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I have been trying to practice my ability to strategize in positions and form long-term ideas, and this position has stumped me for a little bit.

[FEN ""] 
1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3

Initially, I thought that it may facilitate a queenside attack, so that you may develop your other pieces on the queenside, and look for a pawn break to activate your bishop, but when looking through games in the database, I see nothing like that. What would be your main ideas in this position, and what would you play for?

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What would be your main ideas in this position, and what would you play for?

With the pawn on g3 I'd be looking to fianchetto the light squared bishop, develop the g1 knight to e2 (now it doesn't interfere with the bishop) where it supports both the d4 and f4 pawn breaks, leaving the f pawn free to advance to f3 or f4 as required. If the c1 bishop is going to come to e3 then I'd like the f pawn on f3 to stop the black knight coming to g4 to bother the bishop.

If black castles kingside I'd be very happy as I now have a natural kingside attack based on the f4 advance. If black castles queenside then I'm going to be looking more towards d4 to break open the center and unleash my g2 bishop against black's queenside.

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    Although I understand the desire to not play Nf3, in some lines this knight on e2 is going to be a huge problem later.
    – sleepy
    Jun 22 at 18:39
  • @sleepy Why do you think so?
    – Philip Roe
    Jun 24 at 18:03

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