Cho Chikun's Encyclopedia of Life and Death - Elementary 25 kyu

Hello everybody! I would like to ask if any of you have any experience with the Cho Chikun’s Encyclopedia of Life and Death - Elementary 25 kyu tasks, and are these really 25 kyu?
I am still a beginner, but I solve other Problems 15 - 20 kyu with much more ease than the Cho Chikun tasks. From about task 18 on there are more and more difficult tasks for me.


No! Stay away from Chomego - He is a troll who wants to make beginners solve double-ko puzzles. Don’t believe anyone who says otherwise; they are hired by Cho for an elaborate trolling scheme. See here to see how big a troll he is:


A while ago I did the elementary and intermediate level of encyclopedia of life and death (but there was no level indication, so maybe it was not the same thing).

I remember that I found the difficulty very inconsistent. In the elementary some were beginner level and some gave me trouble when I was 8-5k. In the intermediate some felt like 15k and some gave me trouble as a 1k.


I think one of the problems is that assigning a tsumego or other type of go problem a rank is that you’re kind of assuming (or maybe insinuating, even unintentionally) that players of a certain level will have come across this before, which probably isn’t always the case.

Some people won’t sit down methodically to study go from the easiest of problems to the hardest in order. More than likely people just play games and learn from their mistakes possibly with instruction from a stronger player, so things can get out of order from what a book might deem logical.

It makes sense if you’re writing a series of books of problems that you might assign them a rating to keep things logically consistent, if you can solve my x kyu problems then you should be able to solve my y kyu problems if y>x. Whether these can really transfer to actual go ratings for a go federation or an online go server is debatable.

It’s also probably unlikely that an exact problem studied comes up in precisely the same way in a game, and worse some problems that are almost the same come up with one stone more or less and the method to solve or the status of the group is wildly different :slight_smile:


To get back to the question at hand though, if you’re talking about the puzzle collection on OGS, the puzzle creator can set that puzzle level themselves.

I think you’re right in that the puzzles start out really basic, like one move to live/kill but then move up in difficulty.

Also there’s two different users that made a “Cho Chikun’s Encyclopedia of Life and Death - Elementary” and they give them wildly different ratings 25kyu and 12kyu.

I think one issue as well is giving one rating to such a large collection of puzzles, it’s not set per puzzle which would be more work but would make more sense.

If you check some other puzzle collections where people have individually rated puzzles you’ll see it’ll show a range of ranks for the whole collection. I was trying to study this position for example and I thought it’d be fun to make a puzzle out of it to collect thoughts a bit easier than a demo board. I don’t think I’m a great judge of the level of each puzzle but I think other puzzle books for dan players had these in them and I asked someone about it. (The mistakes in the puzzles are my own though if there are any)


Check out “all about life and death” by Cho Chikun. That book put things in perspective for me. He explains most positions from that elementary collection in a step-by-step fashion. I think the l&d collection is supposed to be solved either after reading that or by taking help from that book at times.


Thanks a lot for your answers!


Welcome @matthiasrichter66 to OGS. There is another thread that discusses the question of how to assign rank levels to tsumego, but I don’t have the time to search for it. Also, there has been discussion of whether solving tsumegos is helpful. Some believe in it (me) and some don’t. I have been through the Chikun Elementary and Intermediate collections three times. I think going back periodically helps to inculcate pattern recognition. As you can see from the preceding replies, the ranks assigned do feel inconsistent and assigning ranks to tsumego is a problematic matter in any case. The thing I like about Chikun’s Encyclopedia is that it does cover a lot of basic positions. My bottom-line advice would be don’t worry abut how hard the tsumegos are. If they are too hard, move on to others (OGS has thousands under the Puzzle tab). Then come back later to the hard ones, when you are stronger, and you’ll be amazed how easy they have become.


Dear Conrad, thank you for your thoughts! At the age of 55 I decided not to play chess anymore (at least I made it to Elo 2300), but to learn something new: Go! Now I have some experience with chess training, and “Pattern Recogition” is one of the most important things there. Playing and solving tasks helps the most.
But being a beginner again is not that easy :wink:
The idea to start with an Elo of -100 is the same :wink:
I would like to become a DK player at go, maybe I will succeed in a few years. Thanks a lot!


Exactly same age, same country and also a convert from chess. We have a lot in common it seems. :slight_smile: If you ever want a (correspondence) game against someone who is on the same road, just a bit ahead, feel free to send me a challenge! :slight_smile:


Vielen Dank für das freundliche Angebot! Ich kenne die Go Regeln aber erst seit Ende April, und obwohl ich mich recht viel mit der “neuen Liebe” beschäftige, werde ich wohl noch lange ein Anfänger bleiben. Wenn es etwas besser geworden ist, würde ich gerne auf Ihr Angebot zurück kommen.
Herzliche Grüße und gute Gesundheit aus der Lüneburger Heide,