Book Review: The Workshop Lectures Volume 1

The Workshop Lectures Volume 1

The Workshop Lectures (Volume 1)

Description: The Workshop Lectures Volume 1 is part a series of lectures given by Yilun Yang at workshops in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The topics covered include: “When to Tenuki in the Opening,” “Choosing the Direction of Attack,” and “Playing Complicated Joseki.”

Book Details

Title, The Workshop Lectures (Volume 1)
Series, The Workshop Lectures
Author, Yilun Yang (7P)
Publisher, Slate & Shell
Published, “2006”
Language, English
ISBN, 1-932001-29-8
Length, 68 Pages

Table of Content

  1. When to Tenuki in the Opening
  2. Choosing the Direction of Attack
  3. Playing Complicated Joseki


What did I enjoy about the book?

  • Topics are broken down into simple explanations that I could easily understand.
  • The topics are extremely relevant to the average player.
  • Yang usually has a checklist of questions for each section to remind the reader of the important things to remember.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • A significant increase in my comfort to tenuki in the opening.
  • An eye-opening perspective on how to try to select my attacks now.
  • A leap forward in trying to understand how complicated josekis develop.

What style of teaching does the book use?

  • Workshop Format

    *   Topics of broken down into its simplest format and represents more of an outline than a thorough textbook.
  • Primary Learning Mechanism:

    *   Explanations with accompanying diagrams
  • Other Learning Mechanisms:

    *   Practice problems with explanations for each solution

What aspect can be improved on?

  • No complaints here!

Is this book easy to read?

  • Yes. The explanations are concise and the accompanying diagrams are often no more than a few moves long.

Bottom Line

  1. Does a fanatastic job explaining concepts that used to be rather muddled to me.
  2. Has a lot of incredible content for such a short book!
  3. Worth every penny you spend on it!

Before I Read This Book…

My Abilities

  • A mid-high SDK (single digit kyu) who has read his fair share of books and has a decent foundation of most areas in go.
    My Perspective

  • Since these are written to be more of a “workshop” format, I was looking forward to a new style of writing along with a refreshing perspective on some common questions that most players might have.

My Review

This was a refreshing perspective on common go questions. Yilun Yang’s ability to break down popular topics like “Determining What Direction to Attack” was incredibly easy to understand. Contrary to some typical go literature where the concept is explained to death, Yang provides more of a road map on how to actually apply the principle instead of simply understanding it. Now granted, I will be the first to say that actually applying it to your game is not so easy; but my understanding has certainly grown and I am now trying out new things as a result. I am really looking forward to the next books in the series!

  • Players who are 10 kyu or stronger.
  • Players who want a road map on how to handle the topics covered in the book.

Where Can I Buy It?

  • Slate and Shell - $18.00 USD (shipping and handling not included)
  • SmartGo Books - $5.99 USD (e-Book for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch Only)

Other Books in This Series…

Last Updated on August 5th, 2013