Otherwise known as Adult Chess Improvement Seekers.
My take on this now is to learn tactics primarily, learn endgames, otherwise forget everything you thought you’ve learned and calculate it out at the board. Openings are useful to know because it saves on time, energy, and the chance of blundering at the board.
Trying to rely too much on knowledge is a mistake because you may sense that something doesn’t seem right, like …Be6 by my opponent in my last game in the Center-counter. But calculation proved at odds with my original suspicion. In fact, this is becoming the norm as my calculation and game has improved. I can use my intution to blitz out an endgame or come up with an attack, but I used to rely on the “look” more, as in “Oh, that doesn’t look right”. It has to be calculated, you don’t know, and may be simply wishing. Play with intuition, but rely on calculation. The reason I say this is because when I get home I realize, via Crafty, that the calculation part of me was correct, and the other parts of my game are based much more on emotion and thus not as reliable.
I am going through Zurich ’53 book a little here and there. I notice that Bronstein will often throw out an idea, but not always back it with a variation. Sometimes this is helpful to know regardless, and sometimes it makes one waste time for a variation that doesn’t seem to be present. When in doubt, I will trust the players who played at perhaps a combined 6hr time control over an author that isn’t providing a variation. That seems the safe bet by far.
The other thing to keep in mind is to play a whole game. Don’t do like my post below where the game was marred by my time-pressure on both sides of the board. Play the opening to make sure you at least get to the middlegame, to make sure you at least get to the ending, to make sure you at least don’t lose on time. You never know what move your opponent will make (not the same thing as the best move), and the supposition of an accurate rating is largely based on the graciousness of you allowing your opponent to make his/her mistakes.