Book Review: Tesuji


Description: In this volume of the Elementary Go Series, Davies lays out the some basic tesuji that every player should learn along with practice problems and different contexts for teach tesuji.

Book Details

Title, Tesuji (Volume 3)
Series, Elementary Go Series
Author, James Davies
Publisher, Kiseido
Published, 1st Edition April 1975 | Eighth Edition June 2010
Language, English
ISBN, 978-4-906574-12-2
Length, 200 Pages

Table of Content

  1. Reading
  2. Capture the Cutting Stones
  3. Amputate the Cutting Stones
  4. Ko
  5. When Liberties Count
  6. Linking Groups Together
  7. Into Enemy Territory
  8. Escape
  9. Sacrifice to Gain Tempo
  10. Tesuji for Attack
  11. How to Connect
  12. Making Shape
  13. Ignore the Atari
  14. Double-Threat Tesuji
  15. Challenge Problems


  1. Great introduction to tesujis since the chapters are short and the explanations are concise.
  2. Problems are a bit advanced for players learning tesuji, but should be viewed as exposure material instead of a test of knowledge.
  3. Reminds me of an abridged textbook where it covers a lot of material and organized in an intuitive format that helps to give context to the tesujis being presented.

Before I Read This Book…

My Abilities

  • This is my second time reading the book; but besides having a decent grasp of the three most basic tesujis: snapbacks, ladders, and nets, I would have to say that my ability to find tesuji is rather weak.

My Perspective

  • When I first got this book, I was really hoping to get exposed to a lot of different tesujis along with some context as to how they were being used. For example, this tesuji is good for connecting stones.

My Review

What did I enjoy about the book?

  • Tesujis are presented in contexts such as “amputate the cutting stone” that help to show how tesujis can be utilized for multiple purposes. For example, the squeeze tesuji is presented in both “amputate the cutting stone” and “making shape.”
  • The chapters are written in a concise manner with just enough diagrams to make it a short read while illustrating everything very clearly.
  • There are always practice problems after every tesuji they introduce.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • A better grasp on tesujis as a whole.
  • New ideas regarding how tesujis can be utilized for multiple purposes.
  • Slightly improved reading ability.

What style of teaching does the book use?

  • Textbook Approach

    *   Organized in a curriculum format that reflects the learning style one might normally find in school.
  • Primary Learning Mechanism:

    *   Explanations with example diagrams
  • Other Learning Mechanisms:

    *   Practice problems

What aspect can be improved on?

  • I would have liked to see more introductory problems for each tesuji since there was no predicting how complicated the problems would be at the end of each chapter.

Is this book easy to read?

  • Yes. With its short and concise chapters and explanations, it is usually pretty easy to finish a section within a chapter in 5-10 minutes.
  • Players looking for a book to start learning about tesujis.
  • Players looking to reinforce their knowledge of tesujis.

Where Can I Buy It?

  • GoGameGuru - $17.99 USD (shipping & handling not included)
  • Kiseido - $18.00 USD (shipping & handling not included)
  • SmartGo Books - $9.99 USD (e-Book for iPad & iPhone Only)

Other Books in This Series…

Last Updated on July 6th, 2013