Author Archives: Sam Davies

About Sam Davies

Sam Davies is the 15 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.

Shielding the King

My Dad and I have been working through Nikolai Minev’s book on rook endgames where we found the following example. Black had a problem in that he needed to shield his king from checks and he achieved that with 61…Re7! followed by bringing his king to e5. He was then able to stop either White pawn from queening and held a draw:

Sam Davies

Blockading a Passed Pawn

Passed pawns can often be a winning advantage in rook endgames, but not always; if they can be blockaded by a king they can easily become weak. The following game is a good example of this with White’s d-pawn looking strong until Black played 33…Kf8, getting the king in front of it:

Sam Davies

Tiviakov’s Italian Game

My Dad says it’s a good idea to find players who are experts on particular openings and study their games. Sergei Tiviakov is a good player to study because he’s an expert in a number of different openings, having played them for many years.

Here’s a game of Tiviakov’s in the Italian Game in which he wins against a tough opponent. He wins the battle on the queenside and gets a strong passed pawn:

Sam Davies

No Rush in the Endgame

One of the most important endgame principles is not to hurry. My Dad says I should have played more patiently with 24.h4 and then brought the king up to h3 after my 24.g5 Black was fine, at least until he played 31…Rhh8.

Sam Davies

A Win with the Ruy Lopez

Here’s a win of mine from this last weekend using the Ruy Lopez. My Dad says I played it very well, though I pushed my pawns a bit too quickly when I got nervous in the later stages:

Sam Davies

Winning Ugliest

Concluding my series of horrible Black wins in the Czech Benoni, here’s a game in which one of my Dad’s idols, Leonid Stein, was completely lost after 26…Rg8. He went on to win in the end but not thanks to his ugly position:


Sam Davies

Winning Uglier

Following up my Czech Benoni debut from last week, here’s an even uglier win with it by the Romanian Grandmaster Victor Ciocaltea. Black did absolutely nothing for most of the game while his opponent tried to figure out how to break though. Finally he got going with 44.f4 but had to resign a few moves later!

Sam Davies

Winning Ugly

I had a tough tournament over the Easter weekend in Bolton where I felt I played poorly. Fortunately I won my last two games to end up with a respectable result.

Before my last round game my Dad showed me the Czech Benoni for 10 minutes in the car, mainly because I’d lost the last two games with the Old Indian and no longer felt confident playing it. I managed to win but it was an ugly game:

Sam Davies

Miserable Defences

It always surprises me when I see players choose miserable defences as Black.Not only can the results be pretty bad, you can also get a game in which you do nothing but suffer.

My Dad and I recently looked at the defence played in the game below but it just looked too miserable for Black. Black’s doubled pawns on e6 and e5 can be defended in the short term but in the long run they leave his position looking very passive. After 25 moves it was only White who could win and he finally did so after another 50 moves.

Sam Davies