More chess. More chess books. Better play? Maybe.
I've been playing chess (or at least knew how to play it) for nearly 4 decades. My mom taught me to play on her set which I still have fond memories of. (I think any child who is going to be introduced to the game should be done so using pieces that are not as abstract as the Staunton pieces.) From time to time, I've put chess on the top shelf of my activites. During those times I've read some books and played a handful of games. The result is that now, in my mid 40's, I have to play in the beginner rooms on the online chess rooms.
Some notes and observations:
The "social" room on a chess server seldom is.
I am beginning to see some of my faults when playing. One is that I almost always think I'm going to lose whenever I play anyone who is even remotely capable. The other is that I need to think about my opening moves with the same attention to tactics as I do the middle game. Either that or I need to really start memorizing opening books - like that's going to happen!
The perfect chess computer would be a wood board and pieces with a wireless link back to your PC where the software would run. Games would be saved on the PC and you could also link it into chess servers to play other people while sitting on your sofa or at the table. I guess a USB board that you could hook into a laptop would be almost as good.
I feel like I need to prioritize my chess book reading. I'm starting to build a decent library again and there are books that I should go through.
Different chess machines for different uses: table top ones to play against (good for quick play), PDA programs for game analysis, computer based clients to play against people online. And the occasional wood set for that true chess feel.