I am a class player who hopes to someday draw or beat a GM otb.
While I have always loved chess or at least since the age of three it wasn't until I played an elder named Baba Musa that I learned an important distinction.
You see he destroyed me three straight games. It was like I wasn't even moving pieces. Same 64 squares. Same pieces. Utter devastation! I was considered good up until that moment. That's when the difference ocurred to me as stated by American writer/humorist Samuel Langhorne "Mark Twain" Clemens: "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter — it's the difference between a lightning bug and the lightning."
Tuit, the difference between knowing the rules of chess and how to play are realities apart.
At that time I was playing 1000 elo chess.
As an eight year old child I'd read "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" which I reread when I decided I didn't want to suck at chess no more. But my first tome as an adult was 'Lasker's Manual of Chess'. Next came Tim Hardings, 'Better Chess For Average Players' which was followed by Jeremy Silman's 'Reassess Your Chess: Workbook'. All this helped improve my game but I still sucked maybe 1200 elo.
I then enrolled myself into my own life study college chess program for four years of intense learning. Okay so it took five years to complete. I studied Dvoretsky, Gelfer, Averbakh, Kotov, Fischer, Alekhine, and circa twenties Russian Masters amongst many other works. This put me at an expert level of chess where I reside today, working on my Masters degree at the School of Life's University, Hard Knock Campus.
While still studying from books and magazines I've added the internet to my classroom (Chessgames.com, ICC, Twitch and others) as well as computer analysis. I also practice against the computer programs at blitz chess (2'5"). I am currently battling ICC's Ling-Fong 2400 elo. I'm proud to say I've drawn it three straight games (during Wch match I played a game a day along w/ Carlsen and Anand); I guess the early draws were and inspiration for strong positional chess and it rubbed off on me. Still I'm no Bosislav Ivanov!!!! (10 straight Houdini and Rybka wins at GM level..?!? maybe); and perhaps neither is he.
My favorite players are Botvinik, Fischer and Kasparov. These world champs were all about studying and so am I. I also enjoy the positional fighting chess of Tal, Morozevich and Nakamura. Positive productive days to you.
I run the GrandMaster Chess Academy (GCA) in Capital City, USA. This is a new organization begun in 2013 with the goal to promote serious study and improvement. Challenging a GM is just a motivational carrot.
GCA: Analysis, Calculation, Execution - Study!!!