It sounds a little bit obvious, but the lack of a plan is the main reason for a lot of losses in chess. Planning is essential in chess. After you have learned the general ideas for the opening, the middle game and the endgame, you have to create plans in order to win the game.
We can distinguish several kind of plans. Jeremy Silman starts by looking for the imbalances in the position and then the plan is to use and enlarge (one of) the positive imbalances.
Other plans are more related to finding the right squares for your pieces and then the plan is to find a way to get your pieces on these squares.
The most important thing is that you have a plan. Without a plan your moves will be incoherent and you will be just moving your pieces. Having a plan will result in more wins.
When playing chess you should always have a plan, but don’t stick to rigid to it. Your opponent also has a plan and you have to take his moves into account. Some players tend to play their moves but neglect the moves of their opponent and when the threat becomes visible it is often too late to do something about it.
My chessblog, Chessgambiter, has listed this site on my blog as:
Chess sites I read…
as long as you make sure that it is not a blunder
If a move is rarely played, there may be a reason!!
Strategy/Strategical planning is just as important as tactics or studying a chess opening.
This becomes more and more clear as you progress in chess. This is what that makes the difference between a master and an amateur.