Category Archives: 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

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