I want to ask about whether using and adopting a rarely used opening makes you a stronger player.
I just started playing online chess (Lichess) a year ago, and as a beginner, I used to play the common 1.e4 as the opening in all my games. I found that by doing so I was stuck around 1300-1400 (below average rating at the website). Last month, I read an article about different openings, and suddenly switched to regularly use the 1.a3 Opening (usually starting 1.a3 2.b4 when white, and 1.h6, 2.g5 when black, using the bishop to occupy the diagonal), and my rating suddenly went up to 1700-1800, and stayed there. I found that by using this opening made the middle-game much easier to play, making my opponents make more mistakes than usual compared to the typical 1.e4.
Is this normal? Or does it happen to anyone if they suddenly want to switch to a different, more rarely-used opening?