Endgame 2 - Values
Review by the Author
- Title: Endgame 2 - Values
- Author: Robert Jasiek
- Publisher: Robert Jasiek
- Edition: 2018
- Language: English
- Price: EUR 26.50 (book), EUR 13.25 (PDF)*
- Contents: endgame
- ISBN: none
- Printing: good
- Layout: good
- Editing: good
- Pages: 260
- Size: 148mm x 210mm
- Diagrams per Page on Average: 6
- Method of Teaching: principles, methods, examples
- Read when EGF: 13 kyu - 9 pro
- Subjective Rank Improvement: +
- Subjective Topic Coverage: +
- Subjective Aims' Achievement: ++
SummaryThe essential Endgame 2 - Values,
which is the result of 2 years of work and research, teaches every
relevant, basic aspect of endgame evaluation systematically, clearly
and in detail. The comprehensive textbook explains modern and
theories, the microendgame, and the impact of scoring. We evaluate
positions, follow-up positions and moves so that all their values are
consistent and related. The theory is well applicable to every
endgame position and move, approximates absolute truth and is supported
by many examples.
MotivationThe endgame dominates the second half, and affects
every move of the first half, of the game. Over 97% of all endgame
moves are decided by comparing their values while under 3% require new
effort on tactical reading or tesujis. Therefore, understanding endgame
values well has the potential of improving one's play by several ranks.
Most endgame calculations are easy (much easier than tactical reading)
but we must learn to apply the right calculations.
Very little of modern endgame theory is part of prior verbal go theory or
available through professional teaching. Previous, unstructured,
incomplete, partly wrong information is scattered in thousands of
messages throughout the web or the mathematical literature, which has limited practical relevance and must be reinterpreted
for our application as go players.
This unfortunate situation
has had consequences. Most amateurs have neglected careful study of
endgame values. Only a few other books on endgame values are worth
mentioning. Writing about endgame evaluation, if it shall not only be
trivial literature, is 10 times as demanding as writing go books on
book fills the gap in endgame value theory and the literature, collects
all the basics, provides structure by starting with the most basic
theory and then carefully developing the more sophisticated concepts.
Now everybody can learn endgame calculations because the presentation
emphasises easy application of the theory to examples.
Modern and Traditional Endgame TheoryInstead of the strange phrases 'miai counting' and 'deiri counting', the book speaks of modern endgame theory and traditional endgame theory.
Either theory needs to calibrate the different types of local endgame
positions to enable the principle of usually playing a move with the
largest move value. Modern endgame theory calibrates by dividing by
2 for a local gote. Instead, traditional endgame theory calibrates by
multiplying by 2 for a move played in sente or reverse sente.
book explains both theories. It clarifies traditional endgame theory,
which is more convenient when only comparing gote move values with each
other. It explains modern endgame theory in detail.
the book, the planned further volumes and O Meien's Japanese book Yose - Absolute Counting
emphasise modern endgame theory? It is very consistent in every respect
enables application of advanced theory easily and without
For every aspect of endgame evaluation other than the aforementioned
principle, modern endgame theory applies naturally while traditional
endgame theory only applies with the artificial helping construction of
first transforming its move values to those of modern endgame theory.
Only modern endgame theory allows the following, and countless other, applications easily and consistently. In Volume 2: all values of
positions, follow-up positions and moves are related to each other
naturally; the close relation
counts, move values and other values to better evaluate moves and
sequences; easy evaluation of ordinary ko exchanges; microendgame; area
scoring. In later volumes: distinguishing local sente and gote objectively; evaluating local endgames with long sequences;
correct move order of local endgames with follow-ups in the global
positional context. In all volumes: identification of exceptional move
orders contrary to the mentioned
Traditional endgame theory made
slow progress because its move values are inconsistent for these applications.
book starts with the basics. It explains modern and traditional endgame
theories, the microendgame, and differences of endgame evaluation under
territory versus area scoring. It concludes with an appendix.
