The Basics of Life and Death


This book aims to present the basic ideas and patterns that arise in life-and-death positions.

Part One is an introduction to the topic of life anddeath, aimed at players who have just learned the rules. However, it should also be useful for players up to 5-kyu or for any amateur player who needsto review the basics of life and death. It is also a prerequisite for Part Two of this book. The fundamental concept of life and death is that of eye space. Once this concept is fully grasped and the properties of various eye spaces are understood, the three most important tesujis of life and death can be introduced—the hane, the placement, and the throw-in tesujis. Along the way, another important concept is introduced—shortage of liberties. This concept is important not only in life and death, but also in middle game fighting. Solving the life-and-death problems presented in that section will help kyu players to learn and familiarize themselves with this concept.Finally, the rule of bent-four-in-the-corner is introduced. Before a player can progress to the more advanced life-and-death problems, this rule must be fully understood.

Part Two consists of 177 basic life-and-death positions that often arise in josekis and skirmishes in the corners and along the sides. These positions are fundamental and you should familiarize yourself with them so that you can determine the status of these positions almost at a glance. Moreover, by studying these problems you will learn many of the techniques that are needed to kill your opponent’s groups and tolive with your own.