This settles it. They are equal but Nf3 is best at depth 31.
Agree that e4 is generally better for weaker players (positionally weaker) There are plenty of positional lines with e4 but they are easier avoided.
d4 has much more chance of transpositions and subtler play that benefits more from a higher understanding. Same with the English opening
the noncommittal 1.Nf3
I like this opening. I allows black to dictate the center and then white counters with opposing pawn move or another developing knight move. It works.
Indeed, you control the centre with pieces and then add a bit more control by preparing moves like e4. It's a nice opening but positionally complex. Many GM's also use it mainly because it's flexible but my favourite of the 1.Nf3 openings is a straight up KIA. A lot of fun to play.
We all have our unique reasons for choosing the openings we regularly play. I hate playing against the Sicilian. I have tried the main lines (black has Scheveningen, Dragon, Najdorf, Kan, Sveshnikov amongst others), 2. c3, the King's Indian attack, 2. f4, the wing gambit, the Morra gambit (sorry Ken Smith), the Rossolimo and found that in all of them Black has ways to create positions where I felt uncomfortable, even if objectively they were playable.
So I am forced to play something else. 1. Nf3 is too much work, because of all the possibilities for transposition and rarer moves like 1. Nc3, 1. b3, 1. f4 etc. do not appeal, so I am forced to open with either 1. d4 or 1. c4, and fortunately none of Black's tries against those bothers me as much as the Sicilian.
Smith Mora is the answer. Black doesn't get much in any of the variations regardless of what you've heard, perhaps you're just playing it incorrectly.
That is not the problem. I just don't like the positions White gets in any kind of Sicilian. I want to enjoy my chess. I don't want to sit there for hours playing positions that I don't like, when I could be enjoying myself in a 1. d4 game (or doing something completely different).
As for the Morra gambit (why does Smith get to add his name) I think it is just bad. Or rather, it is only good for a draw. If I was still playing 1. e4 it would not be my choice against 1. ... c5.
d4 it is the move of a career but if you are looking to learn chess or making fun in chess e4 tells you all of the hidden dynamic of the game.
As for the Morra gambit (why does Smith get to add his name) I think it is just bad. Or rather, it is only good for a draw. If I was still playing 1. e4 it would not be my choice against 1. ... c5.>>>That's right, the position is about equal. Three tempi in the opening is worth a pawn and white gets two and a half tempi for it. It only works against blunderpusses.
Smith Mora can bring great attacking chess and it's usually white who gets most of the tactical shots not black due to white's better attacking piece placement. There have been some crushing victories in the database. It's not about 'tempi' it's about open lines for your pieces and copious tactical possibilities. If white doesn't succeed with his attack he'll usually get the pawn back at least and even if he doesn't it's still very much likely a draw with correct play by both sides. For an offbeat and aggressive way to handle the Sicilian you couldn't find a better weapon.