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.

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

A Turning Point

Here’s a game from almost two years ago when I’d been playing in adult long play tournaments for less than a year. Up to that point I’d struggled to hold my own in the bottom section but this was the start of a surge forwards. The following summer I won Minor sections at Heywood and then Manchester and was ready to move up to the Majors.

My dad showed me the Caro-Kann so I could learn more about pawn play and avoid the tricky lines White has after 1.e4 e5. In this game I got a broad pawn centre with …f6 and …e5 which helped push White’s pieces back, then afterwards I got a winning sacrifice on g3:

Sam Davies

Using The Pawns

Here’s a game I played in which I used my pawns to take space and leave Black very cramped. The opening was a Closed Sicilian which is a good way to get a positional game against this sharp defence.

The key moment came when I levered open a file on the queenside and got in with my rooks.

Sam Davies

Smothered Mate

This game had a flashy finish with a queen sacrifice and smothered mate. I probably saw this because my Dad makes me do tactics training on Chessity, so he’s right to say it’s important.

Sam Davies

Harrogate 4NCL Congress

I had a tough start in this last weekend’s Harrogate 4NCL Congress with a draw and then two losses against strong opponents. One thing that I’ve talked about a lot with my Dad is to never give in and fight on in the next games, regardless of what has just happened. And I managed it here by winning my last round.

I think I castled a bit early because Black’s attack with …h5 and …h4 was quite dangerous. But I kept calm and eventually got a counterattack along the c-file. The computer says I was never worse:

Sam Davies