Book Review: Level Up 9

[Level Up 9 Cover

Level Up 9

Description: Level Up 9 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 9
Series, Level Up! Series
Author, Lee Jae-Hwan
Translators, Lee Seong-Geun & Daniela Trinks
Supervisor, Yoo Chang-Hyuk (9P)
Publisher, Baduktopia
Published, “April 29th, 2009”
Language, English
ISBN, 978-89-90965-89-9
Length, 168 Pages

Table of Content

  1. Glossary
  2. The US Go Congress
  3. Finding the Key Stones
  4. Capturing and Saving the Key Stones
  5. Dansu and Then Capture
  6. Taking and Choking the Weak Point
  7. Kinds of Connections
  8. Opening Sample 1
  9. Startpoint Joseki (Pattern) 3
  10. Snapback by Hane
  11. Where to Throw-in
  12. Capturing Race
  13. Making a False/Real Eye
  14. Where to Make an Eye
  15. Where to Take an Eye
  16. Starpoint Joseki (Pattern) 4
  17. Opening Sample 2
  18. Let’s Think Before Playing the Next Move
  19. Is a Cut/Hane/Block Possible?
  20. Learning Baduk and Emotional Quotient
  21. Capturing Techniques
  22. Opening Sample 3
  23. Be Careful with the Nose Attachment
  24. Next Move
  25. Opening Sample 4
  26. Life and Death & Capturing Race
  27. Opening Sample 5
  28. How to Play the Endgame
  29. Opening Sample 6
  30. How to Answer
  31. Level Tests


  1. Really works on the ability to recognize key stones.

  2. Contains a great mix of life and death, haengma (i.e., stone movement), and capturing techniques.

  3. Exposes the reader to joseki using a simple but effective method.

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

  • Level Up 8 definitely gave me quite a bit to pause about, so I wasn’t taking any chances with this one either.

My Review

What did I enjoy about the book?

  • Starts training the reader to look for the key stones.
  • Trains the reader to look for weak points in shapes for life and death.
  • Exposes the reader to a number of joseki using knowledge that one should have gained from the previous volumes.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • Realization that I’m actually kind of slow when it comes to recognizing which stones are critical.
  • A better understanding of why certain joseki progress the way they do.
  • Improved baseline when it comes to reading basic life and death situations.

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.
    *   Samples of openings from professional games to further acclimate the reader to full games on a 19x19 board.

What aspect can be improved on?

  • No complaints here!

Is this book easy to read?

  • Yes. Other than the occasional article, the explanations are very easy short and easy to understand.
  • 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 27th, 2013