Current status: feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount one can learn about this game.
I'm kind of in a bit of a bind on the topic of thought process. On the one hand, I think that having a structured thought process is a great one. I really feel it makes sense to have a sort of checklist of things to run through to avoid missing key moves. However, when I actually play it's really hard to get myself to actually think that way, and when I do succeed it is only for a few moves and not for a whole game.
I have changed my mind a bit recently on the idea of what is the most important part of improvement. I thought it was tactics, but I my idea now is that the most important thing is focus or concentration. I play my best chess when I am sort of zoned in, and that seems to have more to do with regularly playing and being in the mind set of working for the win than it does with my tactics training schedule.
It seems to me that having a thinking process would really take a lot of the psychology out of the game for myself. That is, I think there are a lot of things, like underestimating the opponent, playing too quickly, etc, that would be taken care of by my having a determined process for looking at moves.
I just know how hard it is to develop that. Partly it seems to take away from the fun and excitement of the game. I like the feeling of getting caught up in the game. Taking the time for a specific thought process often feels tedious and distracting.
So that's where I am with that. Thinking it's a great idea but having a hard time actually doing it.