Book Review: Joseki Jeongseok Compass 1

Joseki Jeongseuok Compass 1 Cover

Joseki Jeongseok Compass 1

Description: This is the first of many (at least I hope) joseki books from the incredible authors who created the Level Up Series. They do a fantastic job taking joseki and breaking it down into its most elementary form in the effort to get players to learn the joseki instead of simply memorizing them.

Book Details

Title, Joseki Jeongseok Compass 1
Series, Joseki Jeongseok Compass
Author, Lee Jae-Hwan
Translators, Lee Seong-Geun and Daniela Trinks
Publisher, Baduktopia
Published, “2nd Edition - October 10th, 2012”
Language, English
ISBN, 978-89-90965-97-4
Length, 168 Pages

Table of Content

  1. Star Point Joseki 1
  2. Star Point Joseki 2
  3. Star Point Joseki 3
  4. Star Point Joseki 4
  5. Star Point Joseki 5
  6. Star Point Joseki 6
  7. Star Point Joseki 7
  8. Star Point Joseki 8
  9. Star Point Joseki 9
  10. Star Point Joseki 10
  11. Star Point Joseki 11
  12. Star Point Joseki 12
  13. Star Point Joseki 13
  14. Star Point Joseki 14
  15. 3-4 Point Joseki 1
  16. 3-4 Point Joseki 2
  17. 3-4 Point Joseki 3
  18. 4-5 Point Joseki 1
  19. 3-5 Point Joseki 1
  20. 3-3 Point Joseki 1

Before I Read This Book…

My Abilities

  • I have been exposed to a fair number of joseki by this point, but I was far from being able to understand why they were played the way they were. In addition, figuring out how to punish josekis was a whole level above my head as well.
    My Perspective

  • While I might have become familiar with a few joseki here and there, I was realy hoping to start from the ground up and get a much better how joseki are created and built.


What did I enjoy about the book?

  • The way they teach joseki is SO easy to understand!
  • They take their time explaining why certain moves are mistakes.
  • There are many opportunities for reinforcement on picking the right move.
  • They have you evaluate the first 30-40 moves of a game and have you figure out which move was a mistake.
  • They teach joseki that takes into consider other stone positions such as a star side point that is occupied.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • A much better understanding of why joseki sequences are what they are.
  • A significant boost in my comfort with joseki as a whole.
  • Higher confidence in my ability to “create joseki” rather than “memorize joseki.”

What is the format of the book?

  1. A brief introduction on why one should study joseki along with some advice for how to study joseki.
  2. A brief review on the proper way to extend.
  3. All chapters on joseki then following the format below:

    1.  Basic overview of the sequence for the joseki with accompanying one line explanations for each move.
    2.  A page or two on how to deal with mistakes and why the mistakes are good or bad for the respective player.
    3.  Practice problems for how to respond to different situations. This includes mistakes along with proper moves.
    4.  One to two problems where you have to evaluation a kifu (approximately 10-30 moves long) and determine which player played better and which move was the mistake.
    5.  One to two sample professional openings that usually contain the joseki that the reader just learned.

What aspect can be improved on?

  • There are some useful proverbs that are placed on the bottom of the page (e.g., “Even a moron connects against a peep.”), but they can be rather cryptic at times. This is possibly due to the fact they were translated from Korean, but they’re not as helpful as I was hoping. Although to be clear, this is not the focus of the book, so it’s not a big deal.
  • They need to make more of these books! More more more!

Is this book easy to read?

  • Yes. It doesn’t get much simpler than this.

Bottom Line

  1. This is how joseki should have been taught from day one!
  2. An incredible way to be introduced to joseki as a whole.
  3. Serves as a fantastic companion to the rest of the Level Up Series.

My Review

One of the reasons I have always avoided the study of joseki is that most of the literature out there is EXTREMELY dense when you consider that a large portion of players interested in joseki are kyu players. In addition, I personally feel that kyu players encounter far more star point joseki in their games due to the nature of being a kyu player. In addition, star point joseki have far fewer variations and much easier to undrestand.

This is seriously an incredible milestone for go literature. In all honesty, this is the book that everyone should use when they want to start learning about joseki. And in fact, this is the way that all joseki should be taught from the get go. There are so many opportunities for reinforcement. For example, I am completely in love with the new problem format they introduce: analyzing a kifu and determining not only who played better, but which move was the mistake as well! INCREDIBLE!

  • Players who want an easy to understand introduction to creating joseki (as opposed to memorizing them).
  • Players who want opportunities to practice the sequence through problems instead of waiting till the off-chance it occurs in their games.

Where Can I Buy It?

  • Yellow Mountain Imports - $13.00 USD (shipping and handling not included)
  • Baduktopia - E-mail them at for more information.

Last Updated on August 29, 2013