concepts are explained several times in different ways. After a preview
of key concepts in the introduction, the second chapter explains the
basic concepts cautiously so that nobody is lost when they are applied
in later chapters. The book uses terms common in modern endgame
evaluation (a follower is a follow-up position, the black or white follower is created by a sequence started by Black or White, a count is the value of a local endgame position, move value and so on) and introduces the convenient terms local gote versus local sente
for a local endgame position that is a gote or a player's sente,
respectively. In his local sente, the opponent might play in reverse
sente. Besides a few additional
terms and the method of reading and counting, we learn
basic endgame strategy and some exciting exceptions, such as a
player's local sente that is the opponent's global sente.
student of endgame evaluation meets the two concepts 'difference value'
and 'tally', which characterise move values. Although some online
texts use the word 'swing', the book simply and clearly calls it what
it is: the difference value of the counts of the black and white followers. The tally
characterises different kinds of local endgames (local sente, local
gote, ordinary ko and so on) by comparing the players' numbers of local
Modern Endgame TheoryA few hard-to-find webpages and
videos only say "gote / sente are
calculated like this, same for follow-ups" but such is insufficient to
enable understanding on a level of fluent application. For this
purpose, the book explains every basic aspect very
carefully so that all questions are answered and cannot create hurdles
or block learning progress. The book provides enough
examples and repetition. It is hard to
reinvent everything on one's own, therefore the book already presents everything. Trying to
only use earlier, insufficient, badly structured and partially wrong online resources for acquiring a firm understanding
takes months for rediscovering much basic knowledge. The book saves the reader that much time.
Modern endgame theory is not difficult but Endgame 2 - Values offers
the first English presentation for learning it well enough to apply it
regularly with confidence to every local endgame position.
Instead of also counting territory on
unaffected intersections, every example is evaluated in, and
shows, its locale, that is,
the relevant local region affected by the move sequences. Unlike in
quite some other endgame study material, the concept avoids wasting
time for adding and subtracting the same constant amount of territory
outside the locale. The book explains how to start from the counts of
settled followers, derive the values of intermediate positions and
eventually those of the initial local endgame.
the counts of a local gote or sente and move values, the book enters
previously often neglected aspects of endgame theory. When studying
local sentes or local endgames with long sequences carefully, one
notices that Black's and White's moves do not always gain the same
amount of points. The concepts of gain or net profit describe value changes for a particular player's move or sequence, respectively.
book describes every useful relation between the values and
demonstrates applications. Simple and clear value diagrams support the
reader's understanding. The value relations offer additional tools for
evaluating local gotes, establish the same kind of calculation of the count of
a local gote, ordinary ko or ko threat, and are essential for
evaluating kos. The book clarifies determination of the count and move
value of several regions considered together. We see calculations of
every combination of follow-ups: local gote with gote or sente
follow-ups; local sente with gote or sente follow-ups.
The book covers ordinary kos and shortly
introduces approach and stage kos. For
modern and traditional endgame theory, we learn how to compare the
different types of local endgames. The chapter on modern endgame theory
concludes with an illustration of every kind of accidental mistake in
evaluation in order of decreasing frequency.
starts with theory and concludes with examples. Theoretical
explanations and example comments are as detailed as necessary. An
explanation can be short or cover three pages. Theory can contain
principles or formulas in bold font. Each formula is also described in
words. The example comments proceed step by step, as do the
calculations. If values depend on other values of followers, the
iterative calculation is often done move by move. Endgame value calculations are new to many readers so every reader has
the chance to follow the careful and detailed explanations. The
many diagrams and informative captions assist the learning process.
MicroendgameHave you read the book Mathematical Go Endgames
several times and still not understood chilling and infinitesimals to
play the microendgame correctly? Instead of pure mathematics, we
players need applicable theory. Therefore, Endgame 2 - Values evaluates corridors by counts and move values, uses easily understood terms (such as gold denoting
a valuable end of a corridor), abandons
infinitesimals to reinterpret correct play in some corridors as capturing races and abandons go
theory encrypted in a mathematical proof to use principles for teaching
reductions of corridors from an unconnected attacking string.
principles, methods, formulas and tables convey the theory. We use
ordinary counts and move values instead of chilled values. Therefore we
can easily compare the values to those occurring earlier during the
endgame. Although the formulas and tables state the counts and move
values, we calculate them in examples for every type of corridor so
that we acquire a firm understanding and recall the theory more easily.
