My Baduk Library is Born! :)

I am methodical about learning: after deciding on what skills are important to study comes the research to discover what is the best material I have (or will have) the means to obtain, then I gather the resources for each stage.

I can usually procure some items along the way, but the few books about Go available in my country cost too much1 and I cannot afford international shipping fees for multiple individual titles. Buying in bulk makes more sense.2

Today I received my first order from Kiseido:

  • Kageyama's Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go;
  • Davies' Life and Death;
  • Ishida & Davies' Attack and Defense;
  • Bozulich's 1001 Life and Death Problems;
  • Aoki & Sato's GGPFDP Volume One: 300 Life and Death Problems;
  • Aoki & Sato's GGPFDP Volume Two: 300 Tesuji Problems.

I am mostly following Justin Teng’s Personal Book Collection and Guide and I have the material I will need up to 1k—I already had Otake’s Opening Theory Made Easy, Shuko’s Reducing Territorial Frameworks and Bozulich’s Get Strong at the Endgame.

Of course, I know I will not get anywhere without both practice and the proper mindset, but the former I can work on and sensei Kageyama provided guidance about the latter (and the overall learning methodology) in his book:

No doubt the first requirement for becoming strong at Go is to like it, like it more than food or drink, and a second requirement is the desire to learn. A third requirement is to study it, using proper methods, patiently, little by little, without cramming. Ask dan-level amateurs and you will find that they did not become stronger just by playing their opponents for fun. Each one kindled the desire to learn more, and put in no small amount of time studying. Each one will have a few tales of hardship along the way to tell. Rome was not built in a day. It may not take years of devoted study to the exclusion of all else, but it does take effort piled upon effort to became strong at Go. The only ones who fall by the wayside are those, be they gifted or otherwise, who forget the word “effort”.

Before I conclude, it would be remiss of me not to add that doing business Kiseido was a very satisfying experience.3 Not only Mr. Bozulich is a pleasure to interact with, but everything was done very efficiently. And unlike it usually happens,

  • The books were not retained in Customs for up to two months;
  • Our Glorious Postal Systemtm did not ask for extra R$ 15.00 to deliver them for their being imported;
  • It did not take a few extra weeks for them to arrive.

All that might be due to a combination of many fortuitous circumstances, but, say what you will, my grandkids will hear about the time when a bureaucrat somewhere in Brazil was processing a delivery and figured that matters would be taken to the goban if everything did not run smoothly.

My books are here, I played Go this morning and I will see my girlfriend later. Today is a happy day. :slight_smile:

1 For comparison: Attack and Defense costs U$ 41.50 on Amazon BR, while I got it from Kiseido for U$ 20.00 (with a 10% discount and free shipping for ordering more than four books).

2 Not to mention that buying in bulk reduces the risk of spending the money on other things in the meantime:

When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.

— Erasmus

3 By the way, I have no ties to Kiseido, I am not someone’s cousin or anything, I am just genuinely pleased.


I envy your confidence. I’d never dare to buy a dan level book! :slight_smile:

I wish you success on your journey and that you’ll have a lot of fun along the way.

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For the OP: Cool. Enjoy your books.

For anyone else who is new and curious, the answer is “No. ‘Graded Go Problems for Dan Players’ is not even a remotely appropriate book for someone in double-digit kyu.” There are so, so many other problems to work on first.

Even trying to solve the problems in “Life and Death” in your head is a big stretch at that level, but it’s good practice at least.

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It’s resource allocation rather than confidence: Justin Teng recommends those for 9k-1k players (and the covers put them at a 5k to 3d range).

Thank you very much! And the same to you!

That’s a very good remark. Being new and curious myself, I only got them at this point because I was already acquiring other books, closer to my level, and it made more sense for me to take advantage of the discounts and purchase everything with a single order.


I recommend that you also check out “Tesuji” (vol 3 in the Elementary Go Series). It’s kind of like a companion to the similarly presented “Life and Death” book.


