Book Review: The Sanren-Sei Opening

Power of the Star Point Cover

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5 Ponnuki

Basic Information

  • Title: The Power of the Star-Point - The Sanren-Sei Opening
  • Author: Shukaku Takagawa, Honorary Honinbo (translated by John Power)
  • Publication Date: July 1988
  • Page Length: 134 pages


  • This is a fantastic book for players who want to be exposed to lots of different concepts without being inundated with dense diagrams and explanations.
  • The book covers a very broad range of material that makes it a valuable purchase for those who have a difficult time with some of the other more dense material.
  • Appropriate for 12 kyu and stronger.
  • Recommended for serious players and above.

Detailed Review

Readability - 8 / 10

As someone who has read perused his fair share of books regarding the opening and fuseki theory, I found The Power of the Star Point to be extremely refreshing due to its focus on a single opening concept. While the overall language is relatively light and easy to understand, the material itself can be quite dense at times. On the other hand, what else do you expect from a book focused solely on the sanrensei?

Content Quality - 9 / 10

Fantastic coverage on a topic that many amateur players could really benefit from. Even though I “read” the book once, there is still a lot that went over my head and I’m sure that I will have more to gain the next time I read it. It was great to have him explain the different joseki’s and how they were either beneficial or detrimental to the sanrensei concept. Fantastic book that deserves 5 stars for the coverage of a topic that deserves the proper attention.


The Power of the Star Point is a magnificent insight into the opening, handicap go, and whole board thinking all in one shot. It is definitely the book that gave me my breakthrough in understanding moyo formation, whole board thinking, and star point power in a whole new way. This is definitely a book you don’t want to miss out on if you have the opportunity to read it.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Introduction: Invitation to the Sanren-Sei
  3. Chapter One: Sanren-sei Fundamentals
  4. Chapter Two: Sanren-sei Josekis

    1.  The Inside Approach Move
    2.  The Attach-and-Extend Joseki
    3.  The Attach-and-Extend Joseki (2)
    4.  The One-space Jump
    5.  The One-space Pincer
    6.  The Two-space High Pincer
    7.  The Three-space High Pincer
    8.  The Knight Capping Move
    9.  The 3-3 Invasion
  5. Chapter Three: The Sanren-sei in Action

  6. Fuseki Interlude
  7. Chapter Four: Turning points in the Sanren-sei
  8. Fuseki Interlude
  9. Chapter Five: The Contemporary Sanren-sei

Last updated December 6th, 2012 - 6 kyu