Fujisawa Tesuji Dictionary

    Keywords: Tesuji, Books & Publications

Chinese: 手筋辞典
Japanese: 基本手筋事典 (Kihon Tesuji Jiten)
Korean: -

Fujisawa Shuko's Dictionary of Basic Tesuji is neither a dictionary nor limited to tesuji; it is rather, as Charles Matthews puts it, the "current standard work" collecting and categorizing moves by function, not form. It was originally published in 1978 in two volumes by the Nihon Kiin; an English translation in four volumes by Steve Bretherick? was published by Slate and Shell between 2004 and 2007.

The book is divided into sections based upon the goal to be achieved: tesuji for "separating", tesuji for "pressing down", etc. (see the table of contents below.) At the start of each section are a few paragraphs explaining the goal and its role in a game. The text is followed by a list of methods (tesuji) that may be used to achieve that goal. The "Separating" section, for instance, includes "one-space jump descent," "solid descent," "sideways bump," and fifteen others, each with its own theme diagram and single paragraph text description.

Following the list of methods in each section is a selection of problems, some of which are taken from classic problem collections: Katsugo Shinpyo, Gokyo Shumyo, Guanzi Pu, Gokei Genmyou, and even Igo Hatsuyoron. The problems are interspersed with examples from real games.

The book is not presented as a narrative continuity; the volumes of the series, and the sections within the volumes, may be read independently of each other. There is also no progression in level or difficulty as the series progresses. This series could be considered to be dan-level, but many of the techniques it presents can be useful to strong kyu players.

Table of Contents (English edition)

Volume 1: Tesuji for Attacking

Dictionary of Basic Tesuji Volume 1: Tesuji for Attacking
Part 1 of the series: Dictionary of Basic Tesuji
By: Fujisawa Shuko
Publisher: Slate and Shell, 2004
ISBN10 1-932001-19-0
253 pp.

  • Separating, 1
  • Pressing Down, 23
  • Sealing In, 45
  • Spoiling Shape, 71
  • Probing, 98
  • Making Heavy, 120
  • Creating Weaknesses, 138
  • Making Double Threats, 157
  • Taking Away the Base, 181
  • Capturing, 207
  • Intimidating with Ko, 231

The volume contains 195 problems.

Volume 2: Tesuji for Defending

Dictionary of Basic Tesuji Volume 2: Tesuji for Defending
Part 2 of the series: Dictionary of Basic Tesuji
By: Fujisawa Shuko
Publisher: Slate and Shell, 2005
ISBN10 1-932001-23-9
258 pp.

  • Connecting, 1
  • Developing, 18
  • Escaping, 41
  • Making Shape, 61
  • Taking Sente, 89
  • Managing Stones Lightly, 110
  • Striking Back, 132
  • Defending Against Multiple Threats, 152
  • Solidifying a Base, 169
  • Linking Up, 189
  • Resisting with Ko, 216
  • Brilliant Tesuji in Classic Games, 241

The volume contains 170 problems.

Volume 3: Tesuji for Opening, for Capturing Races, and for Life and Death Problems, part 1

Dictionary of Basic Tesuji Volume 3: Tesuji for Opening, for Capturing Races, and for Life and Death Problems, part 1
Part 3 of the series: Dictionary of Basic Tesuji
By: Fujisawa Shuko
Publisher: Slate and Shell, 2006
ISBN10 1-932001-25-5
236 pp.

  • Making a Position, 1
  • Drawing Near, 22
  • Enlarging, 42
  • Reducing, 57
  • Surrounding,73
  • Invading, 87
  • Extending Liberties, 102
  • Reducing Liberties, 120
  • One Eye vs. No Eye, 137
  • Ko, 151
  • Securing Eye Shape, 171
  • Gaining Enough Space To Live, 193
  • Using Shortage of Liberties to Live, 215

The volume contains 147 problems.

