Book Review: Level Up 5

Level Up 5 Cover

Description: Level Up 5 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 5
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, 2nd Edition: February 24th, 2010”
Language, English
ISBN, 978-89-90965-85-1
Length, 168 Pages

Table of Content

  1. Let’s Go to a Baduk Tournament!
  2. Where to Play Atari (Review)
  3. How to Drive Stones
  4. Good Moves and Bad Moves
  5. Approaches, Enclosures and Extensions
  6. How to Extend
  7. Heart Ladder
  8. Net (Review)
  9. Make False and Real Eyes
  10. Snapback (Review)
  11. Continuous Atari and Chokchoksu
  12. Don’t Capture False Eye Stones
  13. Let’s Go to a Baduk Congress!
  14. Two Birds with One Stone
  15. Attach? Hane! Hane? Extend!
  16. Good and Bad Shape
  17. Reduce Liberties of Key Stones First
  18. Life: Vital Point First
  19. Capture: Vital Point First
  20. Mutual Life
  21. Connections
  22. Endgame
  23. How to Answer
  24. Level Tests


  1. Does a great job introducing good and bad shapes and seki.
  2. Starts familiarizing the reader with important life and death techniques like placement and vital points.
  3. Continues to live up to the quality 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

  • I was able to progress through Level Up 4 pretty easily, so I was hoping that this would be pretty straightforward as well.

My Review

What did I enjoy about the book?

  • It introduces the reader to the concept of good and bad shapes.
  • Starts training the reader to practice looking for important stones.
  • They do a great job introducing seki and offer lots of really simple but effective practice problems for it.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • Polished my ability to distinguish between key stones in capturing races.
  • Started rebuilding my ability to see seki positions from the ground up.
  • Polished my abilities to use nets, shortage of liberties, ladders, and snapback.

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:

    *   Cute and entertaining comics to teach and/or reinforce lessons.
    *   Simple explantations that are accompanied by equally simple diagrams.

What aspect(s) can be improved on?

  • No complaints here. I was really happy with the progression of problems in this book.
  • Errata - Question #3 on page 51 - Black’s shape seems incorrect. The stones should form a solid triangle instead of the hanging connection.

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…

Last Updated on July 17th, 2013