WGM Sandu vs. GM Stefanova
Opening: B06: Robatsch defence
Player(s): Sandu, Stefanova
As we hear about more and more incidents of players using technology to cheat in chess, appropriate concern can easily slip into paranoia. That seems to be the case at the European Women's Championship, where a total outsider, 38-year old Romanian Mihaela Sandu raced out to the lead with 5/5, defeating several higher rated players on the way.
Her shaken competitors, including many who had not played against her, signed an open letter to the organizers asking for anti-cheating measures to be put into place. When chessplayers cheat, the evidence usually turns out to be quite plain. The moves seem to be beyond the player's ability, and will often match the choices of chess engines. But I don't see that here. It seems that Sandu just took advantage of overconfidence and sloppiness from her better known but hardly perfect opponents. This week we will feature Sandu's seventh round win over former World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova. Unfortunately Sandu could not keep the magic going and lost her last four games. Then again, how many among us would play their best under that kind of stress?