Reading is superficial or largely absent

Those who diligently work away at tsumego problems will learn very rapidly that even the most innocuous of positions can have the most ludicrous number of variations. And more to the point, that the vital first move is often counter-intuitive.

Yet many fast players declare their play to be intuitive, even though it is largely absent any meaningful depth of reading. Fast play simply denies the time to read enough, and often fails to identify the times when reading is vital.

Armed with a good memory, it is true that some players can remember and recall a vast array of patterns, often meaning that reading is generally not needed. But when games get complex, especially in mid-board fighting, stock patterns are of much less help. You really need to read - to explore variations in your head.

High-level games of Go are lacking depth if such reading is not deployed at crucial junctures. Reading and thinking should really be the essence of Go.

Yet increasing numbers of players just sprinkle stones across the board, and when reading is required or the lack of reading fails them, they just move to another part of the board. When you are reading carefully and deeply and your opponent is not, it feels hollow.