Art of Capturing Stones, by Wu Dingyuan and Yu Xing. Yutopian Y25; 1999.

This is the second volume of the Art of Go series. It's on the use of sacrifice techniques in capturing stones. Like the first volume, it's a somewhat advanced problem book; it contains 32 problems on the "under the stones" technique, 33 problems on oversized eyes, and 26 problems on other techniques.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'd never seen so many under-the-stones problems at once, for example, and didn't realize that it manifested itself in as many different ways. Similarly, there's a lot more to large eyes than the fundamental almost-alive shapes, once you throw in weaknesses in the outside wall. It was at a quite good level for me to read right now; I'm an AGA 2k who is probably better than most at my level at reading/tesuji/life and death (and correspondingly worse than most at my level at strategic judgment), so I expect that if you're around the kyu-dan transition level you'll find it valuable, and I would be surprised if even high-dan players didn't find it good practice. I got many of the problems right and significantly more wrong, but I think that I learned something from the ones that I got wrong, and didn't find that as frustrating as I do when I'm reading a book that is just way over my head. Also, for what it's worth, while in the middle of this game, I played a couple of (handicap) games against a 3 dan, and in both games killed large groups of his on the side of the board that he had assumed were alive. Admittedly, the situations there were easier than the ones in this book, but reading it has certainly given me more confidence in my killing ability.

Update (August 2001): I recently read another life-and-death problem book, and I noticed that I was doing a much better job on the under-the-stones problems in that book than I'd ever done before in a life-and-death problem book. I attribute that advance entirely to this book: clearly, after working through 32 problems in that theme, I've learned how to spot them much better.

Click here to see Yutopian's blurb about the book.

david carlton <>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:59:53 PDT 2003