In a modernization approach and following advice from a source I can't remember where found ( so if you recognize this method and its you... sorry for not shouting out and linking to original post), I make use of a data base to achieve my goals.
First the idea: Wetzel suggests to create flash cards of critical positions in your recent games to help you move the ideas to a more permanent memory. Modernizing this is to use a data base to catalog these critical positions.
I picked my last 10 losses at the club and evaluated each one on my own first adding my thoughts, fears, misconceptions I had at each point in the game.
Then I fritzed ( saving my annotations) doing a group analysis of the sorry lot by going into Data base mode for Fritz, selecting the games to evaluate and running the tool over night.
After the analysis was complete, I painstakingly went through each game to see where I sucked. I created a "critical position" and tactical training ( right click on move and select special annotation to get to the menu). I can later go back and do tactical puzzles in MDLM style if I so wish to BURN into my brain what to do RIGHT next time.
I now have a growing database of sucky games I played! What patterns did this reveal to me as weaknesses to work on?
1) ROTE VERSUS SHARP : I tend to play openings really sucky. I play rote " natural" moves rather than recognize a weakness on my opponents and play according to what the position dictates.
2)ENDGAME PRECOGNITION: In the early middle games, I am not in tuned with pawn structures and how to use them to my advantage for when the game shifts to endgame tactics.
3) PREMATURE ATTACKS: A lot of my losses are due to a premature attack that fizzles out when king safety or shoring up weaker posts first make better sense.
4) TACTICAL NEGLIGENCE: I can see tactics for ME... but I fail to properly evaluate my opponent's ability to inflict tactical pain on me.
My plan as I prepare for the World Open will continue with studying master games ( Old Timey chess in particular as well as Master Games of the openings I play to get an understanding of nuances and types of pawn structures and how to play them in the early and middle games.
As for the endgame precognition, I think this site from the Exeter Chess Club on Pawn Formations will be helpful. It has a nice overview of every pawn formation imaginable and plans for both Black and White. I want to know the pawn formations I encounter most down cold! It presents a whole new level to pattern recognition.
Premature attack prevention will have to be a result of diligent awareness over the board as experience is the best teacher.
Tactics.... back to the circles for a refresher but add to it the new tactical training from my Sucky database.
As for Blunder-daughter, she's coming with me to the World Open as well and prepares for the U900 trophy. But finishing eigth grade is her number one priority.