Volume 4: Tesuji for Life and Death part 2, and for the Endgame

Dictionary of Basic Tesuji Volume 4: Tesuji for Life and Death part 2, and for the Endgame
Part 4 of the series: Dictionary of Basic Tesuji
By: Fujisawa Shuko
Publisher: Slate and Shell, 2007
ISBN10 1-932001-28-X
270 pp.

  • Living by Capturing Stones, 1
  • Using Ko to Live, 23
  • Destroying Eye Space, 45
  • Narrowing Your Opponent's Space, 67
  • Exploiting Shortage of Liberties, 89
  • Killing with Sacrifices, 111
  • Killing with Ko, 134
  • Encroaching on Enemy Territory, 156
  • Stopping Encroachments and Large Yose, 176
  • Threatening to Kill, 191
  • Forcing Removal, 206
  • Breaking in, 218
  • Double Attacks and Double Defenses, 229
  • Scrambling for Sente, 241
  • Brilliant Tesuji in Classic Games, 253
  • Editor's Afterword, 270

The volume contains 183 problems.


crux's review.

The excellent english translation by Slate and Shell is marred by two faults:

  1. One single page is dedicated to each problem, unfortunately, the problem diagram and the solution diagrams appear on the same page, rather than on the overleaf. A piece of thick paper is required to hide the answers when doing the problems.
  2. The binding is tight and the paper rather stiff, making it difficult to hold the book open without splitting the spine.

Gresil There's more: the title of each problem reveals the move. Eg. in the "separating" section the first problems are titled "Atari", "Diagonal Wedge" and "Knight's Move", so to avoid hints you have to cover not only the solution diagrams but also the problem title! But this doesn't feel like a problem collection anyhow. There are other books for that.

John F. Note that [the structure of the book] cuts right across the grain of normal tesuji books which use categories like hane, cut, atekomi. If you study a game and come to a point where you think that, say, a way of strengthening a base is called for, the Fujisawa book gives a long list of splendid examples. It's a source book of ideas rather than a problem book. This strikes me as the most rational way to study and is maybe why the book is so highly regarded.

John F. The contents of [part 1 of volume 3] are special in that they are discussed in much greater detail in text terms than the rest of the contents. In fact, this is probably as good an exposition of go theory as you'll ever see in a Japanese book (and despite what Robert Jasiek thinks, they can do it). Section 1 of this part can be rendered "development" (of single stones rather than positions) but it is actually the direct Japanese equivalent of haengma. Generally, in this portion tesuji is used in its meaning of "way to play", not brilliant moves. Section 2 is "tesuji for (i.e. how to play at) close quarters". This is not contact fights, but rather refers to the stage of the opening where lots of stones have already been placed and it is now necessary to play in relatively confined spaces. Again the text here is important (in every sense). Section 3 is how to expand a moyo. Section 4 how to erase, Section 5 how to surround territory (an important concept in Japanese commentaries that has been virtually ignored in English - it refers to sealing off territory directly, not indirectly by attacking, etc; the Japanese is kakou). Section 6 is on how to invade. In all these sections think of tesuji as "how to play", or at least forget any notion of brilliancy.

In Part 2 (Capturing Races) tesuji takes on its western flavour. Section 1 is tesujis for increasing liberties. Section 2 is tesujis for reducing enemy liberties. Section 3 is tesujis for meari menashi situations. Section 4 covers kos in capturing races (the introductory text here is quite valuable, though most of it has filtered through to the west already).

Part 3 [which continues in the fourth volume] is life & death tesujis. Section 1 is techniques (another meaning of tesuji) for preserving eye shape, and Section 2 covers expanding eye space. Section 3 is tesujis for exploiting shortage of liberties. Section 4 is tesujis for living by capturing (a form of damezumari). Section 5 is living by using ko. Section 6 is techniques for destroying eye shape. Section 7 is tesujis for constricting the opponent's eye space. Section 8 relates to tesujis for seeking damezumari. Section 9 is tesujis for killing by means of sacrifice stones (ishi no shita etc; for the rules mavens there's an advanced disussion of torazu sanmoku here). Section 10 is on killing with ko. En passant it's interesting that the thought processes here go eye shape/eye space/damezumari/ko - a useful order to approach problems with.

