Speed Baduk for Beginners

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Speed Baduk for Beginners
By: Kim Sung-Rae
Publisher: Oromedia, 2000

Speed Baduk for Beginners by Kim Sung-Rae published by Oromedia.

Twelve volumes were available before Oromedia went out of business.

Each workbook contains hundreds of problems thoroughly illustrating basic point. Solutions are not included -- answer books are available separately.

Hebsacker Verlag has reprinted all the volumes. Their store sells them. Schaak en Gowinkel het Paard also sells the books on their store.

Table of Contents

Speed Baduk for Beginners Vol. 1

  1. Liberty
  2. Capturing
  3. Escaping
  4. Counter-dansu (atari)
  5. Connection
  6. Blocking
  7. How to play Dansu (Atari)
    1. Playing Dansu towards the first line
    2. Playing Dansu towards your stone(s) or thickness
    3. Playing Dansu cutting at the same time
    4. Double Dansu
  8. Territory
  9. Suicide move
  10. Life and Death
  11. Chokchoksu (Shortage of Liberties)
  12. Snapback
  13. Net
  14. Ladder
  15. Capturing race
  16. Filling Liberties
  17. Increasing Liberties
  18. Live Stone(s) and Dead Stone(s)
  19. Pae (Ko)
  20. Bik (Local Stalemate)
  21. Good Shape and Bad Shape
  22. Good Move and Bad Move
  23. Neutral Point
  24. Endgame

Speed Baduk for Beginners Vol. 2

  1. Connection
  2. Cutting
  3. Ladder
  4. Net
  5. Capturing race
    1. Basic tactics
    2. Fill the outside liberty first
    3. Fill the liberty of the main chain
    4. Which group to fight?
  6. Snapback
  7. False Eye
  8. Life and Death
    1. The four-space life and death
    2. Life and death after capturing
  9. Living Shape, Dead Shape
  10. Throw-in
    1. Throw-in for Chokchoksu(Shortage of Liberties)
    2. Throw-in to make a false eye
    3. Throw-in to win a capturing race
  11. How to capture the key stone(s)?
    1. Capture the stone(s) which can escape first
    2. Capture the key stone(s) first
  12. Mattbogi(Miai)
    1. Mattbogi in connection
    2. Mattbogi in life and death
  13. Strong shape, Weak shape
  14. Good shape, Bad shape
  15. Sunsu, Husu
  16. Savable Stones, Unsavable Stones
  17. Territory
  18. Size
  19. Endgame

Speed Baduk for Beginners Vol. 4

  1. After Dansu
    1. Capturing after Dansu (Atari)
    2. Connection after Dansu (Atari)
    3. Escaping after Dansu (Atari)
    4. Double-dansu after Dansu (Atari)
    5. Ladder after Dansu (Atari)
    6. Net after Dansu (Atari)
    7. Snapback after Dansu (Atari)
  2. Connection
    1. Types of Connection
    2. Where to Connect?
      • Baduk Proverbs (1)
      • Baduk Proverbs Pattern
      • Concentration Test
  3. Cutting & Blocking
  4. Capturing Race
    1. 4 Liberty Counting
    2. How to Increase Liberties?
    3. How to Win Capturing Race?
    4. Capturing with Hane
      • Concentration Test
  5. Sunsu, Husu
  6. How to Save/Escape the Key Stones?
      • Baduk Proverbs Pattern
      • Concentration Test
  7. Throw-in
    1. Chokchoksu with Throw-in
    2. Double Throw-in
      • Baduk Proverbs Pattern

[...] 13-2. One-point Jump Response

  • Final Test
  • Section 1
  • Section 2
  • Section 3


codyk?'s Review of Speed Baduk for Beginners volume 1

The facts: 183pg 7"x10" paperback published by Oromedia. Beginner topics are briefly introduced, then drilled with ~20 problems per topic. Topics covered:

  1. Liberties
  2. Capturing
  3. Escaping
  4. Atari
  5. Connecting
  6. Blocking
  7. Where to atari (towards 1st line, etc)
  8. territory
  9. suicide
 10. life & death
 11. shortage of liberties
 12. snapback
 13. net
 14. ladder
 15. capturing race
 16. filling liberties
 17. increasing liberties
 18. live vs dead stones
 19. ko
 20. seki
 21. good / bad shape
 22. good / bad moves
 23. neutral points
 24. endgame

The bad: Initial impressions are poor. The paper quality is worse than kiseido, although not quite as bad as a newsprint workbook. There are some typos ("cotting") and diagram glitches (the # label for a diagram showing up behind the stones), although nothing that affects the substantive material.

Compared to other books aimed at a similar audience, the breadth of coverage isn't great given the cost of the book. For example, hanging connections aren't covered until vol.2

The author has a master's in education, and it shows. There are several full-page diagrams that either have seemingly little to do with the rules of go, or outright break them: for instance, a cute diagram resembling an owl with several already-surrounded black stones for the eye area, or a 'ladder puzzle' that has the reader trace lines of stones with her eyes and take the first turn whenever possible.

The good: The author has a master's in education, and it shows ;) Pedagogically, this book absolutely blows away the other "complete beginner" books I have seen, such as Learn To Play Go Series volume 1 or Graded Go Problems For Beginners volume 1. There are enough problems to ensure the material is retained, unlike the former, and just enough introduction to organize the material very well, unlike the latter.

More importantly, the book involves what I believe is the most effective way to learn game skills: brief introduction of a new skill, isolation of that skill in a limited but realistic setting, integration of the skill into the larger game (props for the 3 I's go to straight blast gym, but the basic idea applies anywhere from martial arts to test prep). Each new topic has just enough introduction, e.g. 4 small diagrams with a sentence under each, explaining what a snapback is. Then the topic is isolated with many small corner diagrams of increasing difficulty, all of them involving e.g. snapbacks. Real integration is hard without playing the game, but the book does an admirable job by then presenting a full 13x13 with many interesting areas, only a few of which can be solved using the skill in question.

The material is limited in scope, but the fundamentals are very well chosen - ladders, nets and snapbacks are a lot more important at this stage than any opening theory beyond 'don't play on the first line'.

Difficulty level: A 20kyu should be able to solve pretty much anything in the book on sight. This is probably the trickiest problem in the book:

black to play and live.  

Answers for all 3 volumes are in a separate booklet, good for resisting or removing the temptation to look at answers.

Bottom line: If you're teaching beginners, especially children, this book is without peer as far as I can tell. For self-study, as long as you're young at heart enough to tolerate some of the cutesy diagrams, and don't mind trading a little less 'value' (in terms of number of topics) for very solid coverage of fundamentals, this is a good contender for a first book.

Speed Baduk for Beginners last edited by on October 9, 2022 - 15:19
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