All About Life and Death

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All About Life and Death
("Kihon Shikatsu Jiten")
By: Cho Chikun
Publisher: Ishi Press, June 1993
ISBN10 4-87187-042-1, 4-87187-043-X
346 combined pp.

All About Life and Death is a two volume set published by Ishi Press containing 200 common corner and side patterns that may live or die. For each pattern the correct line of play is shown as well as a number of variation diagrams. An example is included below.

This book (consisting of two volumes) is a translation of volume 1 of Cho Chikun's Japanese language book Life and Death Dictionary listed on the dictionaries page.

Available as reprints on Amazon. Unfortunately, low-quality reprints according to the amazon reviews.



David Carlton's [ext] review

Table of Contents

to be added

Sample Material

Example: Part Seven, Third Line Shapes on the Side, Pattern 12

Black to Play and Live  

The hole at a is a weak point, but if Black simply connects at a, this becomes the same position as the last pattern, and he dies. The vital point is somewhere else.

Solution 1. Diagonal Play  

This is a confusing position because there are a number of possible alternatives for the first move, but the diagonal play at B1 is the only move that will allow Black to live. Let's look at the variations one at a time.

Solution 2. Attachment  

After Black's diagonal play, W1 is the vital point for making eye shape. It's very important for Black to answer this by descending at B2. Now when Black answers W3 by connection at B4, he is alive. The plays at a and b are miai.
If White plays 3 at 4, Black can just defend at a.

Solution 3. Push and Cut  

After making the diagonal play, Black needs to be careful about how he answers the push and cut of W1 and W3. Descending to B4 is calm. If Black carelessly plays this move at a, a White hane at 4 will mean sudden death.

Failure 1. The vital point but,  

Going back to the beginning, B1 will be the very first play that comes to mind for making eye shape, but White will play 2 and 4 and just manage to kill the Black group. When Black answer at 5, White plays hane at 6.

Failure 2. Death by hane  

The descent to Black 1 is also not a very flexible answer. The White hane at 2 is a good move, and then answering B3 by pushing in once again with W4 kill the Black group. After this, if Black plays a, White answers b, and if Black tries b, a White hane at c kills him.

Failure 3. Shortage of Liberties  

What about descending with Black 1 here? Unfortunately, the four Black stones on the left side suffer from a shortage of liberties, so White 2 and the placement of 4 mean instant death.

Reference. An extra liberty  

In this diagram Black has a liberty at a, so even if Black merely descends to 1, things don't go as they did in the last diagram. This time Black can live. White 2 and 4 are powerful plays, but Black 5 is a nice answer. In other words, in this situation there are two ways for Black to live.

Deshi Note:

31st Kisei, Game 4  

This position arose in the fourth and final game of the 31st Kisei Title match between Yamashita Keigo and Kobayashi Satoru. When Kobayashi filled the last outside liberty with black+circle, Yamashita lived with white+circle.

Please note that in the Kisei game the notch is four lines wide whereas in the problem above, the notch is three lines wide.

Grauniad: Does anyone know where to buy this book?

juhtolv: It was published by Ishi Press, but then Ishi stopped releasing books. Kiseido has slowly resurrected books of Ishi Press, but this books is not yet resurrected. So, all you can do is to try to find it as used book, maybe from eBay.

jfc: I've heard the japanese language original has more material than the english translation. Considering the subject matter (I have the english version) I'm confident the original books would be of great value to folks who don't read japanese (like myself). I think [ext] this 2 volume set for sale at Yutopian is the japanese version.

Calvin: Aren't those Yutopian books Chinese translations? I've had luck getting this and other common Japanese references ----such as joseki and tesuji dictionaries---from Amazon's Japanese web site, [ext] Even if you don't know Japanese, you can usually sort through the web site by comparing it to the English version, which has the same layout. Then you just need the ISBNs, but now that I've bought some books I don't need ISBNs, because my Amazon recommendations are pretty good there; I guess people who buy Cho's life and death dictionary probably really do buy other books I might want. :-) It's also good to have some control over what your shipping markup is going to be.

sergio0p: Yutopian has a Chinese translation of Cho Chikun's Life and Death dictionary. I just bought the two volumes after I bought an used English edition of volume one. Even if you don't know Chinese like me, the dictionary is quite useful as long as you know the sequence that problems are presented: first the problem, after it comes the best solution, sometimes the second best solution, ..., and then the mistakes.

sergio0p: The original edition is in Japanese (see the dictionaries page) but it is out of print. I was told by the sales staff at Kiseido that Yutopian is suppose to re-lease it July, 2005 (but I don't know if they were referring to the Japanese or the English edition).

fijuk: All About Life and Death Vol 1 (Japanese) is translated to English in 2 volumes (BTW, pages in Vol 2 are starting from 172, not 1.) I also have Japanese Vol 2 which is Cho Chikun work on old Tsume-Go problems. I can check it later, I think I have translation of some chapters. Yes, Japanese version has more material only because there is a 2nd volume which is not translated. If you have Ishi's volume 1 & volume 2, you just need Japanese volume 2. I think I read somewhere that Ishi translated volume 1 without Cho Chikun knowledge approval.

anon - I've just got the Chinese version from Yutopian and they sent a sheet of Chinese-English terms translated. In under 10 minutes I've learnt black to play and live, white to play and live, black to play and kill white etc. The sequences of diagrams are simple too as the characters for 'correct', 'wrong' and 'reference' are easy to recognize.

anonymous: Supposedly this was an unauthorized translation and as a result it will never be reprinted by anyone. According to the Japanese original is also out of print.

anonymous: Solution 2 looks dead to me. Am I stupid? Where are two eyes when white plays either a or b?

Bob McGuigan: You are right that Black can't get two eyes but if White plays either a or b Black takes the other one and gets a seki so the black stones are alive.

anonymous: Thanks a lot!

All About Life and Death last edited by DuEm6 on July 20, 2021 - 12:43
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