Playing fast games online is a good way to force yourself to work hard tactically, and can hone your openings. I'm usually not a big advocate of fast games. I personally believe that the best way to improve at playing long play chess is by playing long play chess, and working as hard as possible at the board. But there are, of course, other methods including studying games and positions, solving tactical puzzles and, (ok, I admit it) playing fast chess. But I qualify these methods by saying that there has to be an objective involved with each training method.
|Jacques Mieses (from Wikipedia)|
Anyway, I played a game on Chess.com using a favourite old opening variation of mine....not that it's good, but it is interesting. I was white in the 5-2 game which started 1.e4 d5 [and I already wished I'd opened with 1.d4] 2.exd5 Qxd5 [I'd almost forgotten that this could be played, expecting 2..Nf6. I've never really put much work into the Scandinavian which I suppose is due to it being considered a pile of rubbish when I was growing up. Now, besides being considered respectable, or possibly dangerous there are also large opening roadmaps to guide players.] 3.Nc3 [I think I read somewhere that 3.Nf3 is more accurate, but whatever!] 3..Qa5 4.Nf3 [I think I should look at some mainlines with 4.d4, but as Bigdatabase 2013 has over 30,000 games from this position, it makes things a bit daunting] 4..Nf6 5.Be2 [Very conservative play, but there's a reason for this. I'm waiting for black to move the light squared bishop] 5..Bg4 [...and there it is]
It is always good to find an imaginative player and look at their games. It helps if the player is strong. Mieses was one of FIDE's original Grandmasters in 1950. He moved to England in the 1930's and his name has recently come back to prominence with his variation of the Scotch Opening back in vogue (1e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5). This comes from his use of this opening at Hastings 1895, where Mieses didn't perform too well, but he still drew with Lasker and Chigorin in this variation which is no mean feat.