Yes playing well often comes down to well placed stones that work well with eachother. And shapes are not an easy thing to really forget. Its a bit like muscle memory… it just sorta comes back with little effort.
Reading isnt quite like that. Its an applied skill that go players have for the game. Its all well and good to be able to spot the moves you need to make once you have made them. But what reading does is allow you to pre-preceive a sequence of moves that is likely to happen after you play a stone.
Reading allos you to be able to quickly know how something should turn out… giving you the olayer an option as to what is really needed in the game.
So… if you can read out something on one side of the board you know roughly what impact that is going to have on the rest of the board along with a guess at point value, allowing you to judge what is biggest and most urgent in a game.
Not only that, what reading does well is enable a player the option of descision making rarher than being pushed around the board and only playing in a responsive way. Because reading is more than playing variations. Its also judgement of the game as well as counting. Its a nebulous skill.
Now… the reason that reading gets worse over time when not used is because it is a lot like a muscle. It is prone to atrophy when not used to the point where it can no longer be used. Which is why people play go problems and tsume go… and why they play them in high quantities, with little time per problem… its to build oth speed and strength of this skill… not just in life or death. But for the rest of the game… because lofe an desth and tsume go shapes appesr time and time again in all areas of every game we play. So if we know what will happen… simply know because of experience then we can read out more conplicated variations where we dont quite know the answers.
Knowladge and reading come to gether. Even people who say they cant read the game have some level of reading abililoty because its backed up on the knowladge they have anyways. Its a nebulous skill that draws together all other skills that are used on the fo board…
Knowladge of shape
Knowladge of territory
Urgency vs big or small
The abiloty to keep calm under pressure.
It is my opinion… just an opinion mind you… that reading along with pure knowladge of go is what makes a pro player a pro player.
Not just knowladge alone but deep deep reading of the game in a way that i frankly do not understand or comprehend… but they have that ability.
And for me… building good reading will help in live games as well as IRL and all other games.
This is just my opinion… and my educared guesses of what reading and other skills are at go. Im still a low level player at 8kyu. /9kyu. So my thoughts are subjective here to what i understand of the game thus far.
Also… i want to point out that this thread isnt meant to rile anyone to the point of argument. Just debate. Opinions and ideas.
Thanks for reading.