Category Archives: Sam Davies

Controlling the Open File

Controlling an open file is especially useful when you can penetrate to the 7th or 8th ranks. Here’s a game in which I managed to do this from the 2015 British Rapidplay Championships:

Sam Davies

Taking Your Time With The Minority Attack

When your are playing the Minority Attack in the Queen’s Gambit Declined it’s important to take your time preparing it. If you don’t then Black can sometimes get the c-file, as he did in this game from the British Championships:

Sam Davies

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