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Life and Death (Elementary Go (Kiseido)) Paperback – August 1, 1996


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Life and Death (Elementary Go (Kiseido)) + Tesuji + 38 Basic Joseki (Elementary Go Series, Vol. 2) (Beginner and Elementary Go Books)
Price for all three: $49.50

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Product Details

  • Series: Elementary Go (Kiseido) (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Kiseido Publishing Co; 2 edition (August 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4906574130
  • ISBN-13: 978-4906574131
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 4.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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After that thera are a few problems and pretty good answers to problems.
Amazon Customer
A chapter is begun by introducing the reader to the shape and showing them some of the common continuations that can occur.
Shorebird
This book is perfect for advanced beginners who are ready to continue disciplining their game.
Geographer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
One of the first mountains a beginning Go player has to climb is deciding when a group of pieces has a living shape and what do to get a group into shape. Until this is mastered one is playing 'accidental' Go. In other words, lacking a tactical target, issues of life and death are settled without a clear picture of the desired effect. Which is why early play at the Go board often feels like someone just pulled the rug out from under you.
No surprise then that there are many books on tactical play and analysis. James Davies' "Life and Death" is a very neat volume that organizes itself around shape and provides the basic proverbs that will help a player get a good start. Only experience will completely demystify life and death, but this book provides the kind of lessons that help a players bootstrap themselves up to a respectable game.
Each chapter is short and to the point, with several examples and a number of carefully thought out problems and status analyses. Since the focus of the book is not to test the player's IQ but to provide information in digestible pieces the material is easily accessible, which is not always the case with Go books. Lots of additional review problems are also provided.
The advantage to this entire series is not only the transparency of the lessons, but the author's careful adherence to a size and format that makes this a truly portable book. Go, especially in it's most minimalist form (a small magnetic set, for example) is every bit as backpack friendly as checkers and is much more fascinating. "Life and Death" is an excellent companion for the serendipitous traveler.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on January 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a Go beginner, I recommend studying (as I did) the book of Go problems for 30-25 Kyu before this one.

But after that and Richard Bozulich's book, this is certainly the next book to turn to.

I'm currently studying this book, "Life and Death," and another book in this series by the same author, "Tesuji."

"Life and Death" is a step easier than "Tesuji," although counter-intuitively they are volumes 4 and 3 in the series. Although the techniques used to kill or save groups come from "Tesuji," the positions in "Life and Death" are simpler, more basic and far, far more common. The problems are a bit easier. So I recommend studying this one first.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book contains Go life and death analysis from easier to more complex shapes. Of each shape the basic vital points are explained for both players. Special cases of each shape are presented as problems. Much of the problems are in form of 'what is status?', but also 'white to kill', 'black to live', 'white to make ko' kind of problems appear. Reading this book takes quite a time, but as result gives some stones in Go strength. I strongly recomend to have in addition some lighter (like: In the Begining) Go reading to relax with if cracking problems taxes too much.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Shorebird on December 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Introduction:

Life and death is one of the critical elements in the/a game of go, but what exactly is it? It is simply whether a player's stones are captured or prevented from being captured (though I won't go into a deeper explanation here). It's simple, yet very important. To become a strong player, an important fundamental is to be strong in life and death, and if you ask any go player (amatuer or professional) how, the answer will be "Solve lots of life and death problems."

Solving problems helps strengthen a go player's reading ability, and with repetition, the shapes in the problems will be more familiar to the player when they appear in his games (reading is when a player mentally forsees how the game will continue, thinking about different continuations, and to the find the best result possible for both sides). These fundamental shapes also appear in life and death.

The Book:

Content:

Normally, books about life and death are simply "problem books," which simply contain life and death problems. Life and Death (the book) is a bit different, and is mainly concerned about the fundamental shapes that appear.

The book begins with a small introduction about life and death, and defines some common terms that the reader will need to know. Moving along, each chapter is devoted to a specific shape, or theme. A chapter is begun by introducing the reader to the shape and showing them some of the common continuations that can occur. On the next page, the reader is put to the test, and is given some problems to solve.

Difficulty:

N.B.: The content in this book is aimed at stronger players who are at least in the single digit kyu range (9k up), and will not be suitable for beginners.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By stephen uurtamo on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
After the first 20 pages, I was making 20-point plays

in games that I would never have seen before this

book. Whole categories of life and death problems

can be reduced to simple questions about the shape of

their potential eyespace. Having this in your favor

is something that every player needs to know.

Some of the problems are fairly tricky at the 10kyu level.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jill Malter on December 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Having recently read a few books that tried to answer the question, "What is Life?" I was glad to find this one! The answer is simple. Life is two eyes! If you have only one eye, you are dead.

That is why the door group is as dead as a, um, doornail. It only produces one eye.

You can't enjoy a game of go unless you have a pretty good idea if your groups are dead or alive. And this book is good at teaching you to see which shapes can form two eyes and which shapes can not. The chapters and quizzes in this book are excellent training. If you can answer the "status?" questions correctly, you are well on your way towards doing some serious damage to many of your opponent's more dubious formations.

Once you have learned the elements of go and have played some games, what comes next? Well, you need to learn a little about fuseki and joseki. And tesuji (or you won't be able to understand this book). But the first topic you need to learn really well is this one. And that's where this book comes in handy.
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