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In all of JMGR’s games as white in this championship he opens with f3 and mirrors his opponent’s placements. And in each of these games, his opponent opts for a setup where all pieces of each color form a contiguous group. Needless to say, these are some crazy-looking setups. The above being my favorite, as there’s no way to capture an enemy piece on the first move!
Is 1.f3 still played at a high level? It seems like a sound strategy at least in theory, as white should have an edge with a completely equal setup. Are there alternative first placements believed to give a greater advantage to white?