The Legendary “Dsaun Shape Lecture”

The above link is to an amazing lecture on shape, sure to benefit any new user on how to play stronger.
information like this is readily available if we can hunt for the information.
Edit: [redacted] Another information hub

Recently I found that there is a highly regarded e-book on shape called Shape Up! It’s hosted in various places.

Here is a link to the OGS copy;

This e-book has helped me a great deal.


Hello @AgentNeigh,

I took liberty to move your valuable comment from the thread (where it was sort of off-topic) to a post for itself in the “Go Resources” section, and I gave it the title it (IMHO) deserves :slight_smile:


And @Farraway: here’s also the corresponding official post:


This is an easy link including 5 additional books.
I’ve read 81 little lions and shape up. Both are highly recommended.


Hello! I begin my adventure with this game and I am really interested what is going on in this video. Could you explain me this phenomenom? :slight_smile:

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Just like to add from personal experience that reading books about making good shape and knowing all the different shapes like bamboo, table and sake bottle did nothing for my game as a beginner and now as and intermediate player, I don’t need it because it comes naturally already.

Good to know but good shape will come with good Go sense naturally. Making a bamboo or ponnuki shape on it’s own is useless. Shape books usually leave out how they are formed. Even if they do include it, you won’t implement it in your games because the situation where they arise from won’t occur with your bad play at the beginning stage and you most likely won’t need them (shape books) when they do come naturally later.


Now the question is how will something become natural… I kinda agree with theory unconscious incompetence (I dunno what I have done wrong) -> conscious incompetence (damn I screwed this) -> conscious competence (If I do this and this it will work) -> unconscious competence (its natural, no need to think about it)

Same think can be applied to L&D - imagine you encounter group with straight 3 eyespace - would you be able to kill it without ever knowing about it before? probably yes, but how about in some variation reading? How about bulky five? thats way harder to kill without knowing its vital point before, not even thinking about seeing it during game reading… and bulky five is just a starting point in L&D knowledge…

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I think there is certainly a problem if you just read about what the shapes are (their names) but not how to apply them. That in fact would be missing the point of the instruction.

But most instructional material does talk about how to apply it. And Dsauns lecture talks about it. It goes through examples of where you are chosing to place a stone to “make shape”. Starting from at least 50 or so minutes into that lecture, after talking about the shapes, the examples are full of comments like “black runs away here using good shape - the dogs face”. It’s all about chosing to play shapes that you know are good when you can do so.

i think there’s a lot to help beginners with these concepts. Similarly the Dwyrin good shape series etc etc. They’re all about how to play the shapes…


there is always the problem of applying theories in real games. with the exception of maybe fuseki, there is just no certainty that an opportunitty will present itself. on the other hand, if youve never learned what to look for, you might not even recognize that there was an opportunity in the first place. even if good shape comes naturally (which i cant say about my game so far…) then reading and listening to these lectures can fasten that process.


I made a nice black and white printable version of all of his shapes from that lecture laid out, you can find the link in my profile on OGS. :slight_smile:


Move over Dsaun Shape Lecture!

…We now have the Sibicky Shape Tier List!!!