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e4 has an advantage over 1. e3 in that it does not potentially block the bishop on c1 (one the d-pawn is moved) and also that it attacks f5, thus preventing black developing his bishop there (or the knight via e7), and attacks d5 preventing black putting a knight there (after developing it on f6 or e7). It also hampers black moving a pawn to d5 although it ...

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