These are volumes of go problems, and they have the virtue that they start off at a much easier level than any other problem books out there. The volumes claim to be for 30-25 kyu, 25-20 kyu, 20-15 kyu, and 15 kyu and stronger, and the early problems really are suitable for complete novices - the first problems ask you to capture stones that are already in atari, for example. The last two volumes are more difficult - I'd place volume 3 at 15-10 kyu and a 10 kyu would find much of volume 4 to be quite challenging, but there's lots of good stuff in them. I'd recommend these books for anybody who's getting started: it's important to get hands-on practice with go concepts that you're learning about, and these books are a great way to do that. (Recent ads for these books have them at 30-25 kyu, 25-15 kyu, 15-8 kyu, and 8-3 kyu; that seems reasonable to me.)
These books were published by The Nihon Kiin and distributed by Ishi Press; they are now being published by Kiseido. Kiseido has reprinted the first three volumes, and volume 4 was never out of print.
David Keeble (BGA 1d) says:
In my view the ratings are even more wildly off than you say. I reckon Volume 3 is suitable for 10-5 kyus, and Volume 4 is good for 5kyu-1dan. That's not to say that somewhat weaker players couldn't get anything out of it. I'm very enthusiastic about these books, as I feel it was them that really improved my life and death skills.
Lukas Biewald (eggroll, 3k* IGS) says:
[Volume 4] is by far my favorite book. If you want to get strong and are weaker than me (and probably even if you are a little bit stronger) this is a great book covering all the simple tesujis that a strong player must see at a glance.
Dan Schmidt (NNGS 5k*) says:
If you have an hour to spare and want to improve your go, there is probably no better way to spend it than working through these books. Going through every single problem in volumes 2 and 3 was invaluable for both my tactical ability and my concentration.
Patrick Bridges (NNGS 7k*) says:
The "updated" kyu rankings seem about right. As an AGA 6k-ish, I can do volume one in about 30 minutes with no trouble. v2 is a bit more challenging, but I can finish it in about an hour with only 1 or 2 mistakes; I occasionally look through it as a refresher, and warm up. v3 is at about the right level for me, with some of the earlier problems being straightforward, but many of the later problems being fairly challenging. v4 is very challenging, and currently well over my head.
Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:53:33 PDT 2003