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 Post subject: Go Basic Training Series- Chinese problem book set review
Post #1 Posted: Tue May 08, 2018 9:07 pm 
Lives with ko

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Realised I posted this in the wrong forum, should have gone in book reviews. Is it possible for a mod to move it?

Review of the Tesuji books is in this post, as well as a general overview of the series.
Review of the Life and Death books is here; viewtopic.php?f=57&t=15717
Two more reviews to come, when I have some time.

Hi all,

I believe the Chinese (thanks Ed!) title is; 围棋基础训练丛书系列
Bought from; https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=563 ... .N.ac8430e
Authors name seems to be Zhang Jie. He appears to have written a lot of go problem books, many aimed at children.
There are 12 books in the series, divided in to 4 topics, with each topic having books that appear to be divided by strength- 5k, 1k, 1D.

The topics are;
手筋- - tesuji
死活- life and death
对杀- capturing races (Thanks Ed)
吃子- Not sure how to translate. Seems to be tesuji types and other topics not covered elsewhere. E.g. the first book has netting techniques, techniques to make seki, to make ko etc.


The first volumes of the whole series;
Image

The tesuji books;
Image

The life and death books;
Image

The capturing races books;
Image

The (connections/cutting?) books;
Image

The inside of the first tesuji book;
Image

Layout is the same in all books; 6 problems to a page. Answers are given as a single diagram in the back of the book. There are what appears to be example problems at the beginning of each individual books sections. They have several answer diagrams with explanatory text. These problems are not included in the problem count below, but can easily be treated as extra problems.

Each book contains around 250 problems, one book contains just 192 problems, several contain 288.

Tesuji books, contents and sample problems;

Book 1. 5k rating is an overestimation. Starts very easy (trivial questions for SDK).

Sections;
1. Basic Connection Methods
2. Basic Cutting Methods
3. Connection (1)
4. Cutting (1)
5. Connection (2)
6. Cutting (2)
7. Blockading
8. In the opening

Problem 1
Black to connect;

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ +---------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . , . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . O X . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . O . X . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . O . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . X . O . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . X . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------+[/go]


An early black to cut problem;

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ +---------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X O . , . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X O . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X , O X . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . X O . X . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------+[/go]


Problems get more difficult later in the book;

From the blockading section;

Promblem 242

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ +---------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . , . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . X . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . X . X . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O O O X . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------+[/go]



Book 2.
Sections;
1. Connection (1)
2. Cutting
3. Connection (2)
4. Blockading
5. In the opening
6. (I think) Destroying shape
7. Destroying your opponents base
8. Making good shape



First problem, black to connect;

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ +---------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . , . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O O O . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X X O X X X . . . . . |
$$ | . O X O X O O X . , . . . |
$$ | . . X O . O X . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . O . X . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------+[/go]


Problem 207. From the destroying your opponents base section.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ +---------------------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X . X . . . O . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . X . O . O . O . X . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . O X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]



Book 3.
Sections;
1. Connection (1)
2. Cutting
3. Connection (2)
4. Advanced blockading
5. Escaping to the centre
6. Destroying shape
7. Attacking in good shape
8. Advanced tactics
9. Taking the upper hand (?) Maybe something more like; how to gain an advantage.
10. I think this is like a final test?

First problem, black to play and connect his two groups;

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ +---------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O , . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O X . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X O X O O . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X O X . X . , . . . |
$$ | . X . X O X . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . O . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------+[/go]


Problem 174. Black to play and attack white. (From the attacking in good shape section).

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ +---------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . , . . . . . . |
$$ | . O . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X O . . O . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X O . O X . O , . . . |
$$ | . . X . O X . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------+[/go]


Overall the tesuji books seem quite nice. The early problems are quite trivial, but the later ones seem like a good challenge. I'm not really qualified to say what level the problems from the 2nd and 3rd books are at. The first book's first two sections are very easy (Maybe 10k+), the latter sections are probably closer to the advertised level, from 5-1k. I'd be interested to hear from stronger players their thoughts about the later books.

Happy to see lots of problem types that haven't had much coverage in english problem books. I never got much out of e.g. James Davies "Tesuji", because of a lack of a large number of suitable problems. Understanding a tesuji intellectually via description and some examples is not enough for me- I need to drill dozens of problems with that type of tesuji before it starts to sink in, so that I can see them in my games.

I've run out of time for today, but will post the contents and sample problems from the life and death books when I get a chance, hopefully tomorrow. Then will work on the final ones later.

These are my first book reviews, so any advice on how to make it clearer etc. would be appreciated. Shouldn't take me as long to do the rest, now that I know how diagrams etc. all work!


Last edited by zac on Wed May 09, 2018 10:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.

This post by zac was liked by 4 people: Bill Spight, dfan, Waylon, wolfking
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Post #2 Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 12:30 am 
Judan
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Quote:
believe the Mandarin Chinese title is
圍棋基礎訓練叢書系列
Quote:
對殺- not sure how this translates.
CapturingRace


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Post #3 Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 1:21 am 
Lives with ko

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EdLee wrote:
Quote:
believe the Mandarin Chinese title is
圍棋基礎訓練叢書系列
Quote:
對殺- not sure how this translates.
CapturingRace


Thanks Ed,

I figured from the contents that is what is was likely to be titled.
On the Chinese/Mandarin thing, I'm not sure I understand? I thought that the most spoken language across China is standard mandarin, either called Mandarin or Chinese interchangeably? Maybe there is a distinction between the two I don't understand, or a distinction between what is written and what is spoken? If this isn't the case I apologise and will make the edit.

