Many of the best chess openings, such as Ruy Lopez, the Italian Game and Sicilian Defense, move the pawn on the e2 square two spaces forward to e4. There are endless chess openings, but moving the pawn to e4 has been commonly used for hundreds of years.
In the opening moves of a chess game, the onus is on the player with the white pieces to set the tone of the game. The player controlling the black pieces simply responds to any moves made by white. Most chess players tend to move forward pawns initially so as to open up spaces for the more valuable pieces to move out onto the chess board.