Book Review: Level Up 2

Level Up! - Volume 2 Cover

Level Up 2

Description: Level Up 2 is part of the Level Up! Series that serves as a workbook in private go schools in Korea. Though designed for children, the content and practice provided is invaluable for adults and children alike.

Book Details

Title, Level Up 2
Series, Level Up! Series
Author, Lee Jae-Hwan
Translators, Lee Seong-Geun & Daniela Trinks
Supervisor, Yoo Chang-Hyuk (9P)
Publisher, Baduktopia
Published, “October 13th, 2011”
Language, English
ISBN, 978-89-90965-82-0
Length, 167 Pages

Table of Content

  1. Glossary
  2. How to Study Baduk as a Beginner
  3. Capturing & Saving
  4. How to Play Atari (Dansu)
  5. Beware of Jachung (Taking Your Own Liberty)
  6. Opening Samples 1
  7. Can Your Stones Escape?
  8. Which Stones to Capture?
  9. If You Want to Play Baduk Well
  10. Line and Corner Baduk Terms
  11. Where to Play Atari (Dansu)
  12. Capturing Race (Review)
  13. Opening Samples 2
  14. Reduce Liberties While Cutting
  15. Blocking the Way Out
  16. Studying Baduk at Myongji University
  17. The 2nd Eye
  18. Capture to Live, Save to Capture
  19. Two Adjacent Points Die
  20. Ladder
  21. Ladder from Weak Stones
  22. Ladder Breaker
  23. Net - 2 Liberties
  24. Chokchoksu
  25. Opening Sample 3
  26. How to Answer
  27. Level Tests


  1. Continues to live up to the quality of teaching material and practice problems that were in the first volume.
  2. Does a fantastic job introducing life and death, ladders, and nets.
  3. Provides lots of opportunity to review what you learned in the first volume to really ensure that the basics are solid.

Before I Read This Book…

My Abilities

  • A mid to high SDK (single digit kyu) kyu who has read his fair share of go books and has a pretty strong foundation in the basics and teaching go.

My Perspective

  • After reading Level Up 1, I was just excited to get started on the second book and keep the momentum going!

My Review

What did I enjoy about the book?

  • It forces you to review (and inadvertently reinforce) what you learned in Level Up 1.
  • Introduces life and death at its most fundamental level (i.e.,making your second eye) and drills the reader in finding it or taking it away.
  • Spends a lot of time on ladders and gives the reader lots of opportunity to practice reading simple ladders. This is one of my favorite parts about this book since ladders are something that most players tend to shy away from.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • Polishing my ladder reading abilities.
  • Polishing my ability to accurately read out multiple variations since I’m double checking why the other answer doesn’t work.
  • Better understanding of how to break down concepts like ladders when teaching go to newer players.

What style of teaching does the book use?

  • Workbook Approach

    *   There are less explanations and more problems in this book, but any reader who has diligently followed practiced the problems from [Level Up 1]( "Book Review: Level Up 1") should have no issues solving the problems.
  • Primary Learning Mechanism

    *   Solving problems.
  • Other Learning Mechanisms

    *   Cute comics to illustrate concepts like, "Before capturing your opponent, look at your own weak points."
    *   Multiple choice questions such as," Who has made better territory?"
    *   Kifus (i.e., game records) that are only around 10 moves long with short one line statements of the move's purpose.

What aspects can be improved on?

  • The concept of chokchoksu (which is essentially shortage of liberties) should be introduced earlier on since there are a number of problems that use it in the solution.
  • The answer book for Question #2 for page 163 should be “net.”

Is this book easy to read?

  • Yes. It was very easy to progress through the book.
  • Though the series is designed for kids, both kids and adults alike will be able to learn everything they need to know about playing go in a fun and entertaining way.
  • People who enjoy learning things in an easy to understand format and lots of opportunities to reinforce what they are learning.

Where Can I Buy It?

  • Yellow Mountain Imports - $13.00 USD (shipping and handling not included)
  • Baduktopia - E-mail them at for more information.

Other Books in this Series…

Last Updated on July 8th, 2013