There is a general move order for the standard types of shapes
occurring during the microendgame. If we only had to believe it,
learning it would be hard. Therefore, every relevant combination of
different types of shapes is studied by principles and examples.
chapters explain endgame theory under territory scoring (Japanese /
Korean style). Since there are also countries and tournaments with area
scoring (Chinese / AGA / Ing style), the related chapter explains its
consequences and relation to territory scoring for each relevant
aspect: how to avoid
counting all the stones on the board; the detailed relations between
score, winner and komi (more complete and general than in my earlier studies); calculation of count and move value; the
relation between local territory count and local area count; the
AppendixThe appendix contains much more than a
list of conventions and keywords. 15 carefully selected problems are a
test with which the reader can check his understanding of the major
theory. The other long section of the appendix rescues
everybody having forgotten his school mathematics: everything needed
for endgame calculations is explained.
Quality, Relevance and Consistency of the ContentsThe
book's theory of endgame evaluation has an extraordinarily high quality
because the principles, methods and value calculations rely on
mathematical theory. Therefore, much of the theory of endgame
evaluation represents, or closely approximates, absolute truths. This
is the best possible quality, often superior to advice from
professional players. Higher precision is only achieved by also
applying the theory of the planned later volumes (see further below),
and the mathematical theorems and their proofs in a later volume or the
mathematical literature. The reader of this book is not confronted with
the mathematical background but benefits from it.
suitable for kyus, amateur dans and professional dans because everybody
can do the value calculations and learn new, better theory. Although
more professional players become aware of modern endgame theory,
the book also contains new contents that they cannot have known
before: move order in the microendgame described in a language
easily applicable for players; unconnected reductions of corridors;
details of scoring relations. The following is described clearly
instead of previous either informal or mathematical expert
descriptions: relations between counts, move value and gains;
evaluation of ko exchanges.
The theory of endgame evaluation is
very relevant as it applies to every move and every local endgame of
every position with these exceptions: later volumes explain
details, difficult shapes and the global context; complex kos require
more advanced theory.
great consistency and scope of application of modern endgame theory has
already been described further above. For even greater consistency in
book and later volumes, the same variables (such as C for count or M
for move value) are used everywhere.
Wrong First ImpressionsBrowsing through the book for just a few seconds can easily generate one of the following wrong first impressions:
- "Since the book only has easy examples, it is for absolute beginners."
This book (like O Meien's book) restricts itself to easy examples to
make understanding and learning the theory as easy as
possible. The theory shall not be buried under difficult examples.
Instead, Volume 4 will have a great variety of shapes.
- "Since the book calculates values, it is only for mathematically skilled persons." For example, the book contains the principle "The count C of a local gote is the average of the counts B and W of its followers: C = (B + W) / 2."
and calculations like the following for a particular example of a local
count of the black follower is B = 14. The count of the white follower
is W = -28. The count C of the initial position is the average of the
counts of its followers: C = (B + W) / 2 = (14 + (-28)) / 2 = (14 - 28)
/ 2 = -14 / 2 = -7." The calculation is described by text, the formula
and the actual values so everybody can learn
in his preferred way. Repeated stating of the same text and formula
for every example supports learning of the calculation in general for
every local gote. If the reader needs additional explanation for
calculations with brackets, negative numbers or 'the average of two
numbers', he can consult the reference chapter introducing school
mathematics. If you understand the cited calculation of representative
difficulty, you can understand all calculations in the book.
- Under-estimating the quality of the theory:
The theory is very consistent and generally applicable to every example. It is often the best possible
theory representing, or closely approximating, absolute truth.
