Problem Book Grades

    Keywords: Problem

bucko: Initial content [including the blurb at the start] taken (and edited a little), with permission, from Matthew MacFadyen's page: [ext] http://www.jklmn.demon.co.uk/gradprob.html [Last Updated 13 November 2002 at time of entering this]

Many Go problem books have grades on their covers. But these can mean anything from "These problems should be instantly familiar to players of Grade X" to "Players of Grade X should be able to solve these problems given an hour of concentration on each one". This page is an attempt to measure the books of Go problems currently available to the English speaking Go community (and perhaps others, too). Feel free to include any other titles, along with some indication of where they can be obtained from if they're not available from the usual suspects.

For an estimated difficulty of problem books, see Estimated Problem Book Difficulty.

A well established part of professional go training is to work through books of easy problems as fast as you possibly can. Professional players are all able to solve very simple problems extremely fast, but it is hard to tell cause from effect. Can you really become stronger just by speeding up your atari spotting ability? Or is this just a side effect of learning to handle some of the harder concepts in the game? This page is concerned with collecting data towards answers to these questions.

To start with, it will simply be a table of the times. With luck there will soon be enough information to start including some graphical representations of the results.

What we are measuring is the time it takes you to work through the whole of the book in question. If you need to check the answers then try to subtract off the time you spent looking them up.

All contributions are welcome. Make sure you indicate:

  • Your playing strength at the time of doing the book, including the ranking system(s) used.
  • The time it took you to work through the book.
  • Roughly how many of the problems you got wrong.
  • If the book is one you have already worked through many times, please say so.
  • If you only worked through part of the book, say which part. Some of the harder ones may need to be divided up.

If you've attempted the collection multiple times, feel free to post all times; it is also useful to know how repeating a book changes your ability to do it.

Please be honest about your times, etc.: This page isn't a ranking of people, it's a ranking of books. If you don't want people to know who you are, make the entry anonymous.

Here's what we have so far:

Table of contents

Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 1

Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 1, Kano Yoshinori, Nihon Kiin 1985, 239 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 9m 50s 0 2.5s
S. Fawthrop 5 Dan (USA) 13m 15s 0 3.3s
D. Fotland 3 Dan (USA) 22m 0.8% 5.5s
S. Goss 2 Dan (European) 31m 0 7.8s
D. Buckley 1 Dan (European) 8m 40s 0% 2.2s Just for fun; having done the whole book a few days earlier in ~12.5m
D. Buckley 1 Kyu (European) 12m 0.4% 3.25s
K. Healey 1 Kyu (European) 25m 0 6.3s
S. Bailey 2 Kyu (European) 30m 0.4% 7.5s
L. Furjanic 4 Kyu (European) 27m 0 8.8s
B. Hearn 4 Kyu (USA) 25m 0.4% 6.3s
P. Evensen 5 Kyu (European) 24m 0.4% 6.0s
T. Collins 6 Kyu (AGA) 49m 0.4% 12.3s
T. Blackmon 11 Kyu (KGS) 54m 0% 13.6s
B. Solwitz 12 Kyu (KGS) 80m 1.6% 20.1s
S. Berger 20 Kyu (KGS) 95m 5% 23.8s

Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 2

Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 2, Kano Yoshinori, Nihon Kiin 1985, 327 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 21m 0 3.9s
S. Fawthrop 5 Dan (USA) 37m 23s 0 6.9s
S. Goss 2 Dan (European) 95m 2% 17.4s
D. Buckley 1 Dan (European) 38m 1% 7s done once ~1yr ago
D. Buckley 1 Dan (European) 25m 1% 4.6s Did it again a few days later. Didn't really improve which I got right...
P. Clarke 1 Kyu (European) 70m 1.5% 12.8s
M. Kegelmann 1 kyu (European) 117m 4% 21.5s
S. Bailey 2 Kyu (European) 115m 7% 21.1s
C. Nentwich 4 Kyu (European) 48m 3.2% 8.8s
D. Schmidt 4 Kyu (USA) 114m 6% 21.0s
gauss 6 Kyu (KGS) 170m 2% 31.2s
T. Collins 6 Kyu (AGA) 177m 6.7% 32.5s
P. Spacek 16 Kyu (European) 201m 48s 3% 37.0s

Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 3

Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 3, Kano Yoshinori, Nihon Kiin 1985, 421 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 32m 0 4.6s
S. Goss 2 Dan (European) 155m 2% 22.1s
D. Hanotin 1 Dan (European) 279m 7% 39.8s
D. Keeble 1 Dan (European) ? 11% ?
P. Clarke 1 Kyu (European) 150m 5% 21.4s
D. Schmidt 4 Kyu (USA) 364m 12% 51.9s
D. Keeble 6 kyu (European) ? 13% ?
D. Hanon 14 Kyu (European) 300m 20% 42.8s

Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 4

Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 4, Kano Yoshinori, Nihon Kiin 1985, 390 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 59m 1% 9.1s
S. Goss 2 Dan (European) 373m 15% 57.4s
D. Hanotin 1 Dan (European) 289m 26% 44.5s
P. Clarke 1 Kyu (European) 210m 9% 32.3s
Gresil 6 Kyu (DGS) 533m 45% 81.9s 32% wrong for section I, 60% wrong for section IV
D. Hanon 8 Kyu (European) 180m 15% 27.7s
D. Hanon 11 Kyu (European) 360m 20% 55.4s

1001 Life and Death Problems

1001 Life and Death Problems, Richard Bozulich, Kiseido 2002, 1001 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 234m 1% 14s
Dieter 2 dan (?) 179m 0.5% 10.7s 200 problems
Dieter 2 dan (?) 123m 0.5% 7.4s 200 problems; second run
D. Buckley 3 Kyu (European) 600m 4% 36s
VPP 3 Kyu (KGS) 1361m 6.8% 81.6s
SpongeBob? 5 Kyu (KGS) ? 14% 15.1s problems 1-100
gauss 6 Kyu (KGS) 52m 9% 31.2s problems 1-100

Rescue and Capture

Rescue and Capture, Yang Yilun, Yutopian 1997, 80 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 23m 4% 17.3s
V. Laatikainen 5 Dan (European) 39m 9% 29.2s
S. Goss 2 Dan (European) 72m 15% 54s
D. Keeble 1 Dan (European) 100m 29% 75s
P. Clarke 1 Kyu (European) 75m 20% 56.2s
S. Bailey 2 kyu (European) 22m 20s 7% 16.8s Following a period of study of this book
K. Healey 1 Kyu (European) 240m 33% 180s

Maeda Elementary Level '10-4 kyu'

Maeda Elementary Level '10-4 kyu' , Japan, 1965, 225 Problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 91m 4% 24.3s
P. Clarke 1 Kyu (European) 210m 16% 56s
D Buckley 3 Kyu (European) 322m 20% 86s

Maeda Middle Level '5-1 kyu'

Maeda Middle Level '5-1 kyu', Japan, 1965, 210 Problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 143m 10% 40.9s
Dieter 2 Dan ? 16% 74.4s 25 problems; presuming this is 'Graded Go Problems Volume 2'

Maeda Higher Level '3 kyu - dan level'

Maeda Higher Level '3 kyu - dan level', Japan, 1966, 150 Problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 135m 12% 54s Studied very thoroughly 15 years previously.

Get Strong at Life and Death

Get Strong at Life and Death, Kiseido 1997, 230 Problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 102m 5% 26.6s
D. Keeble 1 Dan (European) 211m 49% 55s
D. Verhofstadt 1 Dan (European) ? 0% 8s first 50 problems

(Note: The first section of this book is at a lower level than the rest)

Get Strong at Tesuji

Get Strong at Tesuji, Kiseido 1996, 534 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 125m 2% 14s
S. Goss 2 Dan (European) 303m 10% 34s
D. Keeble 1 Dan (European) ? 26% ?
S. Klytta 1 Kyu (European) 350m 12% 39s
D. Buckley 3 Kyu (European) 410m 14% 46s
VPP 3 Kyu (KGS) 610m 17% 69s
S. Houbraken 5 Kyu (European) 360m 16% 40s

