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Life and Death (Beginner and Elementary Go Books) [Paperback]

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Item description for Life and Death (Beginner and Elementary Go Books) by James Davies...

Life and Death (Beginner and Elementary Go Books) by James Davies

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Item Specifications...

Pages   159
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.9" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Kiseido Publishing Co
ISBN  4906574130  
ISBN13  9784906574131  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Board Games > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Life and Death (Beginner and Elementary Go Books)?

excellent book.  Jan 3, 2007
After the first 20 pages, I was making 20-point plays
in games that I would never have seen before this
book. Whole categories of life and death problems
can be reduced to simple questions about the shape of
their potential eyespace. Having this in your favor
is something that every player needs to know.

Some of the problems are fairly tricky at the 10kyu level.
A few words, problems and answers, again, again, ...  Feb 20, 2006
This book introduces different life and death situations and variations of them. Actually the book has 36 groups of different shapes of life and death situations. Every group has the same vital characters which are explained with few words and examples. After that thera are a few problems and pretty good answers to problems. This happens again in every chapter.

This is a book you HAVE TO READ WITH GO-BOARD! You should try to solve problems, that gives you good overview what is important in every shape. I found it educationnal to "play" problems with someome. Both try to kill or save a group. That worked for me and my friend.

This book is good for a player who has already played a few games and notices he/she is loseing groups which he/she thinks should be alive.

I learned to notice new good and bad shapes in my games.
An excellent, but more advanced book on life and death  Dec 4, 2005

Life and death is one of the critical elements in the/a game of go, but what exactly is it? It is simply whether a player's stones are captured or prevented from being captured (though I won't go into a deeper explanation here). It's simple, yet very important. To become a strong player, an important fundamental is to be strong in life and death, and if you ask any go player (amatuer or professional) how, the answer will be "Solve lots of life and death problems."

Solving problems helps strengthen a go player's reading ability, and with repetition, the shapes in the problems will be more familiar to the player when they appear in his games (reading is when a player mentally forsees how the game will continue, thinking about different continuations, and to the find the best result possible for both sides). These fundamental shapes also appear in life and death.

The Book:


Normally, books about life and death are simply "problem books," which simply contain life and death problems. Life and Death (the book) is a bit different, and is mainly concerned about the fundamental shapes that appear.

The book begins with a small introduction about life and death, and defines some common terms that the reader will need to know. Moving along, each chapter is devoted to a specific shape, or theme. A chapter is begun by introducing the reader to the shape and showing them some of the common continuations that can occur. On the next page, the reader is put to the test, and is given some problems to solve.


N.B.: The content in this book is aimed at stronger players who are at least in the single digit kyu range (9k up), and will not be suitable for beginners. For beginners, some books I recommend are the Learn to Play Go series by Janice Kim, to learn about the basics of life and death, and for life and death problems, the Graded Go Problems for Beginners series by Kano Yoshinori and 1001 Life and Death Problems by Richard Bozulich.



* Smooth process: I like how the reader is introduced to the shape and it's continuation, then is given problems to tackle himself.

* It is kind of a quasi-reference book, especially for the corner shapes, but is definitely not a life and death dictionary.

* Size: Though it's not related to the content of the book, it's a small book, which is a handy thing.


* Price: My major gripe is the price, which unfortunately is the norm for go books translated into English. But still, $15 for this tiny book...


Life and Death is an excellent book for the stronger kyu player to learn about the more difficult fundamental shapes that appear in games.
notes from a beginner  Jan 12, 2005
If you are a Go beginner, I recommend studying (as I did) the book of Go problems for 30-25 Kyu before this one.

But after that and Richard Bozulich's book, this is certainly the next book to turn to.

I'm currently studying this book, "Life and Death," and another book in this series by the same author, "Tesuji."

"Life and Death" is a step easier than "Tesuji," although counter-intuitively they are volumes 4 and 3 in the series. Although the techniques used to kill or save groups come from "Tesuji," the positions in "Life and Death" are simpler, more basic and far, far more common. The problems are a bit easier. So I recommend studying this one first.
What is Life?  Dec 23, 2004
Having recently read a few books that tried to answer the question, "What is Life?" I was glad to find this one! The answer is simple. Life is two eyes! If you have only one eye, you are dead.

That is why the door group is as dead as a, um, doornail. It only produces one eye.

You can't enjoy a game of go unless you have a pretty good idea if your groups are dead or alive. And this book is good at teaching you to see which shapes can form two eyes and which shapes can not. The chapters and quizzes in this book are excellent training. If you can answer the "status?" questions correctly, you are well on your way towards doing some serious damage to many of your opponent's more dubious formations.

Once you have learned the elements of go and have played some games, what comes next? Well, you need to learn a little about fuseki and joseki. And tesuji (or you won't be able to understand this book). But the first topic you need to learn really well is this one. And that's where this book comes in handy.

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