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.

Happy Birthday Dad!

It’s my Dad’s birthday today so I thought I’d show you one of his games. He also came back on the latest ECF Grading List a couple of days ago with a 240 grade, and would have been number 5 in the England over 50s (behind Short, Nunn, Speelman and Hebden) if he hadn’t switched his representation to Wales.

Dad’s opponent in this game was Luke McShane, who is one of the favourites to win the British Championships which are currently taking place in Llandudno.

Sam Davies

Unsound Sacrifice

Here’s a game from a couple of years ago in which my opponent, who was much higher rated than me at the time, tried to throw me with an unsound sacrifice (21…Bxh3). Fortunately I kept calm, exchanged off the attacking pieces and then won in the endgame.

Sam Davies

Closed Sicilian

The Closed Sicilian is a good line at club level that I used when I was playing 1.e4 as White. Here’s a game I won with it from 2 years ago in which I got a passed d-pawn and then came in on the queenside with the b2-b4 lever. When Black resigned he had not lost any material but his position was hopeless.

Sam Davies

QGD Grind

Here’s a game of mine from the Llandudno Major last week in which I won in a Queen’s Gambit Declined Exchange Variation. After 17…Bxc5 18.bxc5 I got pressure against Black’s weak pawn on b7, but it was difficult to win the position when Black defended the pawn. What I had to do was open a second front on the other side of the board, and this happened with 34.g4.

My Dad showed me this game of Anatoly Karpov, which is quite similar. But Karpov even brought his king to the queenside before opening the second front:

Sam Davies

An Endgame from Llandudno

Here’s an endgame I played yesterday in the Llandudno Major. My opponent should have played 28…Kf7 straight away before the pin on the g-file became a problem. Instead he advanced his queen side pawns after which the loss of the f-pawn was the beginning of the end.

Sam Davies

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