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So in a correspondence chess game, the opening is the standard 1.e4 e5. I meant to play 2.Nf3 as always, but I completely misclicked and didn't realize until too late that I played f3 instead. It's such a massive blunder in the opening that I almost feel like resigning here. Is there a way for me to save my position?

[FEN ""]
1.e4 e5 2.f3
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3  
It's only a blunder if your opponent knows what to do about it. –  Tony Ennis Apr 1 at 22:03
10  
Is it appropriate to ask for advice on this while the game is still in progress? –  GrizzlyRawrz Apr 1 at 22:15
    
Link to the meta thread where users should vote on the appropriateness of asking about games in progress: meta.chess.stackexchange.com/q/307/167 –  ETD Apr 2 at 22:44
1  
possible duplicate of Can White play e4 followed by f3? –  Tom Au Apr 4 at 20:11

3 Answers 3

You are correct that 2.f3 is a terrible idea. The f2, e3 and g3 squares become weak. But it isn't bad enough to resign the game. After all, the game has just begun and the material is still equal. There are a few ideas here for white, for example after

[FEN ""]
1.e4 e5 2.f3 Bc5 3.f4!? exf4 4.Nf3

You seem to get some sort of delayed King's gambit that perhaps isn't that horrible. While after

[FEN ""]
1.e4 e5 2.f3 Nf6 3.d4!? exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Qe3

You can fight for the dark squares and perhaps castle queenside.

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1  
After 1.e4 e5 2.f3 Bc4 3.f4 White is playing the Black side of an ancient opening called the Calabrese Countergambit, which normally goes 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5. After your 3.f4, instead of the cooperative 3...exf4?! Black could play 3...d6. –  bof Apr 2 at 12:30

With 3. f4, you are playing the Latvian Gambit with colors reversed!

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. f3 Nf6 3. f4
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The most important thing to do with any blunder is to stay calm. Evaluate the position objectively: pretend you've just been handed a chess board and told to finish the game.

In this position, you've got a well-defended e-pawn and a weakened kingside, especially e3, f2, and g3. Your King Knight's usual best spot is unavailable. However, the position is certainly not lost: there are many perfectly good opening lines that feature an early f3 from White. Taking some inspiration from them, you I might be inclined to go for a setup with Ne2, d4 (exd4 Nxd4), and Nc3 to establish a strong center and dominance over the light squares. An example line might be:

1.e4 e5 
2.f3 Nf6 
3.Ne2 Nc6 
4.d4 exd4 
5.Nxd4 d6 
6.Nc3

Resulting in a position that looks more like a line from a Knights' game than one with 2.f3.

[FEN "r1bqkb1r/ppp2ppp/2np1n2/8/3NP3/2N2P2/PPP3PP/R1BQKB1R w KQkq - 0 1"]

I can't overstate enough, though, that the most important thing is to just evaluate the position objectively and try to set your ego aside when it comes to past moves, especially mistakes.

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