Book Review: The Workshop Lectures Volume 6

The Workshop Lectures Volume 6 Cover

The Workshop Lectures (Volume 6)

Description: The Workshop Lectures Volume 6 is part a series of lectures given by Yilun Yang (7P) at workshops in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The topics covered include: “Entering the Middle Game,” “Attacking Severely,” “Dealing with a Moyo,” and “Playing With and Against the Sanrensei.”

Book Details

Title, The Workshop Lectures (Volume 6)
Series, The Workshop Lectures
Author, Yilun Yang (7P)
Publisher, Slate & Shell
Published, “2008”
Language, English
ISBN, 1-932001-42-5
Length, 84 Pages

Table of Content

  1. Entering the Middle Game
  2. Attacking Severely
  3. Dealing with a Moyo
  4. Playing With and Against the Sanrensei

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?

  • Covers a wide range of topics that are relevant to weaker players like myself.
  • Presents a lot of new ideas that provide new and alternate ways to approaching traditional methods of explaining concepts such as reducing a moyo.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • Realization that my understanding of “attacking severely” was far worse than I imagined. Though to be clear, this is not a bad thing at all. It was very helpful to have my understanding completely revamped.
  • New ideas for how to deal with a moyo.
  • A better understanding of the sanrensei and how to play against it as White.

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 section on “Entering the Middle Game” was a little hit and miss for me. While I really enjoyed some of Yang’s advice regarding positional analysis and what to do next, there were times that I felt like we were back to discussing the opening and so I was a little disheartened by that. Overall though, Yang still did a great job advising players how to progress from the opening in to the middle game.

The section on “Attacking Severely” was really eye opening for me. Especially as someone who is still trying to make his attacking skills more effective, you can only imagine my excitement for Yang’s explanations. In a lot of the examples, the correct answers were often moves I flat out never considered; which is great since it shows a clear gap in my knowledge and understanding of what constitues a “severe attack.” In addition, Yang’s examples of what he considers a severe attack has served as a lasting reminder of how much work I need to do on my reading abilities in order to increase my attacking abilities.

The section on “Dealing with a Moyo” was a little bit jarring to me since Yang continuously refutes a lot of moves that I considered to be common practice when reducing/dealing with a moyo. And to be clear, it’s not so much that Yang says that moves such as capping and the shoulder hit are bad; but more along the lines of how to time their usage along with invasions is what made this section a bit unnerving to me since I thought I had a decent grasp on dealing with moyos. Turns out that isn’t the case. Haha. On the upside, I did get some new ideas on how to deal with moyos; so I look forward to trying it out in the future.

As someone who has studied and used the sanrensei rather extensively, I found that the section on “Playing With and Against the Sanrensei” was a refreshing take on the fuseki. Though I know many players that detest the sanrensei, I still feel that there is value for kyu players to at least learn about proper ways of playing with and against it since it does occur in handicap games and is still occassionally used in amateur games. The most eye opening for me in this section was a depiction of how a rather common formation that occurs in sanrensei games (where Black’s moyo seems gigantic), is reallly not that big in reality.

Finally, as this is the final volume for The Workshop Lecture Series, I must say that this is probably my favorite volume out of the entire series. The reason for this is most likely due to my interest in the topics within this volume; but it is also due to the fact that I think it covers a lot of ground that players really have issues dealing with. If you have any interest at all in the topics covered in this book, I wouldn’t hesitate to get a copy of this!

  • Players who are 9 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)

Other Books in This Series…

Last Updated on September 3rd, 2013