Book Review: Get Strong at Tesuji

Get Strong at Tesuji

Description: In the sixth volume of the Get Strong at Go Series, Bozulich has compiled a fantastic set of tesuji problems that focus on developing a player’s intuition through practicing lots of easier problems. Though there are a few intermediate/hard problems dispersed throughout the book, this is a great book for players of all levels (especially beginnger and intermediate levels).

Book Details

Title, Get Strong at Tesuji
Series, Get Strong at Go Series
Author, Richard Bozulich
Publisher, Kiseido
Published, “First Printing September 1996 | Second Printing June 2006”
Language, English
ISBN, 4-906574-56-4
Length, 184 Pages
Problems, 534 Problems

Table of Content

  • Preface
  • Some Important Terms and Concepts
  • Tesuji Problems

Before I Read This Book…

Besides the common tesuji that everyone learns when they first start out playing (i.e., snapback, crane’s nest, etc.), I would have to say that I did not feel like I knew that many tesuji. In addition, I always found it very difficult to identify tesuji in the middle of an actual game. So I was hoping that this book would give me a better foothold in identifying tesuji in common shapes and positions that might arise in my games.


What did I enjoy about the book?

  • Problems have a difficulty rating to inform the players how hard the problem is.
  • The problem set is overall very accommodating to beginner and intermediate players. In fact, a few of the “advanced” problems could be even be solved by a high SDK with some ease.
  • There is a nice repetition of techniques (that are dispersed throughout the book) to allow for excellent reinforcement of the technique.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • A greater comfort level with tesuji as a whole.
  • Increased confidence in my ability to identify tesuji in positions that once were obscure to me.
  • Renewed faith in my ability to eventually go back and attempt 501 Tesuji Problems once again.

What is the format of the book?

  1. A set of problems followed by their solutions and explanation. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

What aspects can be improved on?

  • No complaints here!

Is this book easy to read?

  • Yes. Explanations and solutions are short and clear cut. In addition, the diagrams are not complicated, so the solutions are easy to follow.

Bottom Line

  1. Though I was skeptical of the book at first, this book is actually very accessible to beginner and intermediate players (though a bit more towards intermediate players) who want to practice tesuji.
  2. Provides a lot of opportunities for practice and reinforcement of common tesuji techniques.
  3. Continues the quality of content you come to expect from the “Get Strong at Series” and is well worth the money.

My Review

As some of you are aware, when I tried to work my way through Mastering the Basics: 501 Tesuji Problems, I had an incredibly difficult time getting through it (for whatever reason I stil cannot identify). And since I always thought that the “Get Strong at Series” would be considered a more advanced level than the “Mastering the Basics Series,” I was a little worried about what I might encounter. Luckily for me though, I did not let my dread delay me any longer and I am so glad that I finally got opened it up!

Get Strong at Tesuji continues the tradition of being a problem book that centers around giving readers numerous opportunities to practice their skills. The problems are not categorized in any particular manner, but a new aspect to the design (that I found very helpful) is the usage of stars in order to designate the problems difficulty. The problems ranged from 1 star (easy) to 4 stars (difficult). The book primarily consists of 1 star and 2 star problems, an occasional 3 star problem, and only a handful of 4 star problems towards the very end. And for those who might be wondering how difficult the 3 star problems are, I am approximately 4 kyu at this time and found them to be manageable. So based on that analysis, it should be pretty clear that the book is actually very accessible to beginner and intermediate players.

Though there is no introductory section on the techniques that are used in the book, something that I want to remind readers out there is that the concept of tesuji is to find a move that works in your favor no matter how your opponent responds. Though some techniques can be neatly categorized and labelled, it would be impossible to collectively explain every technique that might ever arise in your game. So at the end of the day, the best way to build one’s ability to find and identify tesuji is to be exposed to more ideas and examples that already exist.

Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of content and level of problems that this book provided. Although I wouldn’t necessarily give this book to someone who is 20 kyu, I would highly recommend this book to any player who has had some basic knowledge to tesuji and is looking for a book on tesuji that will not overwhelm them with overly difficult problems.

  1. Players looking to improve their basic abilities in identifying and using tesuji.

Where Can I Buy It?

  • GoGameGuru - $20.99 USD (shipping and handling not included)
  • Kiseido - $21.00 USD (shipping and handling not included)

Other Books in This Series…

Last Updated on September 28th, 2013