(Matthew MacFadyen: This large collection (534 problems) is a very good candidate for the "do lots of easy problems fast" exercise)

The Art of Connecting Stones

The Art of Connecting Stones, Art of Go Series, Vol. 1, Connecting Stones, Yutopian 1996, 186 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 147m 11% 48s

The Art of Capturing Stones

The Art of Capturing Stones, Art of Go Series, Vol. 2, Capturing Stones (Sacrifice Techniques), Yutopian 1999, 91 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 122m 22% 80s

Maeda/Slate & Shell 2001

Life and Death Intermediate Level Problems extracted from Maeda Tsumego, Slate & Shell 2001, 110 problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 55m 6% 30s

(Matthew MacFadyen: This is of a similar level to volume 1 of the old Maeda series, but with rather more of the problems which are difficult first time round, but well known 'textbook' shapes if you read a lot.)

Ingenious Life and Death Puzzles, Vol. 1

Ingenious Life and Death Puzzles, Vol. 1, Yang Yilun, Yutopian 1996, 110 problems: 66 "Elementary", 54 "Junior"

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 115m; 156m 20%; 25% 105s; 213s
R. Jasiek 5 dan (European) 25h 50% 13.6m
D. Verhofstadt 1 dan (European) ? 0% 15m First 15 problems only.

(Note: Pairs of numbers separated by ; refer to "Elementary" and "Junior" sections)

Ingenious Life and Death Puzzles, Vol. 2

Ingenious Life and Death Puzzles, Vol. 2, Yang Yilun, Yutopian 1997, 90 problems: 46 "Senior", 44 "Advanced"

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
M. Macfadyen 6 Dan (European) 671m 51% 7m 22s

(Matthew MacFadyen: I found little difference between "Senior" and "Advanced" standard, until the last 15 problems, which took over 4 hours and I still got 10 of them wrong).

GoBase: Korean Problem Academy, Level 1

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
D. Buckley 1 Dan (European) 13m 2 3.9s
Lynx 4 kyu (?) 195s 0 1.95s 100 problems

GoBase: Korean Problem Academy, Level 2

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
Dieter 2 dan (?) ? 8% 8.4s 25 problems
Lynx 4 kyu (?) ? 0% 3.66s 30 problems
Lynx 4 kyu (?) ? 0% 3.9s 73 problems; second run
RBerenguel 15 kyu (?) ? 12% 14.4s 50 problems
D. Buckley 1 dan (European) 31m 30s 5% 9.5s

GoBase: Korean Problem Academy, Level 3

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
Dieter 2 dan (?) ? 16% 18.4s 25 problems
Dieter 2 dan (?) ? 8% 9.6s 25 problems; second run
Lynx 4 kyu (?) ? 4% 3.44s 25 problems; not first time
Lynx 2 dan (?) ? 4% 5.6s 50 problems

GoBase: Korean Problem Academy, Level 4

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
Dieter 2 dan (?) ? 11% 33.6s 100 problems
Dieter 2 dan (?) ? 4% 8.4s 50 problems; second run
Lynx 4 kyu (?) ? 0% 4s 25 problems
Lynx 4 kyu (?) ? 4% 6s 96 problems

Weiqi Introductory Problem Collection

ISBN 7-5326-0661-9

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
Dieter 2 dan (?) ? 2% 14.4s 50 problems
Dieter 2 dan (?) ? 4% 18.6s 100 problems; second run but after a long break

Five Hundred and One Tesuji Problems

Name Grade Time Taken No. Wrong Time per problem Remarks
D. Buckley 2 Dan (KGS) 167m 22% 38s First 263 problems; have done some of them before in the past but remembered very few. 31% wrong including ones with variations which I missed.
D. Buckley 2 Dan (KGS) 419m 24% 50s Full book, continued from above. 30% wrong including ones with variations which I missed.
Gresil 7 Kyu (KGS) 96m 61% 77s First 100 problems; did not peruse the introductory list of tesuji types before reading.

Problem Book Grades last edited by sparky314 on April 28, 2016 - 18:04
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