A couple of nights ago I was looking at a position with a GM. After about 12 moves of opening theory, the pawn structure was symmetrical and to my untrained eye, there didn't appear to be much going on. He said that he'd won many games from that spot and that white had a small but consistent advantage. I expressed my disdain for the position and asked how white had any advantage at all in a seemingly lifeless game. I couldn't believe he could beat GMs and IMs from that "easy" position. He said "You know, chess isn't always about great attacks, crushing positions, and running over your opponent. Many times you'll win games by having a slight advantage or equal position, keeping some pressure on, and just not blundering. Your opponents will make mistakes".
I'm reminded of this quote tonight because I was playing through the game Tomashevsky (2646)-Morozevich (2787) 2008. The position below (reached after 22...Rac8) reminds me of the one I was looking at earlier this week. The pawn structure is dead even, and about all white can boast about is more active pieces but with no concrete threats.
Well, Tomashevsky created a weakness on the queenside, kept pressing, and sure enough Morozevich blundered and lost the game. If a top 10, player in the world, nearly 2800, can lose a game in such a "simple, boring position" (tongue in cheek, of course), then surely there will be opportunities to score some extra half points and full points at the lower levels, particularly when your opponent thinks he can just coast to a draw.