Sunday, 25 March 2007

Antoaneta Stefanova warms up for the European Chess Championships

Antoaneta Stefanova from Bulgaria will be second seed at the European Chess Championships which start next week in Dresden.

She had a near meteoric chess rise as a youngster, representing the Bulgarian men's team at the 2000 Olympiad, when she was only 21 years old, and winning the women's world champion title in 2004.

Since then, her career has stuttered a little and she has struggled to make consistently good scores in top-level events. Despite this, she has every chance of succeeding in Dresden, and would be a popular winner.

Her warm up included a themed 'Ruy Lopez' tournament this week in Spain, where her score of +1 =3 -3 against very strong opposition was enough to gain her a few rating points.

Over the next week, I'll profile some of the other women players who could make an impact in Dresden.

This game from Wijk ann Zee shows Antoaneta at her best as she dispatches talented Cuban Grandmaster Lazaro Bruzon:
1. c4 e6 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. O-O Nbd7 6. Na3Bxa3 7. bxa3 Nb6 8. a4 Bd7 9. a5 Ba4 10. Qe1 Nbd7 11. Rb1 c512. Rxb7 Bc6 13. Rb1 Be4 14. Ra1 Rb8 15. Ba3 Qxa5 16. Qc1 Qb517. Nh4 O-O 18. Bxe4 Nxe4 19. Qc2 f5 20. f3 Nd6 21. Ng2 Rb622. Nf4 Re8 23. e4 fxe4 24. fxe4 Qc6 25. Rae1 Nb5 26. Bc1 Ne527. Qd1 g6 28. Nh5 Rd8 29. Nf6+ Kh8 30. Ng4 Nd3 31. Nh6 Re832. Re3 e5 33. Qg4 Qe6 34. Qg5 Nd6 35. Ref3 Nxe4 36. Qh4 Nd637. Nf7+ Kg8 38. Ng5 Qe7 39. Rf7 Qxf7 40. Rxf7 h5 1-0

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.