Immanuel Devillers - 81 Little Lions - An introduction to the 9x9 board for advanced beginners

Hey everyone. I wrote a book about the 9x9 board, aimed for players around 15 Kyu and stronger.

The PDF will probably be updated several times in the upcoming days, mainly because of feedback and fixing spelling mistakes: Dropbox - 81_little_lions_an_introduction_to_the_9x9_board_for_advanced_beginners.pdf - Simplify your life

I have never written a book before, and there are already a lot of good Go books out there. So I tried to stick to the main topics of the 9x9 board and explain them for all beginners; which is why the book is rather short. I am also aware that books written by amateurs lack the wisdom and experience of any Pro player. I tried to compensate for that by taking most examples out of Pro games.

Nevertheless, I hope you can get some joy out of reading it, or (even better) learn something new. :blush: I really have no idea if there is big value in it, I just wanted to write down my 9x9 knowledge and share it.

I’m happy for any feedback that is sent to me via Mail or PM, and I’ll certainly improve any parts that are unclear!

Immanuel Devillers, M.D. :sunny:

You are free to share the book uncomercially. Future updates will be released via the new OGS Resource page. :blush:


<edit 2019-03-10>


Please visit this thread:


That’s abso-friggin’-lutely awesome, man! Thank you! :heart:


I love it! I might want to ask some questions about your decisions when writing it. At the very start:

  1. Did you consult with 15kyu players or test these out on them?
  2. Were there concepts you thought of adding, then decided not to include for some reason?
  3. Are there any concepts in the book that you wish you’d managed to express better in some way?
  4. Did you, during the drafting of the work, restructure the order at any point? Why?

Hey Forensicator! Thanks for the nice words. :blush:

  1. Let me try to answer your questions. When I started writing, I wanted to write an article about 9x9 Go initially. One, that you read and learn something new about 9x9. However, after starting with the basics-chapter, the text went longer and longer, and suddenly I was sitting at ~20 pages.

I then had the idea to make a PDF out of it, instead of an article, and distribute it for free over the internet, in a book form. I consulted with a lot of 15 Kyu players before, but not about the topics of the book, but as a teacher. I’m the teacher of a group of around 4 people that play 9x9 regularily with me (in real life). From that experience, I found out where the weak spots around 15-10 Kyu are, concerning the 9x9 board.

  1. Indeed! At first, I wanted to include sections where I explain a lot of basic stuff like Sente, Gote, Ko, etc. But I decided against it after thinking over it a few days. The main reason was, that there are a lot of excellent beginner books out there that cover all these topics. I then decided to write in 9x9 only.

  2. I wish I had a lot more time to make a 200 pages book out of it, and I certainly have enough material for that, but my (real) work can take up to 56 hours and more each week, so there is little time for it. (Next to moderating OGS, playing Go, family and other hobbies).

  3. Absolutely! :blush: It was an article first, then changed into a book. (I created the table of contents and the introduction at the very end)


Thanks for all the feedback so far! :blush:


Very good job !!! Usefull. Thank you very much. :smile:


Thanks! :slight_smile:


It feels like I need to pass these on so that you know, @Françisa, since not every “liker” and “plusser” and resharer comes here to thank you:


This from the FB group Go (Weiqi) Players on Facebook, I’m leaving out the numbers from the other groups where I shared it, perhaps a dozen more:

All these likes and plusses are yours, they have just been given to me so that I let you know :wink:


Wow, thank you! :heart_eyes:

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BTW, this nice li’l booklet has been updated meanwhile … haven’t looked for changes, though, but now the version number is 0.90, and the author info has been changed to real name, with another email address associated.


Are you sure you want to continue this old conversation?

Yes, i am sure, since this awesome, beginner friendly booklet is something worth bumping :slight_smile:


This sounds great, but the link to the book doesn’t work. Help?

Works for me. Perhaps your computer was low on memory or you didn’t wait long enough?

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Yes, it just now worked for me. Last night I got an error message from the web site (not a browser issue), so perhaps the site was temporarily down. Thanks for your response. This looks like a great book, and I’m eager to read it

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The annual bump is long overdue :sunglasses:


Thank you, Francisa!


I am reading it with interest. Thanks a lot for sharing knowledge and love for Go.


Thank you!

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Thanks a ton for this. I felt that many times 9x9 is the suggested beginner board, but most strategy, etc. applied to 19x19. Great little book, and I sincerely appreciate your generosity in distributing it freely.


@Françisa, thank you very much for such an amazing resource. I would really like to translate your book into Brazilian Portuguese. Could you please message me in case the idea sounds good to you?

P.S.: I’m unable to send messages at the moment, which is why I decided to bump this topic instead—one I’m sure no one will mind me bumping.