Book Review: Jump Level Up 3

Jump Level Up 3

Description: Jump Level Up 3 is the third volume of the intermediate counterpart of the Level Up! Series that serves as a workbook in private go schools in Korea. Though designed for children, the content and practice provided is invaluable for adults and children alike.

Book Details

Title, Jump Level Up 3
Series, Jump Level Up
Author, Lee Jae-Hwan
Translators, Lee Seong-Geun & Daniela Trinks
Supervisor, Yoo Chang-Hyuk (9P)
Publisher, Baduktopia
Published, “May 25th, 2012”
Language, English
ISBN, 978-89-90965-73-8
Length, 167 Pages

Table of Content

  • Glossary
  • General Knowledge
  • Profit from the Opponent’s Overplays
  • Life & Death: Using Snapbacks
  • Life & Death: Using Jachung
  • Star Point Joseki 10
  • Sample Opening 1
  • Next Move
  • Spin-around Ladder and Loose Ladder
  • Connecting and Blocking Moves
  • Save by Making Use of Suicide Rule
  • Sample Opening 2
  • Life & Death and Capturing Races (Review)
  • Sample Opening 3
  • Double Hane
  • Making Snpaback & Double Snapback
  • Baduk Education
  • Life & Death: Miai and False Eyes
  • Widening and Narrowing the Eye Space
  • First Line Clamp and Vital Points in Capturing Races
  • Disturbing Extensions
  • Jachung Capturing Race
  • 3-4 Point Joseki 2
  • Sample Opening 4
  • Endgame: Sente and Gote
  • How to Answer
  • Level Tests

Before I Read This Book…

As a mid to high SDK (i.e., single digit kyu) player, I was expecting to see the same quality of content from previous volumes. In addition, I was hoping that I would be able to solve most problems with relative ease while finding some problems challenging.

My Review

This volume starts with a skill that I believe many players are lazy about: counting liberties. And to be honest, I did not realize how much I would have to struggle through this section. It wasn’t until I started working through these problems that I realized how lazy I’ve been and how weak I am at this fundamental skill. Though a bit of a shock, it was a good reminder of how weak my basics are.

In this volume, a new problem type is introduced: profiting from your opponent’s overplays. This was by far one of the most surprising and enjoyable sections in the book since very little practice is ever given to players for this. Stronger players constantly tell weaker players to learn how to punish overplays, but there has been little material to focus on how to do so. Up till this book, I always found that learning to punish overplays came from experience and nothing else. Well, this section is that something else.

Another thing that I noticed in this book is the categorization of life and death problems based on techniques. Most of the life and death books I have encountered thus far generally just include an assortment of problems, but I think that the categorization of problems based on technique is one of the more effective ways to teach players from the ground up. I definitely am hoping to see more of this in the future.

And as if I wasn’t already impressed enough with this volume, they also take great care to teach the foundation behind the usage of certain moves or techniques. For example, many of us are familiar with what snapback is, but we don’t really get much training in regards to making the snapback. Another example would be practicing the double hane. Most players learn that it’s a useful move, but players are often forced to guess and learn the hard way in the middle of their game. And that can be painfully slow if you are only playing occassionally and do not have guidance at all.

Finally, though it feels a little late in the series to finally see this, I’m really glad that they have a section devoted to training basic sente and gote understanding. Players can practice what I consider the most fundamental endgame problem: Find the sente endgame move. You might scoff at how simple that sounds, but I cannot count how many times I’ve seen kyu players just blatantly ignore sente plays for gote ones.

Bottom line: Though I didn’t think they could improve the series much more, this volume just goes to show how well Lee Jae-Hwan understands breaking down the fundamentals of go into understable bite size pieces. Highly recommended!


What did I enjoy about the book?

  • Forces players to understand counting liberties in capturing races.
  • Focuses on how to punish overplays that players commonly make.
  • Trains players on how to properly utilize moves like double hane.
  • Introduces sente and gote in an easy to understand manner.

What did I gain from reading this book?

  • Realization of how weak my liberty counting abilities are. They are stronger now, but I know that I still have a bit to go before I am confident in them.
  • Better understanding of how to use the double hane.
  • Sharpened intuition for utilizing tesuji like snapback and shortage of liberties.
  • Reinforced understanding of the foundation of endgame plays.
    What is the format of the book?

  • The book is primarily structured as follows:

    • (1) A one page explanation of the topic that you are about to practice. Example: When behind in liberties. They not only show the sequence for the proper technique, but also include common mistakes and brief explanations as to why they are mistakes.
    • (2) A set of very easy to understand and follow practice problems to ensure you understand what you are learning.

What aspect can be improved on?

  • Page 145 - Directions should read: Black to play a sente move.
  • Page 162: Problem #20 - The solution in the answer book is technically correct in that it’s the best endgame sequence. However, it fails to what the problem is asking for (i.e., A, B, or C) since it chooses D (which does not exist in the book). For those who are looking for the simple answer, it is A.

Is this book easy to read?

  • Yes. It doesn’t get much more simple or straightforward than this.
    Bottom Line
  1. Continues to live up to the quality of content you come to expect from this series.
  2. Provides excellent practice for concepts many players overlook (e.g., counting liberties).
  3. Completely worth your time and money!
  • Though the series is designed for kids, both kids and adults alike will be able to learn everything they need to know about playing go in a fun and entertaining way.
  • People who enjoy learning things in an easy to understand format and lots of opportunities to reinforce what they are learning.

Where Can I Buy It?

  • Yellow Mountain Imports - $13.00 USD (shipping and handling not included)
  • Baduktopia - E-mail them at for more information.

Other Books in This Series…

Last Updated on October 6th, 2013