[The last part] is on the endgame. Section 1 covers encroachments (i.e. nibbling at the edges; not invasions). Section 2 is the opposite: techniques for stopping encroachments. This is another new concept for the English literature (the Japanese is kuitomeru). Section 3 covers techniques of making endgame gains by first making plays threatening the life of the enemy group. Section 4 is semedori. Section 5 tells you how to lop off whole limbs (kuiyaburu?) of enemy groups. Section 6 is double-action forcing moves. Section 7 is techniques for getting sente in endgame plays. If this whole last part interests you, you will do well to seek out the old Chinese classics rather than Japanese works. This is what Guanzi Pu is all about, for example (guanzi means endgame moves), and this work is of course quoted in this part of the book.

[bracketed parts WME'd by Gresil to adapt volume references in John Fairbairn's description, which discussed the two-volume Japanese edition, to the English translation]

John F. Coming back to this by following a link from L19, I notice someone has made a change to my text that I do not approve of: kakou has been changed to kakō. I have restored the correct form.

Ellyster I don't know how it changed it, I think that it should remain as the author write it, except if it is completely and unequivocally wrong (especially when the kanji word is not given).

I think that who ever changed it didnít knew that you were referring to the verb 囲う (kakou), I guess is that the term, but instead he though that the word was pronounced "kakoo" like most noums, in that case it would be correct to write kakō (in traditional and modified Hepburn).

More descriptions by JohnF, from rec.games.go:

[ext] http://groups.google.ca/groups?selm=986119161.12449.0.nnrp-13.9e98805d%40news.demon.co.uk&oe=UTF-8

[ext] http://groups.google.ca/groups?selm=rsnDHCAM1Xz3Ewq2%40harrowgo.demon.co.uk&oe=UTF-8

minismurf I got the books a week ago, and highly recommend them. I discovered early that I recognize a lot of the problems. Explanation: The computer program "Tesuji made easy" has some sections that are almost direct copied of the 2 books. I think this is true for the whole program, but I am not sure yet.

Duhii: I'm going through the first English volume at the moment. It's made of win and king, so to say. I think I'd be well up the dan ranks if I understood all the problems in this book.

Tamsin: Compare the Segoe Kensaku and Go Seigen Tesuji Dictionary SegoeTesujiDictionary.

Fhayashi: Now that I have both, if your Japanese reading ability is not so great, I think you can get more out of the Segoe Tesuji Dictionary than out of the Fujisawa Tesuji Dictionary. The Fujisawa is set up more like a dictionary in that there are sections, diagrams, and explanations, where about half the page is text. A lot of the content is the text. The Segoe book is set up a like a problem and answer book where the text is either a hint on how to start or view the problem, or an explanation in the answer section. The text is about 1/3 of the content, and you don't even need to read the text to get most of the content.

Tapir: I've not even finished the first volume but it is even now, the first book after Lessons in the fundamentals of Go and Attack and Defense, which I read some years ago, which has a real impact on my play (and strength). I feel like I will be shodan as soon as I finish this book. If you planned to play more meaningful moves, sharper moves and generally speaking moves with a follow up in future this book gives you the means to, it's such a wealth of new ideas. Thank you.

tchan001: The Nihon Kiin as of June/July 2011 has published a new edition of the 基本手筋事典 (Kihon Tesuji Jiten) (Dictionary of Basic Tesuji) in one volume with the author being Yamashita Keigo 山下敬吾. I have posted about this new book on my blog at the entry [ext] here.

Fujisawa Tesuji Dictionary last edited by DuEm6 on July 7, 2021 - 21:54
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