Get Strong at Life and Death, by Richard Bozulich. Kiseido K58; 1997.

This is divided up into three parts. The first part is on the basics; it has sections on nine areas of life and death, each of which starts off with a small amount of introductory material (usually less than a page) and then has lots of problems. The second part contains 100 problems about situations arising from joseki; the third part contains 64 miscellaneous problems.

I've read the first part of the book fairly thoroughly, and the second and third parts much less so. I quite liked the first part: it did a good job of diagnosing my weaknesses and strengths. Don't get discouraged if you find some sections of this part to be quite difficult: you may well find that some of the other sections are very easy, so that will give you an idea of what to work on.

I couldn't manage to concentrate on the second and third parts. I expect that I would have done better if I'd had a sheet of paper with me to cover up some of the answers, because the book has an unfortunate habit of giving you many problems at once (as many as twelve) before giving you the answers to any of them. Unless you're a lot better at life and death than I am, you'll have a very hard time concentrating on really doing that many problems at once, so you'll want to flip back and forth between the problems and solutions. I've heard other people say that they liked those sections of this book quite a bit; certainly we've all had unpleasant experiences having our corner groups die after what we thought were joseki, and pleasant experiences finding the weak spots in our opponents' corner groups.

The first part would probably be a decent follow-up to Davies' Life and Death. They say and I agree that the second part is aimed at stronger players; in general, this book seems notably harder than Get Strong at Tesuji but in line with the difficulty level of other books in the Get Strong at Go series. If you're looking for a life-and-death book like Get Strong at Tesuji, try One Thousand and One Life-and-Death Problems instead.

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david carlton <>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:55:00 PDT 2003