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.

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

Last Round Wins

Winning in the last round makes all the difference to a tournament. After four rounds in Blackpool I was only on one point, despite having had two winning positions with White but I managed to win the last game which changed the result completely:

Sam Davies

Bent Larsen’s Influence

My Dad has told me how Bent Larsen’s booklet Solide Apninger (Solid Openings) influenced a generation of young Danish players with the openings choices presented. Here is an example of this with Peter Heine Nielsen beating a Russian GM with the Old Indian, a really good moment being the queen sacrifice with 20…Qxe3:

Sam Davies

Another King’s Indian Attack Win

Since switching to 1.e4 last November my most successful opening has been the King’s Indian Attack. My Dad has played this a lot and taught it to me by showing me some thematic games and quizzing me about what I should do next in certain positions. I think this is a better way to learn openings than just trying to remember a series of moves because you learn how to handle the middle game.

Here’s a win from the Doncaster Major which gave me 4 wins out of 4 with it:

Sam Davies

Digging Deep

Even when a situation seems hopeless it’s not always so clear. In this game White lost a piece after 29…d4, but the endgame proved to be complicated.

The lesson to be learned is to never give up and always try to find ways to create chances.

Sam Davies

Sacrificing the Exchange

Here’s a game I went through with my Dad which featured a win by Nigel Short in the Closed Sicilian. His exchange sacrifice with 17.Rxc6 was very good, he got both of Black’s central pawns with 18.Nxe5 and then 19.Nxd4 and then managed to shut down Black’s counterplay:

Sam Davies

Grinding Out A Win

Here’s a game of mine from this last weekend in which I managed to grind out a win in what looked like an even endgame. I was helped by my opponent’s shortage of time but I had a slight edge later in the game that was enough encouragement to keep going.

Sam Davies