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 QGD Exchange

I played this game yesterday in the Wakefield 4NCL Congress. The Queen’s Gambit Declined Exchange Variation is a solid opening where White often plays for a minority attack with b2-b4-b5, but this is more difficult when Black manages to exchange light squared bishops. One of the problems is that Black can often get a knight to c4 when White plays b2-b4.

I delayed b4 for this reason but my Na4 and Nb3 plan probably wasn’t right. In the end I was lucky to draw.

Sam Davies

A QGD Exchange Endgame

I thought this was an interesting endgame which came from an Exchange Variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. A key moment came when Black played 42…Kf6 because after 43.g4 he had a weak h-pawn. He might have been able to draw with 42…h5 instead.

Sam Davies

Carlsen the Grinder!

One of the players I most admire is Magnus Carlsen. He likes to grind people down in the endgame from what often look like drawn positions.

Here’s a good example from youtube in which he beats Sergei Karjakin from what looks like a drawn position:

Sam Davies

The Pawn Duo In Endgames

The rook endgame in this game was a good example of the strength of a pawn duo. Mikhail Botvinnik had a pawn on the 7th rank but Kopilov’s e- and f-pawn duo was too much.

This game was also a big upset as Botvinnik was World Champion at the time.

Sam Davies

A Great Korchnoi Win

The following game by Viktor Korchnoi impressed me a lot. Instead of trying for the usual minority attack on the queenside he closed the position with a4-a5 and then played for a lever with e3-e4. Later on there was a neat breakthrough on the queenside with a5-a6 so as to get the White king in. This was the first time I’ve seen either of these ideas:

Sam Davies

King’s Indian Attack

This was a good game by my Dad in the King’s Indian Attack. I was impressed with how he outplayed another Grandmaster in this system using some moves which looked strange at first. When Black played …e6-e5 his d5 pawn became weak.

Sam Davies

Building A Centre

I liked this game by Mikhail Botvinnik because he showed how to build a centre for White in the Queen’s Gambit Declined Exchange Variation. This is an alternative plan to the minority attack with b2-b4-b5.

Sam Davies

Staying Active

One thing I’ve been working on recently with my Dad is not to play passively, especially when winning. This helped me win my first game in a long play open tournament, which was especially welcome after I lost my first three games.

I think Black missed 17.Nd4 but the position became a bit dangerous for me with Black’s pieces around my king. Things looked especially nasty after 25…Rxe3, but I started a counterattack with 26.Nf5 and regained the initiative.

Sam Davies

My First Open

At the end of January I played in my first Open tournament at the Nottingham Rapidplay. It went well and I scored 2.5/6 but it wasn’t easy to play against stronger opponents than usual because they make fewer mistakes.

Here’s my game against the strongest opponent I played, Shabir Okhai, who now has a 197 grade. My Dad, who wrote down the moves for me, thought I should play 26…d4 instead of 26…Rfe8 and the engine confirmed that this would have held the balance:

Sam Davies