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Life and Death (Elementary Go (Kiseido)) Paperback – August, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great problem book on life and death. Problems are well organized so it serves as a good reference as well.Published 12 months ago by Mathieu Lalonde
Excellent book. Short, to the point, and has already improved my ability to assess the life or death of a board position. Read morePublished 23 months ago by N.
Perhaps others will not have as much difficult as I've had with many the types of problems in this book, but most of the concepts have been very tough to get, so far. Read morePublished on January 5, 2012 by audie
A very good resource for experienced Go players who are ready to move to the next level.Published on July 10, 2010 by Mrs. Entity
I find this book very helpful. I was looking for basic principles to apply in various situations. This book does that. Read morePublished on June 8, 2009 by Withans
After the first 20 pages, I was making 20-point plays
in games that I would never have seen before this
book. Read more
This book introduces different life and death situations and variations of them. Actually the book has 36 groups of different shapes of life and death situations. Read morePublished on February 20, 2006 by Amazon Customer