To preface, I've played chess a while but am just beginning to take it seriously in regards to the studying past games and different techniques. Bear with me as my question is a bit conceptual...
The big question I have is how to use these techniques correctly in a real world situation. Whenever you watch or read about certain types of games to play, the person teaches in a way that you just 'assume' the other person is going to make a certain move, then you make this move, etc etc. Obviously this is not realistic so I'm wondering if that means that the best players just absorb all of these different situations and adapt accordingly?
This seems improbable to me because of the near infinite possible ways a game can be played. Do the greats generally play the same way with slightly nuanced differences? How can one 'assume' what the other player is doing?
Knowing a little history, I believe it was game 3 of the Spassky/Fisher matches where Fisher played way outside of the box...did this throw Spassky off because he was so used to seeing certain moves?
I know I have a couple questions here but in general I'm just trying to find the best way to use tutorials and past matches in the real world.