Choosing how to activate one’s king is critical in most endgames, especially while trying to convert a small advantage into a win. Precision is key.
In round 2, Italy’s Daniel Vocaturo chose the incorrect king road in a critical position, but luckily for him, his opponent failed to find the refutation which led to a draw.
Both kings are very active in this position. In order to keep his winning chances alive, Black needed to continue with 52…Kd3 here, instead of 52…Kf3 as seen in the game. After the text, White could have, surprisingly, held a draw with the retreating 53.Kd4. However, Venezuela’s Juan Rohl opted for 53.Bxc6 and went on to lose the game.
In a match-defining game from round 3 in the women’s section, Czechia’s fourth board Anna Marie Koubova missed a win with black in a rook ending against Georgia’s Meri Arabidze. Had Koubova converted the advantage, her team would have obtained a surprising draw against the tournament’s third seeds.
Fortunately for the Georgians, Arabidze had no trouble finding the good-looking refutation.
46…g5 was the decisive mistake, when, for example, 46…c4 47.Rc7 Rf4 was winning for Black. Remarkably, White holds the draw by making the symmetrical push 47.g4, and after 47…hxg4 48.h5 her passed h-pawn provides enough counterplay to keep the balance.
Find analyses for these two positions and two more endgames in the replayer below.