 😠 While I understand the necessity to try to protect authors’ work, I really, really, REALLY dislike DRM and will choose less convenient apps/stores to avoid DRM’d books whenever possible. At the very least, I like to be able to download and store backup copies just in case (darned shame to lose a whole library under unforeseen circumstances).

Developer Response ,

Glad you like Go Books! As for your concern about DRM, almost all the books can now be downloaded as ePub, complete with interactive diagrams. See https://gobooks.com for more info.

CS(citizen science) ,

A great portal and experience to learn Go Game.

Learning Go Game (Weiqi 围棋, in Chinese) needs good books. It can be old fashioned paper ones, along with a board and two buckets of chess, typically a well-lit area, and tons of space.

Or this can be anywhere, as long as you have access to your screen. This app not only lets you access a tons of books (many with free chapter or two), but also bring the learning into 21st century. No longer you will have to have the physical board and go pieces, you can interact the puzzles and games right in the game.

The app is also very considerate to put the puzzle/quiz and its answer separated by pages. Very nice detail.

Just got the app and definitely looking forward to go back and get new books within this app!

One thing for family sharing, the in-app purchases are not automatically shared within family devices. But if you click the “gear” button at the top left, and register the original purchase with an email address that family have access to. New devices can be registered with the same email address. After confirming the new device from the link sent to the email address. A simple restore previous purchases (from the same gear button) would show all the books you’ve purchased. Now all family members are on the book.

Dontshootiowa ,

Strongly recommend.

I’m currently a 5k and member of AYD. I’ve been playing for about 3.5 years. I have found this app invaluable in making Go book more accessible. Being able to play through the diagrams/examples is a very effective way to learn.

One suggest, I wish they would make the app compatible with the apple keyboards. Being able to click through the diagrams would be much better than touching the screen all the time or having to reposition the mouse.

Thanks for a great app.

App Privacy

The developer, Smart Go, Inc., indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Purchases

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