Chris Rice wrote:
It is a position that you need to have practiced and it isn't easy with a minute to go I grant you. Its just that it emphasizes a point that Jonathan Hawkins repeatedly makes in his book Amateur to IM that its amazing how many highly players don't know their basic endings. I don't know if you have his book but the exact same ending is on p188 Dominguez-Perez v Judit Polgar, FIDE World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk 2011 where both players struggle to remember the drawing and winning lines and there are loads of blunders and Judit falls over the line eventually to win it. I would have expected a 2400 strength player to know it off by heart but then again I expected Ushenina to know how to mate with knight & bishop vs king.
It varies really from player to player. Yes, I do have Hawkins's book one of the (very) few I have read, and one of the very many not finished! Dominguez-Polgar does ring a bell.
What are you saying here, that Dominguez should have drawn?
One would like to watch Arkell-Carlsen in a rook and bishop vs rook endgame with R+B for Arkell, with five minutes (too much?) each.
The knight and bishop is a bit of a funny one. There must be a small number of people that actually know the minimum win of knight and bishop endgame but a lot of strong players must surely know this process. (Admittedly not Ushenina). But there is a lesson there, and one I mentioned before, with endgames or even general play: in terms of the amateur, I would say that 2700 opponents are pretty much near impossible to get anything out of.
However even 2500s have a dent in their armoury, they aren't part of the elite for one reason or another and so they have a weakness, and this varies from player to player. In Ushenina's case it was knight and bishop endgame, and not to give your opponent too much respect with regards to a challenging ending and let him/her prove it to play it out.