Author Archives: Sam Davies

About Sam Davies

Sam Davies is the 14 year old son of GM Nigel Davies and a keen chess player in his own right. After a slow start with the game he has made rapid progress in the last few years and is now winning tournaments. Unlike other juniors he does not play in junior tournaments and likes playing positional chess.

The Art Of Attack

This game shows that material isn’t everything. Leonid Stein sacrifices the exchange with 14…Nd7 and after 15…Qh4+ White’s king loses the right to castle. It’s interesting how Black gets positional compensation for the material he gave up.

Sam Davies

Transposing Into Rook Endgames

Transposing into rook endgames when material up can be dangerous because there’s a tendency for them to be drawish. This is why my Dad thought for a long time before exchanging queens in this game.

The other interesting point is that he got his rook behind the passed d-pawn after which Black’s rook was forced to go to a very passive square.

Sam Davies

A Clever & Sneaky Defence from Smyslov

White exchanged into a pawn endgame here, thinking this had to be a win. But he missed Smyslov’s clever and sneaky defence with 45…hxg3 and 46…g4. White can even lose if he then moves his king across to attack Black’s queenside pawns.

Sam Davies

A Good Win

Here’s a game I played this last weekend in which I got my best win in long play tournaments. My opponent was graded 169 ECF which is close to 2000 in Elo rating.

The knight sacrifice with 24.Ne5+ was sound but Black should have played 28…Rhf8 instead of 28….Rhe8. Probably he missed my 29.Bd5 and 30.Qd7+.

Sam Davies

The Centralized King

One thing I’ve been studying with my Dad lately is the power of the king in the endgame. This game is a very good example as Botvinnk’s centralized king made life very difficult for Black. It only needed a couple of tiny mistakes and he was lost.

Sam Davies

Saving A Draw

White was very resourceful in this endgame and saved a draw from a desperate looking position starting with the ingenious 77.a6!. Good defence is just as important as good attacking play.

Sam Davies

Connected Passed Pawns

A few weeks ago I posted this endgame win by Kopylov over Botvinnik using connected passed pawns. In the Rhyl congress yesterday I did something similar, getting some powerful passed pawns that were much stronger than my opponent’s. His piece sacrifice seemed a bit desperate but the engine confirms that Black is winning anyway:

Sam Davies

Endgame Openings

There are some openings which lead directly into an endgame, missing out the middle game altogether. Here’s an example of this in the Caro-Kann Defence. White might be better off playing 16.Be3.

Sam Davies

A Shocking Breakthrough In A Pawn Endgame

Here’s an interesting pawn endgame. In spite of White’s passed pawn Black won this game with a shocking breakthrough on the queenside, creating his own passed pawn. Although both sides queen Black wins because he has some mating nets:

Sam Davies

A Shocking Pawn Endgame

I found it shocking that Black can win this endgame but he does so with a very surprising breakthrough. The other thing is that when both sides promote, Black needs to be able to force the exchange of queens after which he’s closer to the queenside than White:

Sam Davies