That seems like a good price. I bought Attack and Defense and Tesuji from Hoyle’s of Oxford in the UK. They cost £14.99 GBP with £3.95 shipping, which works out at about $22 USD per book.

I feel like you’re missing one of my favorite books; Get Strong at Tesuji, from the ‘Get Strong at Go series’.

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i would like to share some of my experience:
much of the learning, is done by trying out new moves in game, unorthodocs moves, and trying to understand why they are bad.
so my usual process after reading a chapter in a theory book, is to first try out the ideas of the book, and then try the exact opposite.

more over, while effort and study are important, remmember to have fun playing, when you eventually find yourself without the time to properly study and improve, try to play one or 2 relaxing games per day, maybe even 9*9 games, just as a way to keep what you learned so far alive. (i usually play a game or 2 on my phone, on the way to work)


@yebellz & @_oopsImStoned: Thank you very much! Both Tesuji and Get Strong at Tesuji are in my list—in fact, their entire series (plus Mastering the Basics)—for brighter times ahead. There are many things I would like to do right now—if I had my way, I would enroll in Blackies’s International Baduk Academy, for example—but I reckon things are never ideal, and sometimes they can be even less ideal than usual, but I will work with what I have, both to improve my Go and to expand my agency. I’m glad that I won’t be suffering from book buying disease any time soon. :P

@levav: I have one advantage: the sort of practice that others might consider drudgery actually delights me—going through GoChild’s problems, for instance, is making me feel like a kid again. Sometimes, and I don’t only refer to Go, I struggle to get the best answer, but the feeling when I finally, finally comprehend does more than compensate. But if the time comes when the evening starts interrogating me about the folly of keeping pressing ahead, and sadness sets in, I will fondly remember your advice. Thank you so much!

I honestly love you’re writing style, just had to say it.
and GoChild definitely has that effect. breaking through and understanding a new problem set, is so rewarding. at 6D tygem, i still havent managed half of the red problems ^^

@levav: I wrote this in my preface to the revised edition of 81 Little Lions:

As profound as Go is, there is one aspect of its beauty that even a complete beginner can appreciate: its community. In the short period since I decided to study this wonderful game, I have met many amazing, dedicated individuals who took their time to patiently teach and inspire me. I am truly indebted to every single one of them and they have my admiration.

Not a single day passes that someone here won’t remind me of those words and prove them true with their kindness and dedication—as your post just did. Thank you. Thank you all. :slight_smile:

And, you know, after finishing the sets of problems about ladders and nets on GoChild, I figured I might as well rewatch White Heat:



If I had never begun reading stuff that was way over my head I’d never have learned all that I have learned.

I remember how I got my first own computer in 1988 … and I immediately subscribed to some German Atari ST magazine … and I did not understand ONE WORD, not one acronym (I mean, RAM and HD etc.). Came the 3rd issue, I had begun understanding a little more, and a few years later I was sort of an allrounder, knowing several operating systems … and I slipped into design and print media, sidewise, no formal training whatsoever, even later I was a certified instructor/lecturer/teacher for print media design professionals <shrug>

I believe that enthusiasm, together with curiosity and perseverance, can take you ANYWHERE.

And to @lucasfelix: I can strongly recommend most all books by Robert Jasiek, and I suspect that especially his First Fundamentals helped me to progress from ~17k to ~9k in relatively short time. It was not directly after reading, though … I think these things need to be “fermented” in our “subconscious” for a while.
Very systematic, and IMO he has an awesome clear way of writing (even though in his earlier books his English was sometimes a bit clumsy).

I had Jasiek's page bookmarked but wasn't planning to get any of his books any time soon, since I couldn't find many used copies online and wouldn't be able to afford new ones. But I didn't know they were available as PDFs. This is just great!

By the time I finish Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go and Opening Theory Made Easy, I should have enough to buy First Fundamentals—and his Fighting Fundamentals, which I’ve seen you also recommending to a fellow Brazilian, sounds like a very good follow-up to Attack and Defense.

Thank you very much, @trohde!

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You’re very welcome, @lucasfelix, and please let us know later what you think of all those books!

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I will!