During the recent Olympiad I was having a discussion with someone connected with another team about how I was going in the tournament. I gave the usual litany of excuses (lack of openings, no pre-tournament preparation etc), and he chuckled. "Of course" he said. "After the olympiad the players from my country always say how they are going to spend the next two years working on their openings, improve their endgame technique, and play a lot more serious chess. This plan lasts about two days after they get home, and then their real lives take over"
I recognised the truth of this statement, as it pretty much matches my own experience. But it doesn't mean that there is nothing to be done at all. For the moment I am still sticking to a plan of grabbing a couple of classics (eg "My System") and at least playing through the games in the book. For example the following game is about (a) control of the open file and (b) entry points on the 7th rank.
Van Vliet,L - Znosko Borovsky,E [D00]
1.d4 d5 2.e3 c5 3.c3 e6 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.f4 Nf6 6.Nd2 Qc7 7.Ngf3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nb4 9.Bb1 Bd7 10.a3 Rc8 11.0-0 Bb5 12.Re1 Nc2 13.Bxc2 Qxc2 14.Qxc2 Rxc2 15.h3 (D)
15. ... Bd6 16.Nb1 Ne4 17.Nfd2 Bd3 18.Nxe4 Bxe4 19.Nd2 Kd7 20.Nxe4 dxe4 21.Rb1 Rhc8 22.b4 R8c3 23.Kf1 Kc6 24.Bb2 Rb3 25.Re2 Rxe2 26.Kxe2 Kb5 27.Kd2 Ka4 28.Ke2 a5 29.Kf2 axb4 30.axb4 Kxb4 31.Ke2 Kb5 32.Kd2 Ba3 33.Kc2 Rxb2+ 34.Rxb2+ Bxb2 35.Kxb2 Kc4 36.g4 Kd3 37.g5 Kxe3 0-1