What the Book Is NotThe book has
theory and examples but does not train tactical reading or
tesujis. It is not a problem book. It does not teach the contents of
the planned further volumes. School mathematics is sufficient for
understanding the book, which avoids all advanced mathematics, such as
trees, thermographs, cooling, infinitesimals, combinatorial game
Layout and typography have not been optimised so far that Volume 2
would have to be split into two books. Apart from mentioning the
occasional typo, shouldn't the author be more critical in his own
review? I do not think that the book contains too much contents or
should introduce the reader to the basic concepts even more cautiously.
I wish I could have learnt endgame value theory anywhere else even
remotely as clearly as in this book or O Meien's book, so why might I
This What the Book is Not
section points out the only noteworthy drawback of the textbook: every
aspect of theory is illustrated by examples and their comments but not
also by immediate training with problems. Of course, frequent
interludes with problems would have been possible - if the one book was
split into two or three books. The prospect would be a series of one or
two dozen (instead of the planned six) volumes. I have resisted the
Comparison to Other Books
- Volume 1: Kyus might ask whether to read Volume 1 or 2. They are complementary and can be read successively or consulted both. Volume 1 studies the endgame from a value-less perspective while Volume 2 uses values. Volume 1 is easier but one cannot escape decisions between moves of similar values requiring their calculation.
- Endgame books training tactical reading: They
are complementary but training of tactical reading has greater
application for the middle game because almost all endgame moves are
simple, connected boundary plays.
- Endgame tesuji books: They are complementary. Also read them so that you find the one, two or sometimes few endgame tesujis per game.
- Books using traditional endgame theory: Typically,
they only teach approximate calculation of move values but hardly
anything else about endgame evaluation. Such books involve a great
danger of keeping one's endgame evaluation at a low level. Counts of
followers tend to be neglected. Local move sequences are often too long
without good appreciation of intermediate plays elsewhere.
- O Meien's book: You
only understand this good book if you read Japanese or already know all
the theory explained in this book. It teaches the very basics of modern
endgame theory for local endgames and the most basic global decisions. Endgame 2 - Values
teaches more, more details and also the microendgame, scoring and
school mathematics but avoids global decisions before the microendgame
because they will be the topic of Volume 5. O Meien's book is well worth reading but non-essential if you read Endgame 2 - Values.
On the other hand, modern endgame theory has been neglected in the
other literature so reading both books can further improve one's
- Mathematical Go Endgames:
This is as much a book of correct, advanced mathematics as of the
microendgame. Understanding the very dense contents is very hard.
Reading the book several times meticulously can improve your score by
another point, provided you have studied some mathematics at
university. First read the extraordinarily easier chapter Microendgame
in Endgame 2 - Values.
ConclusionEndgame 2 - Values
is the urgently needed, comprehensive textbook on endgame evaluation.
It is written to be the standard reference everybody above absolute
beginner level should read. The book contains all the relevant, basic
theory. It includes aspects and methods often neglected by professional
players. Good structure, great clarity and detailed explanations raise
understanding to the level of fluent application.
book, and drafts of further volumes, are the result of 2 years of
full-time work, of which 50% (instead of my usual up to 5%) has been
research in the theory of endgame evaluation. I have also proved, and
will publish later, related mathematical theorems to establish most
of the new theory as absolute truth. The research has been
necessary to fill huge gaps in earlier theory and
create a consistent, sufficiently complete, well applicable theory.
While I have learnt 10% from the endgame researcher Bill Spight
and 10% from other sources (of which almost 0% are from professional players), I have had to discover and prove 80%
Further VolumesI have planned these further volumes but Volume 5 might be split if a volume for global problems should be added.
- Volume 3: distinguish local sente and gote objectively; double sente; evaluate local endgames with long sequences
- Volume 4: problems of local endgames with
frequent shapes applying the theory of Volumes 2 + 3
- Volume 5: correct move order of local endgames with follow-ups in the global positional context
- Volume 6: mathematical theorems and proofs for the theory of Volumes 2 - 5, examples for rare cases
* = These are the endconsumer prices in EUR according to UStG
§19 (small business exempted from VAT).