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 Post subject: Re: Useful books to become stronger
Post #61 Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:57 am 
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Like some other posters, I didn't find Lessons in the Fundamentals very helpful. However, with so many people liking the book it is certainly worth a try.

Two books that are often left out of such lists but which I feel taught me as much as any others are Cho Hun-hyeon's Lectures on Go Techniques Volumes One and Two. These books also teach you some fundamentals, but they are much more concrete. The books not only teach you what the right moves are in a lot of common situations, they also show you how to exploit the wrong moves. Volume Two especially opened my eyes to a lot of new ideas and techniques.


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Post #62 Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:21 am 
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Has anyone found any books to add to the list or have any new ones been published?

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Post #63 Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:20 am 
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I've consolidated and updated the list in my "guide" on senseis library (see signature) but that is only based on the experience I've had with certain books (e.g. which ones made me stronger etc.). I also wrote a short explanation, why I considered the books I mention useful.

If anyone is interested, I make a copy here:

Quote:
Beginner-Kyu (30k-15k (KGS))

Opening Theory Made Easy

Although I said that the holy grail of my beginning Go career was In the Beginning, this book is in my opinion much better and covers all the same.
You get a really good idea about the strategic concepts of the first douzen moves like Fuseki fundamentals (e.g. extensions, pincers, Moyo), good shape (e.g. how not to harm your own stones, empty triangle) and general strategy (e.g. attacking, reducing, sacrificing).
Furthermore the book won't start to overburden you with too much detail. It is very simple, therefore easy to understand and to apply. The latter profits from the usage of a lot of diagrammes.

Graded Go Problems For Beginners Volume 1 and 2

Go is all about reading and being able to visualize sequences, so it's best to start early practising this skill.
I like the [ext] Graded Go Problems For Beginners series, because they offer a lot of different Tsumegos and Tesujis. But they don't stop there, they also have quite a few problems involving making a Ko or a Seki, or winning a capturing race. Furthermore they also offer problems regarding the opening, the middlegame and the endgame.
So, you really can train all aspects of a Go game. I don't know any other book which would offer all this.


Intermediate-Kyu (14k-7k (KGS))

Attack and Defense


This is the one and only middlegame book you'll need for a long time. It teaches you everything about how to attack and what attacking moves actually are; and it shows the opposite side: How to defend.
Furthermore it has chapters about invasions, reductions and how to build up a framework for yourself.
What might be even more important (but hard to grasp at this level) is the illustration on how to play if you are ahead in territory or ahead in terms of power.
You won't immediately understand everything in this book and you surely will read it more than three times over your Go career, but all this book offers is utmost essential and is a must need to know!

Tesuji

One hell of an important book!
Here you will learn every Tesuji you need to master to become a Dan player. But [ext] Tesuji does not just offer an overview of the different Tesujis, it wonderfully explains every single one and rounds that up with a lot of examples to practice. The book really is a jewel!
If you might not be convinced yet: The book also has a very useful (and highly regarded) explanation on how to read out a position, it covers a whole chapter.
This book, too, can be a bit difficult at the beginning, because it requires that you read out quite a few longish sequences. But don't be discouraged, the important point with this book is to learn to recognize the shapes in which the different Tesujis occur.

One Thousand and One Life-and-Death Problems


There is not much to say about this one. If it comes down to practice life-and-death, this book is one of the best choices for intermediate players. Solely because of its vast number of situations and its increasing difficulty, you will build up confidence in reading out sequences.
The one downside there might be: The problems are all very artificial, but then again, vital points are always the same and by solving all the problems in this book, you will surely use every important life-and-death tactic and Tesuji, which will benefit your play.

Get Strong at Tesuji

What One Thousand and One Life-and-Death Problems is for Tsumegos, Get Strong at Tesuji is for Tesujis. It might be one of the most powerful problem books for intermediate players in Go and together with [ext] Tesuji by James Davies easily one of the most powerful Tesuji books in English at all.
Also offering problems with different difficulties, this book invites you to resolve it several times and always learn something knew. I, for once, solved it five times already and I can say with confidence: This book alone made me at least one rank stronger.
As a remark: The problems in this book feel a lot different to life-and-death problems. You are not always asked to kill something or to make live but to gain a local advantage or put your opponent in bad shape. That's a different thinking and that's why many moves might be completely new to you. But that alone shows how much you can learn from this book.

Graded Go Problems For Beginners Volume 3

See above.



Advanced-Kyu (6k-3k (KGS))


Graded Go Problems For Beginners Volume 4

See above.

