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 Post subject: Improving Life & Death?
Post #1 Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 3:03 pm 
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I really want to improve on my reading skill in life & death. I suspect the solution is "do a bunch of problems," which is great. But are there any problem collections or books you recommend? Get Strong series, Elementary series?

Any tips to share?

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Post #2 Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:10 pm 
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All the life and death books I've ready had something to offer, including the Get Strong and Elementary series. I'd say pick one and get started.

Also, you can do a lot of problems for free at http://www.goproblems.com

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 Post subject: Re: Improving Life & Death?
Post #3 Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:20 pm 
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I recommend the elementary go series to become familiar with the theory and concept. After that you can choose either of the series published by Kiseido.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving Life & Death?
Post #4 Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:28 pm 
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Hi,

I recently ordered Elementary Go Series: Life and Death and Graded Go Problems for Beginners vol. 3. They should arrive in a few days and I will let you know what I think... Life and Death was recommended to me by someone who said it is an almost-necessary read for reaching Shodan. Supposedly it teaches you most of the corner patterns and how to kill them/live with them, etc.

If you are going to order books, now is a good time - Kiseido is having a sale this month. http://www.usgo.org/news/2010/04/go-cla ... ring-sale/

Hmm, I ordered my books on April 27, I wonder if I will get the discount...

Other than that, you are correct: tsumego (as far as I've been told, anyway)! I use Goproblems.com (although sometimes the interface is a bit buggy for me) and SmartGo.

Nik

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 Post subject: Re: Improving Life & Death?
Post #5 Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:31 pm 
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Nikolas73 wrote:
Life and Death was recommended to me by someone who said it is an almost-necessary read for reaching Shodan. Supposedly it teaches you most of the corner patterns and how to kill them/live with them, etc.


Both L&D and Tesuji by James Davies are essential reading for an aspiring shodan. Along with Lesson in the Fundamentals they have been my top three recommendations since they were first published.

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Post #6 Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 5:28 pm 
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I recently got the book: "LevelUp Essential Life and Death 1". I am really enjoying it, so I'll say a little bit about it.

First off, the book has about 918 problems (I'm talking just about volume 1, not the entire set. Seems reasonable to guess that the whole set of four books is some where near 3,500 to 4,000 problems total). The problems are printed six diagrams to a page. The problems are a nice comfortable size at about 3"x2.5" each. No answers are given (though the problem book makes reference to an answer book, not sure on details).

The problems are advertised as being "likely to come up in your games". Problems are grouped by theme. For example, you might see six (or twelve) problems related to the theme of "false eye by cutting". By the end of the set, you are sensitive to that situation, and you know to take care in similar situations.

However, the problem sets build upon previous themes. For example the "false eye by underneath attachment" problem set is essentially one move deeper than the "false eye by cutting" problem set. That is to say reading out a move in in the set of "underneath" problems gets you too a diagram you solved in the "false eye by cutting" set.

After a series of problem sets, there is a couple of pages of review usually with new problems exercising the same principles you've just learned.

The first volume has six pro game records to mix up the pace a little. The records only show perhaps the first 40-50 moves in the game, and give very terse explanations of some of the moves, for example "39) shoulder hit; 40) If shoulder hit? Then push!". (if you take an interest in one of the games - tough luck, the players names aren't given. Get back to solving problems. ;) )

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 Post subject: Re: Improving Life & Death?
Post #7 Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 8:57 pm 
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rubin427 wrote:
No answers are given (though the problem book makes reference to an answer book, not sure on details).
Here you go: http://baduktopia.com/asapro/board/show ... =7&pkid=13

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Post #8 Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:30 pm 
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The solution isn't just to do a bunch of a problems. You need to play many games and go over them thoroughly! In every game, there are always a few "raw" L&D problems that are sometimes even better than a book problem because it's much more "real" and you don't know if there's even a solution. Sometimes the tsumego you find in books are just too artificial. Sure they will still help you with reading, but it's just not the same as what you see in games.

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Post #9 Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:38 am 
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Most good problem books cover shapes that might turn up in games.

"Knowing" certain shapes (I think DrStraw talks of "hardwiring" in this context) saves a lot of time in games with a clock (tourney or internet) and there are certain shapes that turn up over and over again. Up to 1d level, one should know almost any group that has up to 8 inside space in a corner. These shapes can be studied like Joseki: dont just learn the main route, but also understand why each move in the main route is the best and what happens if one player deviates.

Important sub-groups:
(you can find these on senseis library i guess)
3-3 invasion shapes
L-Group
Carpenters Square
Tripod

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 Post subject: Re: Improving Life & Death?
Post #10 Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 1:50 am 
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I'd suggest the entire Graded Go Problems for Beginner (for 10k maybe just vol. 3+4), Get Strong at Tesuji, 1001 Life and Death Problems and Tesuji by James Davies.

