Book Review: Level Up 4

Level Up 4 Cover

Description: Level Up 4 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 4
Series, Level Up! Series
Author, Lee Jae-Hwan
Translators, Lee Seong-Geun & Daniela Trinks
Supervisor, Yoo Chang-Hyuk (9P)
Publisher, Baduktopia
Published, “1st Edition: July 2008, 3rd Edition: October 15th, 2012”
Language, English
ISBN, 978-89-90965-84-4
Length, 168 Pages

Table of Content

  1. Baduk at the World Mind Sports Games
  2. False Eyes and the Large Diagonal
  3. False Eyes and the One-Point Jump Space
  4. False Eyes and the Second Line
  5. False Eyes and Throw-ins
  6. False Eyes (Review)
  7. Opening Examples 1
  8. Snapback and the Large Diagonal
  9. Snapback and the One-Point Jump Shape
  10. Snapback and the 2nd Line
  11. Chokchoksu and the Large Diagonal
  12. Chokchoksu and the One-Point Jump Shape
  13. Chokchoksu at the First Line
  14. Good and Foolish Atari
  15. Beware of the 3-Point Eye Shape
  16. Making a 3-Point Eye Shape
  17. Baduk and Brain Development
  18. Opening Examples 2
  19. Two Birds with One Stone
  20. Placement
  21. Net Towards Your Own Stones
  22. Be Careful with Neutral Points
  23. Closing Off the Territory
  24. How to Answer
  25. Level Tests


  1. Starts to introduce concepts like dame (i.e., neutral points) and very basic endgame.
  2. Does a great job continuing to acclimate the reader to the next step in life and death.
  3. Continues to live up to the quality of material that you come to expect from this series.

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 Level Up 3, I was expecting things to start to start getting more difficult; but hopefully still manageable.

My Review

What did I enjoy about the book?

  • I enjoyed that they use “next move” questions that provide a mini-simulation of what kind of decisions you might make in a game.
  • When drilling life and death shapes, they spare no effort in making sure you not only know where the vital point of the shape is, but how to create the shape when killing your opponent or avoiding offering the opponent a chance to create the shape.
  • Does a great job introducing dame (aka neutral) points and giving the reader opportunities to practice finding them along with how to be careful about how accidentally filling the wrong dame points can actually cause problems.
  • Introduces “endgame” at its most basic level: closing off or reducing territory.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • Continued polishing my reading abilities - particularly shortage of liberties and nets.

What style of teaching does the book use?

  • Curriculum Style

    *   Content is organized into lessons, topics, or themes in order to facilitate learning.
  • Primary Learning Mechanism:

    *   Practice problems.
  • Other Learning Mechanisms:

    *   Simple explanations accompanied by equally simple diagrams.
    *   Fun comics to help explain concepts like the net.

What aspect can be improved on?

  • Up to this point, the answer books have been great on its own. For this book however, I noticed that there were times where answers to questions that asked the reader “Which direction to block?” would be best served if there were a short explanation as to why. Granted, this may be omitted due to it being used in a school setting where a go teacher would explain it; but if the answer books are intended to be sufficient without a teacher, then this would be very helpful.

Is this book easy to read?

  • Yes. It was very easy to understand all the explanations and 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…

  • Level Up 1
  • Level Up 2
  • Level Up 3
  • Level Up 5
  • Level Up Review 1
  • Level Up 6
  • Level Up 7
  • Level Up 8
  • Level Up 9
  • Level Up 10
  • Level Up Review 2
  • Jump Level Up Series

Last Updated on July 16th, 2013