Making Good Shape

I find it hard to explain this book, because shape is a very abstract matter.
You will often hear or read about good shape or bad shape, but the theory behind it is very hard to grasp. To phrase it simply: Bad shape often invites a Tesuji, which will put the player with the bad shape in a even worse situation. So bad shape invites attacking, while good shape secures your stones. This is what this book tries to teach you with its problems.
At first you might get almost every problem wrong or you are totally clueless what or where to play (I experienced both), but that's okay. Take your time to think of an answer and than just check the solution and when you have been wrong, just try to understand what the correct move achieves and why the solution is better than what you would have played. You'll get a lot of new ideas and you will start to see more moves during your play after solving this book two or three times.

Rescue and Capture


The title tells about two central aspects of Go. Capturing enemy stones and rescueing one's own stones.
The reason why I include this book: It offers 80 really nice problems, which I find highly educational, because you have to find some not obvious looking moves (no standard vital point spotting). Furthermore, I feel that the focus in this book lies in reading further ahead, compared to books with problems for a similiar strength.
A very good book to practice one's skill!

Life and Death - Intermediate Level Problems

There is no way around, you need to practice reading, reading, reading and again reading ^^ But there are a lot of books out there with which you can practice. I think this book is one of the best to still have fun while doing Tsumegos.
The book structures the problems in circles of ten. 1 being the easiest problem (said to be around 7 Kyu, but in my opinion some problems are far more difficult) and 10 the most difficult (said to be around 2 Dan, but this is exaggerated, I think). In my opinion the problems are on average around 3 Kyu KGS.
Becauses of the structure you will have some easy and some hard problems, so it's not always troublesome to come up with a solution. But on the other hand you will slowly have to read deeper to find the right move and this is a nice challenge.
Furthermore this book has a really nice size: It fits in every pocket, so you can carry it around to always have some nice Tsumegos to solve ; )


Expert-Kyu (2k+ (KGS))

Yi Ch'ang-Ho Selected Tesuji Problems Volume 1 - 3

Yes, it still comes down to more reading practice ; ) Volume one and two will be very easy for players with this rank but nonetheless they are a good repetition.
Volume three increases the difficulty enormous, I think, and needs a lot more careful reading and even spotting the first move. You will have to verify your sequence against a lot of possible counter moves, which will sharpen your structur in reading to not forget any Tesujis White (it's always Black to play) might have. Furthermore a lot of problems feature Semeais, so you will get used to counting liberties during your own fights, which will make you a stronger fighter and thus strengthen your play in the important middlegame.

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 Post subject: Re: Useful books to become stronger
Post #64 Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:10 pm 
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nice guide mate :D

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 Post subject: Re: Useful books to become stronger
Post #65 Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:49 am 
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SoDesuNe wrote:
Expert-Kyu (2k+ (KGS))

Yi Ch'ang-Ho Selected Tesuji Problems Volume 1 - 3

Yes, it still comes down to more reading practice ; ) Volume one and two will be very easy for players with this rank but nonetheless they are a good repetition.
Volume three increases the difficulty enormous, I think, and needs a lot more careful reading and even spotting the first move. You will have to verify your sequence against a lot of possible counter moves, which will sharpen your structur in reading to not forget any Tesujis White (it's always Black to play) might have. Furthermore a lot of problems feature Semeais, so you will get used to counting liberties during your own fights, which will make you a stronger fighter and thus strengthen your play in the important middlegame.


I think I already told you, but volume 1 of tesuji and tsumego is around my level, and at most I can consider myself 5k (stretching my imagination and asssuming that Igowin HD is accurate in predicting rank). Of course, I misread around 20% of the problems in Tesuji, but the problems are not that hard, more like I have still some blind spots. I would grade at least vol 1 to be for 6k (and very good at getting you ahead). But I'm frightened about your account that vol 3 gets harder! Btw, the tsumego book is slightly harder (for me) than the tesuji book (vol 1).

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 Post subject: Re: Useful books to become stronger
Post #66 Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:31 pm 
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RBerenguel wrote:
at most I can consider myself 5k (stretching my imagination and asssuming that Igowin HD is accurate in predicting rank).


Which is a large assumption... it's not even close to accurate.

I think book guides are always going to be open for interpretation, people learn at different levels and everyone always has something that they are stronger at.

For example:
your opening is awesome
your fighting is too soft
your end game is mediocre

However your opponent might have the inverse:
is bad in opening
has great attacks
awesome in end game

You might both still be of the same level. However a book on opening would be better for the example opponent. Strengths and weaknesses all in relative balance.

