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 Post subject: Elementary Go Series Question
Post #1 Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2022 1:25 am 
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Hello to all of you,
my name is Christoph and I have some questions about the Elementary Go Series.
I have all the books so I can learn the game pretty good. After some time of absence I want to learn and play more often now.
So my real question is the following:
Can you recommend an order how to read the books the best way?

My OGS rating was once about 16k, I hope that helps.

Greetings
Chris

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 Post subject: Re: Elementary Go Series Question
Post #2 Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2022 2:30 pm 
Judan
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Hi, and welcome to L19.

Most of the books in that series examine a single subject from the simple to the advanced. So often you will benefit from reading part of the book, then setting the rest aside for later.

First, I would read Volume 1, "in the Beginning". Read all of it. Some of it won't make sense, but plow through nonetheless.

Next, I would read at least the first few chapters of Vol 4, "Life and death". Knowing the basics of life and death allows you to make sense of the contents of the other five books. ( Sorry, I can't find my copy right now, so I can't tell you where the book transitions from basic L&D to advanced. Don't read all of it. But read enough to get the basics. )

Third, I would read the first chapter of Vol 7, "Handicap Go", because if you want to get better, you are going to have to play stronger people - and often at a high handicap. Save the remaining chapters for later. Skip the rest of Vol seven for now.

Fourth, go back to volume one, and read it all again.

Beyond that, it seems a matter of preference.

EDIT: Before reading every page in all seven of them, I would add Kageyama's "Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go" to the reading list.

When you are done with the eight books mentioned above, you will have some idea of how to play go. At that point, your ninth book should be Kajiwara's "Direction of Play".

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 Post subject: Re: Elementary Go Series Question
Post #3 Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2022 12:35 am 
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Hello,
thank you so much for giving me such good tips! :)
Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go is now on my book list :). Just another short question: When should I read Attack and Defense and Tesuji?
And how to I read the books in the following sense? If I start with in the beginning, should I ask myself why is this move so good and why is it preferred over the other considerations?

Thank you really much again :)
greetings,
Chris

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 Post subject: Re: Elementary Go Series Question
Post #4 Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2022 1:31 pm 
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Hi Christoph. I have all of these books and have read most parts of most of them.

I must say that In The Beginning was a nice read and I enjoyed it. And I read it twice. Tesuji and Life and Death became difficult and I found that I ran out of steam for the problems. I suggest maybe just reading the examples and skipping the problems at first. This way you can finish the book and get an idea of all of the concepts. Then you can go back and reread and study the problems on a different pace.

Some people don't like the joseki book. And it is outdated. But the joseki is really only the foundation of the discussion on how well stones work together (maybe "shape" is the right term but not how I thought of it myself), how far of an extension is too far, different results when one weakness is covered instead of another, and how poorly things can go when you ignore an urgent move.

You might also seem some people dismiss the entire series as being outdated. And it is. But there is not much better in English at the moment (and might never be).

But if you are interested in other books, Shibano Toramaru's books on modern opening theory (AI) have been translated into English by Kiseido.

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 Post subject: Re: Elementary Go Series Question
Post #5 Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2022 6:55 pm 
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My first book was "In the Beginning", too, and (together with some practice on 321go.org) it brought me from nothing to around 16k (KGS).

As for your other questions, "Attack and Defense" is a bit advanced, it is most beneficial around 9k, but you might start enjoying this at around 12k.

"Tesuji" is also a bit advanced, and if you want to study tesuji, I would recommend to start with "Get Strong at Tesuji", as many of the problems there show fundamental shape problems. Once you have worked through this, you can continue to study "Tesuji" from the Elementary Go Series.

Studying tesuji was the most fun part of Go for me, and also the part that made me advance to around 4k. YMMV though. Just do what is most fun to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Elementary Go Series Question
Post #6 Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2022 10:20 am 
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The first few chapters of attack and defense are good at your level. They discuss the purpose of attacking, and teach a mindset you might not yet have. Otherwise, I agree with everyone else’s comments.

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