Book Review: The Workshop Lectures Volume 5

The Workshop Lectures Volume 5 Cover

The Workshop Lectures (Volume 5)

Description: The Workshop Lectures Volume 5 is part a series of lectures given by Yilun Yang (7P) at workshops in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The topics covered include: “Choosing Areas in the Opening,” “Handing Unusual Opening Moves,” and “Protecting a Position.”

Book Details

Title, The Workshop Lectures (Volume 5)
Series, The Workshop Lectures
Author, Yilun Yang (7P)
Publisher, Slate & Shell
Published, “2008”
Language, English
ISBN, 1-932001-37-5
Length, 79 Pages

Table of Content

  1. Choosing Areas in the Opening
  2. Handing Unusual Opening Moves
  3. Protecting a Position

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.
  • I really enjoy the fact that he takes on topics that go literature tends to overlook for amateurs. An example of this is “Handling Unusual Opening Moves.”
  • The diagrams are short and quite easy to follow.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • Improved ability to recognize what areas on the board are important and big.
  • Better understanding of how to determine what my next move should be in the opening.
  • Much clearer direction in regards to how one should handle unusual opening moves.
  • An improved grasp on how I should protect my positions on the board.

What style of teaching does the book use?

  • Similar to his previous books in this series, the teaching format primarily consists of explanations regarding the topic at hand in conjunction with diagrams that have the reader test his/her ability. Then, after the problem is given, Yang typically goes into an extensive (but simple to understand) explanation of the various things the reader should consider when approaching the problem.

What aspect can be improved on?

  • No complaints from me!

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

The topics that are covered in this book are incredibly useful to many players (particularly kyu level players). Though I am still far from being able to implement his advice flawlessly, I am still blown away by Yang’s ability to take common topics that plague weaker players and convey them in a manner that we can understand without boring us to death. So if you have any interest in the topics covered in this volume, be sure to pick up a copy!

  • 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 - $15.00 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 September 1st, 2013