Book Review: The Chinese Opening (Zhou)

Overall Rating: 8 / 10 Ponnuki

Basic Information

  • Title: The Chinese Opening
  • Author: Yuan Zhou
  • Publisher: Slate & Shell
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Page Length: 184 pages


  • A great introductory book to the Chinese Opening.
  • Explanations are kept at a high level and thus allows for easy reading.
  • Appropriate for 10 kyu and stronger.
  • Recommended for serious players.

What I Expected

  • An overview of the Chinese Opening that is easy to read and understand as long as there is some basic understanding of the opening.
  • Explanations of common approaches/responses to various responses to the Chinese Opening.

What You Can Expect

  • A nice and concise introduction to how the Chinese Opening grew to the popularity it receives today.
  • A clear and concise explanation as to why the high Chinese Opening fell out of popularity.
  • A good explanation for the ideal development and direction fro the Chinese Opening.
  • A [reprinted] article from Go Seigen on the Chinese Opening!
  • Over ten kifus for players to play through (although only parts of each game are utilized for commentary in the book while the rest is simply a kifu).

My Thoughts as 5 Kyu

As someone who has studied the Chinese Opening rather extensively (at least from an amateur perspective), The Chinese Opening by Yuan Zhou is a fantastic introduction to the fuseki.

When purchasing this book, the key thing to understand is that this is an introductory book on the Chinese Opening. It’s main purpose is to introduce big concepts regarding the Chinese Opening in order to give players a broad understanding of how they should approach it. In addition, Zhou does an excellent job illustrating how the Chinese Opening can be used by various styles of play: attacking, territorial, etc.

Some of the areas it does not go extensively into include topics such as: how to respond when the opponent interrupts the Chinese Opening, different josekis and the reason for why one is better than another when considering the Chinese Opening, etc.

Now of course, there is the question as to whether someone should simply purchase Kato’s book on the Chinese Opening instead.

To put it simply, if your goal is to devote yourself solely to the Chinese Opening so that you can master it and use it to your heart’s content, then I would recommend going straight to Kato’s book. On the other hand, if your goal is to simply gain a better understanding of the Chinese Opening so you can counter it more effectively or use it occasionally in your games, then Zhou’s book is the one for you.

Table of Content

  1. Chapter One: Beginnings
  2. Chapter Two: Understanding the Chinese Opening

    1.  Early Developments
    2.  The High Chinese Opening
    3.  The Primary Direction of the Chinese Opening
    4.  The Ideal Development of the Chinese Opening
  3. Chapter Three: Recent Games with the Chinese Opening

  4. Appendix

    1.  Go Seigen on the Chinese Opening
    2.  Complete Records of Games Mentioned in this Book
                    1.  Inoue Dosa Inseki vs Honinbo Dosaku
            2.  Go Seigen vs Hayashi Yutaro
            3.  Go Seigen vs Fujisawa Hosai
            4.  Chen Zude vs Miyamoto Naoki
            5.  Kato Masao vs Takemiya Masaki
            6.  Chen Zude vs Kajiwara Takeo
            7.  Go Seigen vs Ohira Shuzo
            8.  Kato Masao vs Fujisawa Shuko
            9.  Go Seigen vs Sakata Eio
            10.  Rin Kaiho vs Takemiya Masaki
            11.  Chang Hao vs Lee Chang Ho
            12.  Yoo Chang Hyuk vs Yu Bin
            13.  Chen Yaoye vs Cho Chikun
            14.  Zhou vs Park Jung Hwan
  1. Slate & Shell - $13.50 USD (S&H not included)

Last updated June 26th, 2013