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e4 is played by White to develop his pieces rapidly and castle. e4 is a good move for beginners! You learn to develop quickly and to attack, since it opens up the Queen and Bishop. If met by e5, you have what's called an "open game." Then the most popular second move is Nf3, though other 2nd moves are fully playable: d4; f4; Bc4; and Nc3.