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Subject: Early game improvement rss

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Keith Anderson
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So I'm rated 7k on kgs. While I did a quick read of the Janice Kim books years ago, I've never really studied Go or problems. I seem to be stranded at 7k where I tend to get behind early with opponents having more territory loosely claimed and I end up playing from behind and having to take extra risks. Does anyone have any suggestions for web sites or books for early game improvement?

Thanks
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Bryan Thunkd
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I found this book useful when I was starting out, but not sure what you'd get from it as a 7k.

http://senseis.xmp.net/?501OpeningProblems
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Jeffrey D Myers
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You might like the very conversational _Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go_ by Toshiro Kageyama.
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George Leach
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I think you're just about strong enough to get a decent amount out of 'Fundamentals'. It's a good read too.
 
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Russ Williams
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"Opening Theory Made Easy" by Otake is another good book worth reading and rereading later.

And to improve tactical skills, do lots of life and death problems (from whatever source).
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Keith Anderson
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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into them. I'll provide feedback as I work through it.

The Janice Kim books were great when I was starting and enabled me to get a good start with easy to read books. Now looking for something similar to broaden or deepen the foundation.
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Phelan
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Thunkd wrote:
I found this book useful when I was starting out, but not sure what you'd get from it as a 7k.

http://senseis.xmp.net/?501OpeningProblems
I really like this one!
I go over it every now and again. I can't say I have gotten much improvement out of it, to be true, but I haven't been as serious about improving for a while, and I got this book when I was entering this "more fun, less improvement" part of my Go career.
As for rank appropriateness, given that I'm not that far off 7k, I think it's appropriate. Most of the problems have easy to understand solutions, and doing them with the "cover hint, try to solve, uncover hint, see if solution still makes sense, if not, try again, check book solution" method is pretty cool.
 
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Phelan
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peacmyer wrote:
You might like the very conversational _Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go_ by Toshiro Kageyama.
As for this one, everyone seems to recommend it on every occasion they can, even if it's not on the theme, like here. I don't think it has that much on the opening, from what I remember.
Then again, I pretty much think this book is overhyped, and is more geared towards the "attitude" part of improving, than towards the "game" part of improving.

If you want to know how to get a pro-like attitude towards improving, and don't mind anecdote style advice, sure get this one.

If you, however, prefer to read about techniques, examples, and do problems to improve, skip it, or read a friend's copy.
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Phelan
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russ wrote:
"Opening Theory Made Easy" by Otake is another good book worth reading and rereading later.

And to improve tactical skills, do lots of life and death problems (from whatever source).
Opening Theory Made Easy is a book I heartily recommend to everyone.

However, it's very synthetic, and it's more helpful in lower ranks. I don't think a 7k will get as much out of it as of other books, such as "501 opening problems".

I'd say "look before you buy" on this one. If you feel some ideas are new to you, then buy it. If you don't, I don't think it will help as much.
 
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Keith Anderson
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Phelan, thanks for the further input.

So now, I'll try to describe what I'm looking for in more detail and see if there is any such thing...

When I first started I read Janice Kim's books. Reading these without working problems gave me some basics (corners are easier for staking out territory than sides, ladders, determining life and death, etc). With this basic knowledge I was then able to go play and progress over time. So now I'm wondering if there is material on early game theory such as what to look for in determining what are the key areas for next play in staking out territory, compressing other's territory, strengthening your own efficiently. Not so much detailed problems on tactical board problems as seeing the big picture.

It might be that the key to progressing is to dig more into the details such as Joseki since I'm very inconsistent with doing well with these...

One of the things I've enjoyed about Go is that it is so deep and yet I've had a good feeling of advancement without doing anything that feels like study. I understand there will be limits to how far I can go without detailed study but I tend to reserve study work for non-gaming, more work-like or educational endeavors.

This is one of the reasons that I've taken to Go over Chess. Chess always felt like I would immediately have to dig into the exacting details in order to see any improvement. This might be an incorrect impression, its just that when I've looked into Chess I've always immediately ran into the apparent need to study openings of particular moves in detail. Whereas Go just has some very basics on corner stone placement. I'm open to correction on this opinion of Chess...my young son has been drawn more to Chess, I think because of the appearance of the pieces, I'd love to advance with him in the game.
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I got a lot out of 'In the Beginning', by Ishigure Ikuro.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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GamePlayer wrote:
Not so much detailed problems on tactical board problems as seeing the big picture.

Opening problems aren't really "tactical". And solving them usually involves understanding the bigger picture. I found specific problems (and the explanations to the answer) to be much better at opening my eyes to the bigger picture than just a discussion of principles.
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