The Two Books That Boosted My Improvement!

The Two Books That Boosted My Improvement! 1

Reading any kind of a book is a pleasure or at least that’s my opinion, first because I love reading and second – I love books. Your opinion might differ, however, pleasure or not, these two books boosted my improvement long time ago and I will talk about them now. My hope is that maybe they will also help to all of you to improve or get inspired to share your own experience and how some Go book, affected your level unexpectedly.

Although these two books might not really affect your Go, the same way as mine, I believe strongly that you will enjoy reading them and you will get new insights on Go and learn many new things.

Why exactly these two books? Why not some other Go book out of the fifty and more books that I have read about Go (all are awesome, no exception).

There is a very interesting story behind these two books in this article. Rated as 5D EGF now, I do not really read many Go books, simply because there aren’t many books suitable for such level, so I enlarge my library with other kind of books. I mostly solve life and death problems from two big Chinese books with 10000 problems per book (about these two books I will make a separate article). At this point of my Go, I am more curious than ever, to know how professionals think during the game, their thoughts, their strategy. Long sequences and any other things like this, impress me less than anything connected with the way that professionals think on the board right now. Otherwise, I study with AI and watch pro commentary, something that many Go players do.

To these who wonder where to find a good commentary on games, be sure to check Michael Redmond commentaries, which are truly gold for western players, so take a look on them over here.

So, that’s the story, I was 3-kyu rated on Kiseido Go Server aka KGS and I was thirteen years old looking for a way to break this level barrier. For my thirteen years old mind, to get stuck at 3-kyu, 7 months after you started playing Go, seemed really bad back then, how ridiculous and how motivating this is to look at my younger me. To make this article completely correct, I checked databases and got exact dates of what I will show you in a moment. I am living in a country, where Go is not really that popular and I had to study and play online, most of the time.

I finished these two books in exactly two days and I really don’t know how I was managing to read that fast. I feel like now I cannot finish an entire book for several days and even if I do, I would prefer to come back to some parts of it, to spend slightly more time on them, to understand or analyze.

So what did happened? I was losing to 3-Kyu’s till the end of February 2014 and I decided after I finished these two books, to open a new account and to play only Dan players, to test how these two books affected my strength. That’s what happened, I made a new account on 1st of March 2014 and I won my first game against 1-Dan (shock), then I won against 2-Dan (even games). Then slowly I dropped to 1-Dan level and I consolidated on it, till the moment that I started going up. Even without making a new account, I was most likely going to up to 1-Dan from my 3-Kyu account. However, that wouldn’t be that amazing most likely and I wouldn’t really understand what value these two books had on my strength and improvement.

What was the actual important thing over here? What am I talking about? I do not talk about creating accounts or anything like that, that’s not what is important for your growth. I found exactly my weak points, these two books helped me to break my barrier and we all do have such barrier. To make myself clear, I got you an excerpt from my book:

Excerpt from Go Studies: A History of Adventure

” To improve, one has to really focus inside himself, to observe his own Go very deeply and understand all the habits that he has in order to break the bad ones. Without hesitation I would say that the way a person plays Go, is a reflection of himself. When I say that one has to focus on himself, I don’t mean only on one’s moves. I talk about strategy, thinking, ideas, intentions. There is no doubt that studying is important and that learning at least one new thing daily can make you very powerful. But the effectiveness of studying matters much more to me. I was also teaching, which gave me the opportunity to meet many great people. Noticeable is that, at the end of a two hour-long lecture, there are people who cannot tell me five things which they learned during the lesson, even though they are great students. This is the best example of inefficient studying. At this point, I wouldn’t give a conclusion, I think it’s better for everyone to make one for themselves.”

This is what I wrote in my book about the two months and a half study in the Ge Yuhong Go Academy in China. I hope everyone will find what his weakness is and work on it in order to improve himself.

Let’s go to the two books !

The Two Books That Boosted My Improvement! 2

Tesuji and Anti-Suji of Go

Sakata Eio

“This is an exhaustive manual that details how sparkling technique may bring one’s game alive. The flip side of the matter, crude moves (or anti-suji) are offered in contrast, demonstrating how thoughtless play can throw away the chance for an advantage. The positions in the book are illustrate in more than 700 diagrams, which makes comprehension of the material simple, even without setting up the positions on a go board. The layout of the book is also ideal for study and review work.” (Source)

Sakata Eio is one of my favorite players and this is one of the reasons why I was very excited to read the book. I loved it, there were so many situations which were truly amazing to look at and I love such situations, such tesujis, beautiful moves, sharp plays. This book helped my fighting skills and to search for more extraordinary moves and also, it helped me to realize how many bad moves I was making because of habit, so many times. It was truly awesome and I felt like sponge which absorbs water. I wanted to read more and more and I did not really like the fact that the book has end.

The Two Books That Boosted My Improvement! 3

Get Strong at Tesuji

Richard Bozulich

“If you want to get strong at tesuji, it is not necessary to solve difficult problems; rather, it is more important to solve a lot of easy problems. By studying tesuji in this way, you will sharpen your intuitive skills to the point that you will be able to find the right tesuji in your games at a glance. Especially recommended for players who have just learned the rules. Even strong players will be able to improve their tesuji skills through the repetitive practice provided by the problems in this book.” (Source)

This book I also really loved, because the way the pages were created. It was really comfortable to solve the exercises one by one and just to check if I was getting them right. There were all kind of problems in this book, so it was like a fuel for my intuition and reading skill.

I wish to everyone, to explore himself and unleash his potential. To find his weak points and to work on them.

For these who already have read these two books, comment with your opinion and also, these who have read other Go books and want to share their experience, do it below !

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