'The Plan' is overrated.
Very few games follow a plan set out from the opening.Those that
do are wonderful (and easy to note up) and make a false impression.
In the 1920's and 30's the positional gems of Capablanca and Tarrasch
were looked at more closely and what they call dynamic play was introduced.
Players before then were mesmerised by 'the plan' and lay down and just let it happen.
Usually, unless a severe opening error has been made a game is a set of small
middle game skirmishes as each side tries to:
(A )improve their position or
(B) inflict some kind of weakness on their opponent.
From the improved position new ideas may emerge that enable (B)
to be carried out. and once the weakness has been established you
work out a plan to prove it is a weakness.
Meanwhile a modern player may gladly accept such a weakness because
it gives him freedom in another part of the board. Your weakness v my weakness.
"You gotta give squares to get squares." - Fischer.
At this level it is the tactical shot that is the decider, that and the fact players
if they do not have a plan think they must have a plan so come up with some
cockeyed idea that usually involves a pawn move and you have created a (B)
for your opponent without any dynamic comeback.
My plan has always been very simple.
Point things at the King and see what happens.
Once or twice I've has a position where I come up with a different plan.
The most recent was v vandervelde (I'm White)
Here instead of offering a draw I came up with the idea of dancing my Knight
about the board till I got it too e3, my King to e4 and I'll play f5
"...and see what happens."
Same game 6 moves later.
I played f5. things got a bit tricky, I do not think vandervelde defended correctly,
I was just playing on to see what happens and I won.
Full game. As you can see I played my point things at the King method
and see what happens. Usually against vandervelde I lose but here
the late middle game plan only appeared because
I had run out of ideas and could not see a way for him to break though.