So what i am getting at is just because you are X kyu and your opponent is X Kyu also, does not mean you are both at the same level of "insert topic".

:study: Similar mechanics of a Role Playing Game.

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Post #67 Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:53 pm 
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balistic wrote:
nice guide mate :D


I second that. You're guide has been very helpful to me in selecting what problem books I purchased and am now working on. Tesuji problems are really interesting and currently are my favourite problems to do. I am also looking forward to getting Making Good Shape one day when I am stronger. Right now the focus is on all 5 of the intermediate books you recommended.

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Post #68 Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:30 am 
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balistic wrote:
RBerenguel wrote:
at most I can consider myself 5k (stretching my imagination and asssuming that Igowin HD is accurate in predicting rank).


Which is a large assumption... it's not even close to accurate.


Well, it's one of their selling points "Calibrated levels from 18 kyu to 1 Dan to give any player a good even game.", calibrated according to KGS ratings.

Of course I don't think its rating is accurate, I was just using it as an extreme. I assume I'm something like 6.5k on good days.

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Post #69 Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:36 pm 
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I will never understand why people assume they are better than their actual rating. If that were the case they would be at the said better rating. It's a far better measure than speculating about what you could be.

It's like a runner saying "I can run a marathon". "I have never actually finished the full distance, but ive ran 3/4 of it before, so of course i can finish it". It's speculation, life doesnt work like that. You complete the achievment first then get the glory. :salute: Thats not to say that you can't, or won't but claim it with pride when you get there rather than assuming you are 'probably' already there is the best thing a person could do.


Anyway this thread is about books, we don't want to be hijacking.

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Post #70 Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:10 pm 
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Your opinion on this seems rather inconsistent. First you said that assuming that a rating system was accurate was an huge assumption, and then you say you should always trust the rating system...

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Post #71 Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:18 pm 
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speedchase wrote:
Your opinion on this seems rather inconsistent. First you said that assuming that a rating system was accurate was an huge assumption, and then you say you should always trust the rating system...

I don't think you're following. RB said that he thought a certain book was mislabeled because he has an easy time with the problems in it. B replied that the difficulty of a book measured in kyu or dan grades can never be very precise, because each player has more variation in particular areas of the game (and it is these areas that the books cover) than overall. Uncontroversial, no? Then RB and B had an unrelated contretemps about whether a player has a "real" rank that stands apart from their actual rank on a particular go server.

So the first claim was about the relationship between rankings and books, and the second between actual rankings and real rankings.

I really wish I had higher tolerance for people being wrong on the internet.

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Post #72 Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Actually JTS i don't think you are following. RB said he was 5k according igowin HD and ballistic said not to trust it. Th RB said he did not trust his rank and ballistic said that you should always trust a rank provided by a ranking system.

this was separate from the issue of the difficult of LCH tesuji.

As to your final statement I can say I agree.

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Post #73 Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:38 pm 
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speedchase wrote:
Your opinion on this seems rather inconsistent. First you said that assuming that a rating system was accurate was an huge assumption, and then you say you should always trust the rating system...


Firstly, i said that assuming that its rating system was an accurate measure was the assumption. Secondly, i never said trust the rating system.

Actually i said trust your real RANKS which is the measure against other players, i didn't say anything about trusting the rating system. Please dont put words into my mouth.

However you should trust your ranks within their systems that is correct. Allow me to clarify. If KGS gives you a rating and you have played enough games to stablise at a given rank then thats what you are, within that system.

However... if you are using another tool to emulate a rank saying that it's "supposed to" emulate the rank of KGS (external ranking system) and you find that in fact it is different from the actual system, then what good is the refrencing system when you have a clear indicator from the actual system? being in this case KGS.

Sure he is a 5kyu or better WITHIN Igowin's rank system, but thats not KGS which is what the "primary" (reference) system was. Without a primary system, what is the point of a rank? Or even more to the point, what is the point of a rank without it being a measure against other players since that is esentially what it is?

:-?

If you want to continue the discussion speedchase maybe take it to PM its really getting off topic here...

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Post #74 Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:02 am 
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I think there is a problem here. I'll set aside the fact that I hate generalisation, because it is usually (pun intended) wrong.

balistic wrote:
I will never understand why people assume they are better than their actual rating. If that were the case they would be at the said better rating. It's a far better measure than speculating about what you could be.


