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  1. 07 Sep '08 22:48
    I found this archived link posted on the USCF forums; Maybe some of you will find it interesting. It's the late Ken Smith's chess improvement plan from the late 90s. Ken ran the Chess Digest book publishing business at that time.

    Many of the books he recommended in his plan were books that he published, so there could very well have been a self-serving aspect to his plan. But it might be fun to read, anyway. (You can also go up one directory and find links to his bio and online book catalog from 1999.)

    His chess philosophy seemed to be lots of tactics study until you got to a strong level. He also recommended lots of opening gambits. Also, Ken apparently was very active in poker.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010405004904/chessdigest.com/lssn.html
  2. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    07 Sep '08 22:54
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    I found this archived link posted on the USCF forums; Maybe some of you will find it interesting. It's the late Ken Smith's chess improvement plan from the late 90s. Ken ran the Chess Digest book publishing business at that time.

    Many of the books he recommended in his plan were books that he published, so there could very well have been a self-serving a ...[text shortened]... s very active in poker.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010405004904/chessdigest.com/lssn.html
    this was the smith-morra gambit guy?
  3. 07 Sep '08 22:57
    Originally posted by irontigran
    this was the smith-morra gambit guy?
    Yes!
  4. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    07 Sep '08 22:59
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    Yes!
    oh thats cool, i will have to read the thing
  5. 08 Sep '08 00:35
    I really like the format of Chess Digest Magazine. I wish it was still in print. I have several annual bound volumes and cherish them.
  6. 08 Sep '08 11:13 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    I found this archived link posted on the USCF forums; Maybe some of you will find it interesting. It's the late Ken Smith's chess improvement plan from the late 90s. Ken ran the Chess Digest book publishing business at that time.

    Many of the books he recommended in his plan were books that he published, so there could very well have been a self-serving a ...[text shortened]... s very active in poker.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010405004904/chessdigest.com/lssn.html
    I loved this quote,

    Your first name is "Tactics", your middle name is "Tactics", and your last name is "Tactics". You can overcome a weak opening and be so far ahead in material that the endgame is mopping up.

    I demand that you get every book on tactics and combinations that you can afford and study it as if your life depended on it!

    lol, he demands, yes sir! ! - awesome!

    what does he mean by a 'complete', system for white, is it a response for all major theories, i.e. french, petroff, center counter, Sicilian, Caro- kann, or a system like the Kings Indian attack, which covers most of these?
  7. 08 Sep '08 15:14
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    what does he mean by a 'complete', system for white, is it a response for all major theories, i.e. french, petroff, center counter, Sicilian, Caro- kann, or a system like the Kings Indian attack, which covers most of these?
    From reading Ken's description of his own White and Black systems, I think he means the former case.
  8. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    08 Sep '08 16:43
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    I found this archived link posted on the USCF forums; Maybe some of you will find it interesting. It's the late Ken Smith's chess improvement plan from the late 90s. Ken ran the Chess Digest book publishing business at that time.

    Many of the books he recommended in his plan were books that he published, so there could very well have been a self-serving a ...[text shortened]... s very active in poker.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010405004904/chessdigest.com/lssn.html
    My plan

    1. e4 .. c5;
    2. d4 .. cXd;
    3. c3 .. dXc;
    4. NXc3 ....

    What does Ken Smith think of my plan considering I have not read his books?
  9. 09 Sep '08 00:13
    Originally posted by Dragon Fire
    My plan

    1. e4 .. c5;
    2. d4 .. cXd;
    3. c3 .. dXc;
    4. NXc3 ....

    What does Ken Smith think of my plan considering I have not read his books?
    I assume you mean as White? Isn't this just the main line of the Smith-Morra Gambit? I assume Ken would have thought it was okay, since he played the SMG against 1.e4 c5. Although I did notice that he tended to only recommend the SMG for players around 2000 or higher. He tended to recommend simpler systems for lower rated players. At least it seems that way to me from reading his plan.
  10. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    09 Sep '08 18:08 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    I assume you mean as White? Isn't this just the main line of the Smith-Morra Gambit? I assume Ken would have thought it was okay, since he played the SMG against 1.e4 c5. Although I did notice that he tended to only recommend the SMG for players around 2000 or higher. He tended to recommend simpler systems for lower rated players. At least it seems that way to me from reading his plan.
    Its certainly the Morra Gambit although perhaps a little early to call it the main line.

    I am assuming Ken Smith was an advocate of this opening since it is named after him in the States.

    Interestingly Fritz rates this position marginally better for white (about 0.10) but it rates the starting position 0.20 better for white if white plays 1. e4 so white has got worse. Incidently blacks most common response in my DB is 4. ... e6 which scores 55% for black despite Fritz now assessing it as 0.30 better for white.

    The main line comtinues
    5. Nf3 ... Nc6;
    6. Bc4 ... d6;
    7. 0-0 ... Nf6;
    8. Qe2 ... Be7;
    9. Rd1 ... e5;

    Despite Fritz now rating this as +0.20 for white the 2 most common responses 10. Be3 and 10. h3 only score 46% and 47% respectively. I tend to alternate between these moves but worthy of consideration is

    10. b4!? as this will throw many unprepared and inexperienced players. Some may even play 10. ... Nxb4?? when 11. NXe5 gives white a great position. Black should calmly play 10. ... Bg4 when 11. Be3 sets the "trap" again and now 11. ... Nxb4?? 12. Rab1 .. Nc6 13. Rxb7 gives white a far better game.

    But be warned the Morra can be a double edged sword against opponents stronger than you.
  11. Standard member caissad4
    Child of the Novelty
    10 Sep '08 01:34
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    I found this archived link posted on the USCF forums; Maybe some of you will find it interesting. It's the late Ken Smith's chess improvement plan from the late 90s. Ken ran the Chess Digest book publishing business at that time.

    Many of the books he recommended in his plan were books that he published, so there could very well have been a self-serving a ...[text shortened]... s very active in poker.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010405004904/chessdigest.com/lssn.html
    I knew Ken Smith well and have friends who knew him very well.
    Do not take whar he writes as truth.
    "I believe the Smith-Morra Gambit is good enough for a draw". Ken Smith