Book Review: Positional Judgment

Overall Rating: 9 / 10 Ponnuki

Basic Information

  • Title: Positional Judgment: High-Speed Game Analysis
  • Author: Cho Chikun
  • Publisher: Kiseido
  • Publication Date: December 1989
  • Page Length: 182 pages


  • A great book on positional judgment when it comes to whole board thinking.
  • Utilizes multiple choice questions along with example games to help illustrate his points.
  • Requires a basic level of endgame sequences for the estimations to make sense.
  • Appropriate for 6 kyu and stronger.
  • Recommended for serious players.

What I Expected

  • A book that would teach me how to evaluate the board position when the borders are not so clear.
  • Lots of examples that would allow me to practice the concepts introduced in here.
  • To be able to start applying positional judgment (within a reasonable amount of error) to my own games.

What You Can Expect

  • A solid explanation on some theory behind estimating territory from three perspectives.
  • Quite a few problems to help test your ability to estimate territory.
  • A good number of examples that utilize multiple choice questions to test your knowledge and also comes with great explanations.
  • Two example games from Cho Chikun where he talks about his thought process during two title games.

My Thoughts as a 5 Kyu

When I first heard of this book, the reviews online were rather mediocre and I was discouraged from purchasing it at the time. However, I am thankful that I finally did because I think that this book is underrated in terms of its ability to shed some light on a topic that I think many kyu players shun away from: accurately analyzing the positions on the board.

Although I found the book to be rather enlightening, I will forewarn potential buyers who are unfamiliar with other basic strategic concepts of the game (e.g., what it means to attack, basic endgame sequences, etc.) will probably find this book rather challenging to grasp. Even though I’ve begun to apply some of those concepts to my games, I am the first to admit that it will require a lot more practice and probably another few passes before I understand the book entirely.

If I were to critique one thing about the book, it’s that I would love more practice scenarios where I am forced to evaluate positions and see if my counting is accurate or not. Otherwise though, this book fills a much needed niche when it comes to players wanting to learn more about positional judgment.

Table of Content

  1. Foreward - Notes to the Reader
  2. Chapter 1: The Three Main Points of Game Analysis

    1.  Point 1: First Count the Territory
                    1.  Examples 1 - 3
            2.  Point 2: Assess Territory from Thickness
                    1.  Examples 1 - 4
            3.  Point 3: Estimate the Territory from a Moyo
                    1.  Examples 1 - 3
  3. Chapter 2: A High-Speed Analysis Test

    1.  Problems 1 - 6
  4. Chapter 3: A Broad Overview Results From Accurate Analysis

    1.  Examples 1 - 10
  5. Chapter 4: Large-Scale Analysis Problems: The Type Amateurs Often Get Wrong

    1.  Problems 1 - 8
  6. Chapter 5: Cho-Style Game Analysis

    1.  Games 1 - 2
  1. Kiseido - $18.00 (S&H not included)

Last updated June 23rd, 2013