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.

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

Saving A Draw

White was very resourceful in this endgame and saved a draw from a desperate looking position starting with the ingenious 77.a6!. Good defence is just as important as good attacking play.

Sam Davies

Connected Passed Pawns

A few weeks ago I posted this endgame win by Kopylov over Botvinnik using connected passed pawns. In the Rhyl congress yesterday I did something similar, getting some powerful passed pawns that were much stronger than my opponent’s. His piece sacrifice seemed a bit desperate but the engine confirms that Black is winning anyway:

Sam Davies

Endgame Openings

There are some openings which lead directly into an endgame, missing out the middle game altogether. Here’s an example of this in the Caro-Kann Defence. White might be better off playing 16.Be3.

Sam Davies

A Shocking Breakthrough In A Pawn Endgame

Here’s an interesting pawn endgame. In spite of White’s passed pawn Black won this game with a shocking breakthrough on the queenside, creating his own passed pawn. Although both sides queen Black wins because he has some mating nets:

Sam Davies

A Shocking Pawn Endgame

I found it shocking that Black can win this endgame but he does so with a very surprising breakthrough. The other thing is that when both sides promote, Black needs to be able to force the exchange of queens after which he’s closer to the queenside than White:

Sam Davies

An Interesting Pawn Endgame

Here’s a pawn endgame that I found very interesting. At first it looks as if it should be winning for Black but he doesn’t have a reserve move to get the opposition and his surviving b-pawn will not be on the 5th rank.

Sam Davies

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