Book Review: The Chinese Opening (Kato)

Overall Rating: 9 / 10 Ponnuki

Basic Information

  • Title: The Chinese Opening: The Sure-Win Strategy
  • Author: Masao Kato (translated by Steve Lloyd)
  • Publisher: Kiseido
  • Publication Date: May 1989
  • Page Length: 145 pages


  • An in-depth explanation of the Chinese fuseki.
  • Covers a lot of various scenarios that players might encounter when trying to play the Chinese fuseki.
  • Appropriate for 8 kyu and stronger.
  • Recommended for serious players.

What I Expected

  • A thorough explanation of the purpose and goal behind the Chinese opening.
  • Explanation of what happens when someone tries to interrupt the Chinese opening.
  • Examples of how the Chinese fuseki is used in different situations.

What You Can Expect

  • Everything I mentioned above plus…
  • Much more detailed explanation behind the purpose of individual aspects of the Chinese opening (e.g., How to respond when your opponent approaches the star point stone as opposed to the 3-4 stone of the Chinese opening).
  • How to handle building and destroying the large frameworks that can often result from peaceful games with the Chinese opening.

My Thoughts as a 5 Kyu

As the first book I read on the Chinese opening, I was very pleased with the scope and breadth that Kato covers with this book. Although it seems rather short, Kato does a fantastic job starting from the very basics of the Chinese opening to small details that are very case specific. In addition, Kato covers a number of variations for each scenarios that helps to answer a lot of questions people might have as to why one result is better than another.

While this book can read like a textbook and is difficult to fully absorb after only a single reading, I think it is a fantastic reference and would recommend it to any players who are serious about studying the Chinese fuseki.

Table of Content

  1. About the Author
  2. Foreward
  3. Glossary
  4. Chapter 1: The Concept of the Chinese Fuseki
  5. Chapter 2: The Star Point Stone
  6. Chapter 3: The 3-4 Point Stone
  7. Chapter 4: Large Scale Frameworks - Building and Destroying
  8. Chapter 5: The Two Space High Pincer
  9. Chapter 6: The Chinese Fuseki in Action: Examples from the Author’s Games
  1. Kiseido - $18.00 (S&H not included)

Last updated June 5th, 2013