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  • It opens up the h2 square for the development of the king rook, where it would control black's 7th rank, defending against a rook invasion on this rank later on in the game.
  • It carries a threat: 2.h4, 3.h5, 4.h6, 5.hxg7, 6.gxh8
  • It prevents black's threat: 1?h5, 2?h4, 3?h3, 4?.hxg2, 5?gxh1
  • Your opponent's more traditional view of opening theory will lead him to believe that 1.h3 indicates that you are a chess moron, and will play much more carelessly.
  • It immediately ruins your ideal pawn formation for kingside castling, so you don't have to worry and fret about it for the rest of the game.
  • It just feels right.
  • # If you move subtly, weaker opponents expecting something like 1.e4 or 1.d4 might not even realize that you moved, and they will let precious time on their clocks tick away.
  • It is creative: moves like 1.e4 are such clich?s.
  • It virtually gives you the black pieces, helping to limit the amount of opening theory you need to know (since you are always playing as if you have black). Also, black is cool.
  • Playing 1.h3 is like saying “I don't need the advantage of moving first to beat you”. The psychological advantage is enormous. Staying with this line of thinking, playing 2.a3 is like saying “I don't need a second move to beat you either”. Putting your queen in the line of fire is like saying “I don't even need my queen to beat you” (or “I am stupid” depending on your opponent reads it), and your opponent will be confused and afraid. Stripping away all of your defenses from your king is like saying “My king is strong. He's a super-king. He will march out and destroy everything in his path.” At this point all but the bravest opponents will resign.

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