Book Review: The Workshop Lectures Volume 4

The Workshop Lectures Volume 4 Cover

The Workshop Lectures (Volume 4)

Description: The Workshop Lectures Volume 4 is part a series of lectures given by Yilun Yang (7P) at workshops in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The topics covered include: “Good and Bad Shape,” “When to Play Fast or Slow,” “Playing a Fighting Opening,” and “Destroying Large or Nearly Completed Positions.”

Book Details

Title, The Workshop Lectures (Volume 4)
Series, The Workshop Lectures
Author, Yilun Yang (7P)
Publisher, Slate & Shell
Published, “2007”
Language, English
ISBN, 1-932001-37-9
Length, 72 Pages

Table of Content

  1. Good and Bad Shape
  2. When to Play Fast or Slow
  3. Playing a Fighting Opening
  4. Destroying Large or Nearly Completed Positions

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.


What did I enjoy about the book?

  • As usual, Yang continues to breakdown topics into simple explanations that I could easily understand.
  • The topics are extremely relevant to the average player since a majority of go literature assumes that the reader is already familiar and well versed in these basic concepts.
  • There is some great illustration of seemingly complete positions and some advice as to how to go about destroying it.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • A better understanding of what defines good and bad shape. Though applying it is still a whole separate matter.
  • Realization that my understanding of fighting is completely wrong.
  • Better grasp of what is considered a “slow” vs. “fast” move.

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

What aspect can be improved on?

  • Though the examples can be helpful, I still found myself a little unsure of myself regarding whether I really understood the material. So some practice problems would have been nice.

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. Breaks down topics into easy to understand explanations.
  2. Has a lot of valuable content for such a short book!
  3. Worth every penny you spend on it!

My Review

Though I was not as fond of Volume 3, I really enjoyed all of the topics that were covered here in this volume. Topics such as shape and fast vs. slow moves have always interested me and I’m always glad to learn about it from a different perspective. In addition, this is the first time that I’ve seen go literature cover something as unqiue as “playing a fighting opening!” So with all these unique and fascinating topics, I have to say that this is probably my favorite one thus far.

  • Players who are 10 kyu or stronger.
  • Players who want guidelines 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 24th, 2013