Tesuji, by James Davies. Volume 2 of the Elementary Go Series. Ishi G12/Kiseido K12; 1975.

This book is an introduction to tesuji, which are clever tactical moves. The first chapter is about reading, and it talks about how to go about approching tactical situations, including a wonderful example showing why you shouldn't play moves in a vain hope to catch your opponent napping. The next fourteen chapters each introduce a related family of tesujis; each tesuji comes with some problem, and each chapter ends with some review problems. Finally, the last chapter contains some "challenge problems".

I think that this is a great book; I read it when I was about 11 kyu, and it improved my strength by two stones. It helped me not so much because I learned the specific tesuji in it (they're all useful, but don't expect to have them all down pat after a first reading) but because it was my first prolonged practice at reading, so once I was done with the book I was much better at reading than I was when I started, which paid off immediately in my games.

Don't worry about trying to finish the book - working through an entire book with as many problems as this one has is very taxing, so if after a couple of weeks you find that your brain doesn't want to do reading problems any more, switch to another book.

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david carlton <carlton@bactrian.org>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:49:42 PDT 2003