With the number of rated games I've played in KGS, my rating is still quite unclear. I have also not played a lot lately, and even less, ranked. Since I'm studying the game, even if not playing, I have to assume I'm improving (and since I'm not adding radically new information, I should not be getting worse by trying new things either). In addition to this, I went from 7k (6.8 according to the rank graph) to 8k (7.7 according to the graph) due to two very ugly games I played, one after the other. Since then I have not played a ranked game, only two free games for the ASR league.

The fallacy here is more or less the fact that I have played enough games to stabilise. It's simply not true. I played a few games until "cling", I lost a game and then KGS decided to give me a set rank. I don't know how KGS estimates a rank or how big a confidence interval it uses. When I say I'm probably more like 6.5k, I'm taking into account more things than my current KGS rank, not just pretending to be a stone stronger.

Also getting a stone stronger (at least before shodan I assume) is quite easier than running the last quarter of a marathon (even if I've had no opportunity to test the latter).

jts, speedchase, I also have your tolerance problem ;)

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Post #75 Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:45 am 
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And, yes! I will put some Yi Ch'ang-Ho Tesuji books to lower Kyu-grades (e.g. volume 4 is very easy). But first I'd like to finish them all, so that I don't need to update twice. I'm still with volume five.

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Post #76 Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:50 am 
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RBerenguel wrote:
I think there is a problem here. I'll set aside the fact that I hate generalisation, because it is usually (pun intended) wrong.

balistic wrote:
I will never understand why people assume they are better than their actual rating. If that were the case they would be at the said better rating. It's a far better measure than speculating about what you could be.


With the number of rated games I've played in KGS, my rating is still quite unclear. I have also not played a lot lately, and even less, ranked. Since I'm studying the game, even if not playing, I have to assume I'm improving (and since I'm not adding radically new information, I should not be getting worse by trying new things either). In addition to this, I went from 7k (6.8 according to the rank graph) to 8k (7.7 according to the graph) due to two very ugly games I played, one after the other. Since then I have not played a ranked game, only two free games for the ASR league.

The fallacy here is more or less the fact that I have played enough games to stabilise. It's simply not true. I played a few games until "cling", I lost a game and then KGS decided to give me a set rank. I don't know how KGS estimates a rank or how big a confidence interval it uses. When I say I'm probably more like 6.5k, I'm taking into account more things than my current KGS rank, not just pretending to be a stone stronger.

Also getting a stone stronger (at least before shodan I assume) is quite easier than running the last quarter of a marathon (even if I've had no opportunity to test the latter).

jts, speedchase, I also have your tolerance problem ;)



Fortunately, however i am tolerant. Hence my kindness in replying :)

First, that is your percieved rating, your KGS RANK is still what it is regardless.

Okay so you assume you are getting better. Thats great, ignorance can do wonders i hear. :lol: You still are not grasping this.

Lean in a little closer i am going to share with you the magical mystery of how KGS's ranking system works, you will find its quite similar to the rest of the rated go servers. Alright, so you win games you get a better rank, you lose games and your rank decreases. Its not really that much of a magical mystery afterall is it.

When you use words like "probably" into the mix it just means that you are making more assumptions, which once again takes us back to my point ...Of which i have made countless times by now.

To top it off you close with another assumption about a comparison judgement when you have no experience of doing the compared task... according to yourself that is. Are you connecting the dots yet?

:bow:

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Post #77 Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:20 am 
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Let's stick to basics:

1) If you're playing regularly, there's almost no reason to suspect that your KGS rank is inaccurate.
2) If you think your actual rank is not your KGS rank, there is almost never a reason to say so. You should probably not even think it--put the thought out of your mind. It's a waste of time.
3) It is obviously possible that your KGS rank does not match your actual strength. It may not even match your rank as evidenced by tournament play or face-to-face play. And if your strength changes while you do not play, KGS is obviously incapable of reflecting that.

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Post #78 Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Continuing: a rank is a statistical thing. If you play like a 2k 90% of the time, and then get in a foul mood and lose 15 games in a row, you're not a 2k. Your rank is not what you're capable of playing like. It's what you have played like, on average. That's almost always lower than what you could play like at peak form. But everyone else could also play better at their peak form. If everyone was 1 or 2 stones stronger than their current rank you'd just end up renormalizing and everyone would end up back where they started.

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Post #79 Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:47 pm 
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It's fine to say that someone's KGS rank is always what it is, but this is a tautology that contains no useful information. A more powerful statement like "your KGS rank is a good indicator of your actual strength" is more interesting and may even be generally correct but I suspect the exceptions are legion.

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Post #80 Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:33 am 
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Book reviews of 38 Joseki from Kisedo says that the josekis are sometimes outdated. Is it still useful if I study the book now?

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