I also have heated with wood for many years... about 35. Crosscutting to length or bucking is far different than ripping, just like on the table saw, it requires a different blade. The "safety blade" that is factory issue on chain saws these days is not good for ripping. My Stihl dealer will make up blades with the aggressive set for their "professional" tree trimmer customers.
You can use a splitting wedge or maul on lengths of straight grain wood and very easily make your turning rounds. On crotch wood, it will be way more difficult and they may not split evenly or at all. So it depends on the place where the log is taken from the tree as well.
I say, split what you can and saw what you can't split, but use the correct chain.
Starting a rip cut on the top of a log is dangerous and requires you
have the saw bumped up to the outer diameter and running at full speed. The dog teeth will hold the saw in place until you get a kerf started IF you are careful, so do be very careful! This is not an operation for the inexperienced sawyer in my opinion.
If you don't have too many, I would drive a few screws through the log at the base into the support log, keeping them far away from the cutting path. The cutting process will "draw" the subject log into the blade as it cuts, so beware. I always use a support log when splitting because to provides mass and resistence to the dynamics of the splitting force.