Evaluate My Style 1
I've finally decided to stick to 1. d4 (or a non-committal 1. Nf3 to later transpose into a Q-pawn game) when I play White. It seems strange that I wasn't very comfortable with Q-pawn openings a few years ago, but now I somehow feel comfortable only with such (even though my theoretical knowledge of openings is very limited, and I play simply by trying to follow general principles).
Question 1: What might be the reasons for the change of heart?
Question 2: Is such change of attitude normal (in general)?
Question 3: Is it a good sign in my specific case?
Now (as opposed to about four years ago) I notice a gradual shift in my style:
a. I play lesser reactive moves (and I realize at once whenever I think of one).
b. I consider each move as a potential step toward victory/defeat, and do my best not to waste any. Thanks to Jeremy Silman, "Every move is like gold."
c. I now see holes on the board! And every time I see one, I have this uncontrollable urge to put my Knight in it. Thanks again to Jeremy Silman, my Knights have begun working smarter.
These three factors (among a few others) have given me more confidence. So much so, that I feel a strange kind of satisfaction even when I lose.
Question 4: I know this means I am gradually beginning to appreciate positional style of play. But does it actually imply I am improving strategically?
On the other hand:
d. Now I don't seem to get as many tactical shots (forks, skewers, discoveries...) against my opponents as I used to before.
Question 5: Is this normal? Or am I losing my tactical vision? Update: Not normal! Certainly going blind! See update on Question 6 for details.
Below is my latest game.
Question 6: Though I won this, and though I don't think I played too bad, why do I still have this gnawing sensation that I should have done much better? Update: Because I did not see simple stuff like 26.Re8!! or 35.Rh8+! during the game. Thanks to sargentboomstick for the answer.
Have added a few more questions in my move comments. Hope somebody would be kind enough to help me find these answers.