Category Archives: 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

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