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Post #4 Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 1:48 am 
Gosei
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The official Chinese language in China is most often called Putonghua nowadays.

As for written Chinese, there is simplified Chinese (used in China) and traditional Chinese (used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau).

You can refer to books in simplified Chinese or traditional Chinese books as simply "Chinese language books".

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Post #5 Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 4:02 am 
Judan
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Hi zac,
Quote:
I thought that the most spoken language across China is standard mandarin, either called Mandarin or Chinese interchangeably? Maybe there is a distinction between the two I don't understand, or a distinction between what is written and what is spoken?
No sorry; there's no reason for most people to know the subtleties and nuances.
( Short answers: yes, yes, and yes. :) )
Wikipedia wrote:
Standard Chinese is also commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", ...
In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language.

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Post #6 Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 4:38 pm 
Lives in sente

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My set of these 12 books has now arrived, and I'm very satisfied so far. I'm working through the 5k books, and it's almost all problems I (~3k AGA/KGS) expect to get right at a glance; that's fine, I like training my eye on solve-at-a-glance problems. One thing I particularly like about the capturing-race problems is that sometimes you have to make a tricky move and sometimes you just have to straightforwardly reduce liberties. In general many of the problems look like normal situations that would arise during a game and not like artfully-constructed tsumego, which I appreciate. It looks like the 1k problems will be ones that I would hope to be able to solve during a game, and the 1d ones will be challenging, so that's a perfect spread of difficulties.

Layout, paper, accessibility for non-Chinese readers are all good. I have spotted a couple of typos so far (in one case, the entire problem was accidentally moved one line farther away from the edge of the board, making it unsolvable). Highly recommended for SDKs.

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Post #7 Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 6:37 pm 
Lives with ko

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dfan wrote:
I have spotted a couple of typos so far


This is something I haven't mentioned in my reviews yet; I've noted a couple of mistakes with problems, e.g. one where the first black move was already included on the diagram, making it a more trivial problem (because it didn't include the white response, essentially giving black two moves in a row). Considering there is somewhere upwards of 7000 diagrams across the books, the quality seems pretty good. Of course it would be nice if there were no mistakes, but for the price I certainly can't complain. I'm especially happy seeing problem types that I haven't seen much of in English problem books, e.g. the blockading section from the tesuji books.

Did you also buy the speed baduk books? If so, how are they?

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Post #8 Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 8:27 pm 
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zac wrote:
Did you also buy the speed baduk books? If so, how are they?

I've only looked briefly, but they look good. Unfortunately, the Intermediate series does not have answers! This is especially unfortunate given that not all of the problems are life-and-death type problems with clear solutions. If they are really exactly the same books as Speed Baduk 10-12 then I can just try to order the answer book to those. (If someone here has those books I'd be happy to send you scans of a few pages to see if they match.) They do come with one DVD per book that my computer can't even load.

The Advanced series does have answers in the back of the books.

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Post #9 Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:35 pm 
Lives with ko

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dfan wrote:
zac wrote:
Did you also buy the speed baduk books? If so, how are they?

I've only looked briefly, but they look good. Unfortunately, the Intermediate series does not have answers! This is especially unfortunate given that not all of the problems are life-and-death type problems with clear solutions. If they are really exactly the same books as Speed Baduk 10-12 then I can just try to order the answer book to those. (If someone here has those books I'd be happy to send you scans of a few pages to see if they match.) They do come with one DVD per book that my computer can't even load.

The Advanced series does have answers in the back of the books.


Ah, how disappointing.
Once you've had a bit more of a look, could you let me know roughly what level the advanced books start at? Are they the three books before train like a pro?

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Post #10 Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 1:33 am 
Gosei
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dfan wrote:
zac wrote:
Did you also buy the speed baduk books? If so, how are they?

I've only looked briefly, but they look good. Unfortunately, the Intermediate series does not have answers! This is especially unfortunate given that not all of the problems are life-and-death type problems with clear solutions. If they are really exactly the same books as Speed Baduk 10-12 then I can just try to order the answer book to those. (If someone here has those books I'd be happy to send you scans of a few pages to see if they match.) They do come with one DVD per book that my computer can't even load.

The Advanced series does have answers in the back of the books.

I took another look at this series, it looks like answers are only provided in the Advanced and the Dan series. At least this is the case for the editions I have which did not come with any DVDs. You'd need to get the English answer books for Speed Baduk. https://www.schaakengo.nl/goshop-keima/ ... /oromedia/

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Post #11 Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 3:58 am 
Lives in sente

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dfan wrote:
zac wrote:
Did you also buy the speed baduk books? If so, how are they?

I've only looked briefly, but they look good. Unfortunately, the Intermediate series does not have answers! This is especially unfortunate given that not all of the problems are life-and-death type problems with clear solutions. If they are really exactly the same books as Speed Baduk 10-12 then I can just try to order the answer book to those. (If someone here has those books I'd be happy to send you scans of a few pages to see if they match.) They do come with one DVD per book that my computer can't even load.

The Speed Baduk 10-12 answer book is listed on Yutopian's website, but I know it's out of print and they frequently list books they do not actually still have in stock, so I sent an email asking if they really had it. I got an answer that they did and that I should go ahead and order it, so I did, to which I got a reply that the book was not available. :scratch: Next stop, the Netherlands...

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