After reading the reviews for this book, I was struck by the rating ranges that were being given. A word to the wise: what the specific ranges offered fail to mention is that given the way the book is organized, when you begin to look at a problem you already know: 1) the goal that is to be accomplished (frequently obvious but sometimes not), 2) that a tesuji can be found which will accomplish this goal, and 3) the particular type of tesuji to look for. My friends, that's a lot of hints, and accounts for the problems being fairly doable by those, say, in the 15-10 kyu range. Remove the problems from this context and they suddenly become quite a bit harder, as you might imagine. If you like, check out a few of the book's problems that have been put on [...] and you'll notice that they tend to cluster around the 5-3 kyu level. Don't be fooled - this is a substantial collection of problems that will probably be of use to anyone below 2 kyu.
One of the most helpful Go books Jun 9, 2007
There are many aspects of the game of WeiQi/Go/Baduk and studying any of them will improve your game. Studying tesuji will deepen your tactical appreciation of the game and allow you to see many traps (to set and avoid). Studying Go strategy is akin to generalship, and stuying tesuji is like learning karate. The other aspects worth learning are some opening theory (or appreciation - the least understood part of the game), some joseki - local opening variations, life and death, and some endgame (the easiest part of the game). Of all the go books I have bought over the years, this one is one of the few I would not part with because it is helpful to re-read. Each section gives good examples and has problems allowing you to practice reading (visualizing the flow). Not for beginners.
indispensable for 10-15 kyu players Apr 4, 2007
This is one of the most important books that I read when I was learning go. After I read it, my strength instantly jumped by several stones.
This book is all about local tactics. Tesuji are certain clever tricks for accomplishing various tactical goals. This book introduces the basic tesuji which are the foundation for becoming stronger at go. After reading this book, you will be armed with a slew of handy weapons for vanquishing your opponents, and the game will be much more fun than it was before.
The book is well written and well organized. Each chapter is devoted to a particular tactical goal (e.g. cutting groups apart) and introduces several tesuji for accomplshing that goal. There are many good examples, and exercises with solutions, to help you master the techniques.
If you're stronger than about 10 kyu, then you probably know most or all of this material (which is a testament to how essential it is), although if you're not too much stronger than 10 kyu then it might still be useful to read the book for review, do the problems for practice, and make sure there are no gaps in your knowledge. If you're weaker than around 15 kyu, then you are probably not yet ready for this book, but you should look forward to the time when you will be.
This is a well written book for AGA/KGS 13kyu to 5kyu Jan 15, 2007
I am a 7kyu KGS/AGA (ranks are roughly the same) and recently bought and read this book. It took me about 6 hours to read/do all the problems but someone around 12kyu would probably take 8 to 10 hours. I believe reading it improved my play by about 1/2 of a stone but would improve a 12kyu by a full stone or possibly 2 stones.
Reading through it at 7kyu, I found the problems good, though possibly on the easy side, and rarely needed to read the hints or explanations. The goal of each problem (such as "black to cut the white stones") is always amongst the 2 to 5 sentences of explanation which makes reading the book slightly annoying in sections I understand well (would be nice if the problem statement was also be below each board image).
If you are in the 8kyu - 13kyu range you should definitely get this book as I believe it is the most efficient time per rank improvement book you can get. If you in the 5kyu - 8kyu range it will still improve your play enough to be worthwhile (though a lot will be solidifying ideas you already semi-know).
Unlike a couple of the other reviews on here, I would not suggest starting this book if you are between 13kyu and 30kyu. I help many new players in my local club, and feel reasonably well qualified when I say the ideal range is 5kyu-13kyu. I often see newer players trying to read books slightly beyond what they can understand, thinking it will help them get better faster - it only ends up giving them more headaches and frustration and makes the time spent reading to rank improvement ratio very bad! Even if a 17kyu can struggle and eventually understand the problems he/she will probably not be able to implement it in a game.
good book. Jan 3, 2007
The most valuable tesuji in this book are connection-making tesuji, and connection-breaking tesuji (at the 10kyu level, anyhow). If for some reason you have to choose between this book and 'Life and Death', choose 'Life and Death'. If for some reason you have to choose between this book and 'In The Beginning', choose 'In the Beginning'.
My thinking is that all of the books in this series are good, but that this book should come after 'Life and Death' in the series as opposed to before it.