A friend from Salt Lake City has been asking me on Facebook to analyze his games. In response to one game, I wrote ...
I think that I see in this game what I see in other's people's games, which is that people just react to their opponent's moves. In the game of chess, there are structural imbalances that should determine the best course of action.
Of course, I have read Silman, who talks about imbalances. Essentially Silman says that what is different from your position and your opponent's position is what determines your plan.
However, I look at it at a more fundamental level, because I look at the structure on the board. That structure almost always tells me what to do. And I don't move a single pawn without considering how the change in structure will impact the game.
Of course, experience is a major factor in figuring out the correct plan. That must be the case, since I notice that masters seem to find really good moves almost effortlessly. I think that what is happening is that masters identify the imbalances really easily. Even in positions that seem to a casual observer to be relatively quiet, masters will identify a weak piece, a weak square, etc.