I was in the province the other day, and was bored out of my skull. To relieve the tension, I took a walk, and lo and behold! A bunch of old guys playing chess by the roadside. What fortunate luck. Nothing like chess when you need it! So I came near and saw a young guy, maybe in his 20's laying the smack down on the old guys. I noticed that the young guy is very good tactically, but that the old guys needlessly lets him stomp them with combinations. After watching five of these beatings, I asked to play. Reaching a tense middlegame, we came into a position where I had the option of giving check. I felt it doesnt do any good since I had only the queen immediately in hand, and had no other way of feeding more pieces for the attack. His king might even be driven into a better square, and my queen into a bad one. So I made another move. Immediately, a murmur from the crowds rose, and one of the old guys looked at me disdainfully and with his raised eyebrows said in a reproachful voice You should have given check!
If I had lost the game they would surely have thought that me not giving check was the losing move. Fortunately I won. So, no my old friends, chess is not so simple as that. A Check is not a mating net, nor a single queen a barricade
Positional vs Tactical Play
When I had graduated from the circles, and was starting to regularly play online, I had a very simple style of play. Everything centers on tactics. Every move had the goal of making a combination, every move trying to set a tactical shot. As a result, most of my games are wild and wholly where I didnt know to the last minute who will win or lose. Its like being on a roller coaster ride. Sometimes I had the most horrible pawn structure you'll ever see, and still win. I had managed to defeat near 1900 players, but then turn around and lose to U1600 players. Very unpredictable.
But now that I had been starting to study positional play, it has changed. Now I think of a lot of things. Who has the advantage, where to play kingside or queenside, outposts. Things like that. But thinking about those things has a cost. Namely, the amount of energy I spend in finding tactics is sharply curtailed. Previously, if I spend 5 minutes on a move, you can bet its all about tactics, and nothing else. But now a lot of things are filling my mind. As a result, I'm starting to miss simple combinations. The other day, I even missed a mate in 1! And my win/loss statistics has changed too. I dont lose now to U1600 players, BUT dont win against U1900 players anymore. I mostly win against players of my range (U1800). Clearly increasing my chess knowledge is causing conflict with my chess ability.
I dont know what playing style I like better. The more "dangerous" tactical path, or the "stable" positional-tactical way.
I'm thinking of giving it time, maybe a few months to first see where it goes, but the danger here is I get impatient, dump positonal play altogether, and just start another seven-circles.