Later on, Graded Go Problems for Dan Players and 501 Tesuji Problems.


Personally, I disliked Life and Death of the Elementary Series. Lots of useful knowledge in there, but it's presented very, very boring. I think while going through all the other book, you'll reach Shodan without having to read this book.

But I am no Dan-player and on top I dislike Lessons in the fundamentals of Go aswell, so, just my opinion : )



post scriptum: To hardwire specific groups, I think Cho Chikun's Ecyclopedia of Life and Death (1+2) is very good. Cho Chikun's Problems for beginners/intermdiate/advanced players cover a very wide spectrum aswell, but there is a lot of similiar looking problems, and yeah, I find that boring =D

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Post #11 Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:25 am 
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I really enjoyed the Lee Chang Ho Life and Death Series.

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Post #12 Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:50 am 
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A couple of other good resources with lots of categorized easier problems are:

http://321go.org/cursus/

and

http://www.gochildgame.com/en/

Other than that, both

1001 Life-and-Death Problems and Get Strong at Tesuji

offer lots of relatively easy problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving Life & Death?
Post #13 Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:51 am 
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I've said this in other threads, but at 10k Life and Death (the Davies book) was over my head and turned me off of life and death entirely for a while. I don't doubt that I will need to master it before becoming 1 dan but that day is still a ways away. My personal recommendations for you would be Graded Go Problems for Beginners (because I always recommend easier books than others do, I'd say start with volume 2) and 1001 Life and Death Problems (maybe just the one-move problems for now).

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 Post subject: Re: Improving Life & Death?
Post #14 Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 5:48 pm 
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dfan wrote:
I've said this in other threads, but at 10k Life and Death (the Davies book) was over my head and turned me off of life and death entirely for a while.


I'm glad to hear to say this. I've gotten a few chapters into Davies L&D. The first few chapters are helpful and easy enough--particularly regarding the basic shapes--but it quickly is becoming a little too much for me.

That said, I played a game after getting a little frustrating with the book and I killed two groups and successfully invaded at a 3-3 point with other opponent stones nearby (in addition to the hoshi). No really hard L&D problems came up, but I guess I had "stretched" my brain a bit and had an easier time finding where to play. Maybe it was a coincidence, but I never try the 3-3 invasion and almost never kill groups.

Even still, I'd like to warm up to the rest of the book before tackling it. I feel like I could advance some without getting as much of a headache and come back to it.

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Post #15 Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:19 pm 
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Graded Go Problems for Beginners has been doing wonders for me, i also sometimes solve problems from internet pages like (goproblems.com, etc)

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Post #16 Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 3:43 pm 
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dfan wrote:
I've said this in other threads, but at 10k Life and Death (the Davies book) was over my head and turned me off of life and death entirely for a while.


I struggled through Davies' L&D book twice a few years ago, but have had no desire to return to it. Somehow, the book just seems dry (more than other tsumego books) and I've heard a lot of people say they didn't like it. In fact, I once read a comment from a 5d player who'd owned the book since it was first published in the 1970s, and claimed he was never able to make it all the way through the book!

To the OP, like some of the other posters, I'd recommend 1001 Life and Death Problems. The Korean Problem Academy on Gobase is nice too, provided you have an account. Once you've mastered 1001 L&D, think about one of the tesuji dictionaries.

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Post #17 Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 4:40 pm 
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Cho Chikun's 'all about life and death' is a lot nicer to read than the Elementary Go series L&D. Of course being OOP it's hard to get and expensive.

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Post #18 Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 5:23 am 
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You may also try http://senseis.xmp.net/?BeginnerExercises

However, the key thing is to recognize life and death situations when they arise in your games. Therefore, doing problems should go in conjunction with playing games.

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Post #19 Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:20 am 
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I like davies L&D a lot. It is systematical, you learn step by step.
Last week, in the Amsterdam tournament, I had the L&D problem shown in the picture ( bottom left corner ).
As black ( 7 k ) I was happy to know that I could live with Bb3. Thx to Davies. Stupidly I replied Bb1 against We2 next, but he did not see the killing continuation at Wa2.


Attachments:
File comment: L&D in the bottom left corner
CIMG1004.JPG
CIMG1004.JPG [ 57.3 KiB | Viewed 4092 times ]

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Post #20 Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 1:56 pm 
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Araban wrote:
You need to play many games and go over them thoroughly!

Didn't work for me. When I still played a lot, I lost because of stupid DDK blunders in the very most cases. Somehow the mistakes didn't want to enter my long-term memory. It seems these situations didn't occur frequently enough to get hardwired. Probably I am already too old.

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