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From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 2001, SZ Soft

One of the best Go programs ever made, DieOrLive is to Go like chess problems are to chess: a fantastic collection of puzzles any Go student would have fun solving — and improving their game in the process. Chris Garlock, Editor of American Go Journal & E-Journal, says it all about this great program: “…ask any pro how to get stronger and the first words out of his mouth invariably are “Study life and death.”

The problem (pun intended) is that studying life and death (tsume-go) is hard and, let’s be honest, boring. I love these elegant little problems but until a couple of weeks ago five a day on the subway each morning was all I could find the time for. Forget about cracking the book on weekends.

Now, thanks to Lyu shuzhi’s ‘DieOrLive’ software, I’m solving more than 20 problems a day, seven days a week. DieOrLive makes life and death studying so easy, fun and addictive that it may well become the go crowd’s Minesweeper.

The tsume-go student’s dilemma is whether to cudgel your brains until you solve the problem or to give it your best shot and move on. DieOrLive solves the dilemma by speeding up and easing the process of solving over 1,000 problems, grouped as basic, beginner, intermediate or advanced. You match wits against the program, which responds instantly to each move. Solve the problem successfully and you’re rewarded with a “success” message; if not, you get a “failed” message.

Either way, the instant response and easy interface proves remarkably addictive. Success spurs you on to solve more problems while failure sends you back to take another crack at it. The software itself doesn’t care: you can drop in at whatever level you like, re-do problems you already worked on or try out new ones.

The astonishing thing is that after just a few days I found myself instantly spotting successful sequences where it would have taken me several minutes before in a book, if I’d even had the patience to keep trying. And the proof of the pudding is that none of my opponent’s groups are safe anymore. Try DieOrLive and your opponents will soon be calling you “killer” too.” If you enjoy the ancient Japanese game of Go and are serious about improving your game, DieOrLive is simply a must-have. Two thumbs up, way up.

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