My greatest chess mistake.
When I first started playing chess back in the day, I was always wanting to learn new openings. I started out with the "barcaza systems" (KIA,KID, and pirc). I enjoyed these for a while. I loved being able to get to the real part of the game quickly and safely. I didn't always have a steep advantage and most time probably no advantage at all. However, I kept setting up my little home and enjoyed the games.
As I got older, I really wanted to up my game. I am currently rated in the mid 1900s. I can honestly say that I tried to solve my problems with new openings. I neglected learning positional chess and endings. My tactics were not too shabby, but they could have been much better.
In short, don't waste all your time studying openings. It is a pitfall that I fell into. I thought this new gambit would cause me to win in only a few moves. It is a lazy and unrealistic approach Find something you like and continue to learn it. I am going to go back to my "barcaza roots" and see if I can make it to expert. I think another important factor is to have fun. I think I took it too seriously when there is no point for me to. I don't plan on making any money off of chess or even care about getting a title. I, however, found myself studying main line openings which was not that beneficial in practical play. Have fun and don't take yourself too seriously!
For a fun read and chess enlightenment I recommend any of Jeremy Silman's books.
I'll end with this quote. "Good players develop a tactical instinct, a sense of what is possible or likely and what is not worth calculating." - Samuel Reshevsky
Here is the "barcaza (house) setup."