(Антоанета Стефанова) (born April 19
) is a Bulgarian chess grandmaster
, and a former Women's World Chess Champion
. She became the twelfth titleholder in 2004
in a 64-player knockout tournament held in Elista
under the auspices of FIDE
. Stefanova's FIDE rating
of 2550 on the July 2008 list placed 5th in the world among active female players.
Stefanova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her chess-bound passion was inflamed when she was just four years old and she received first classes on the black-and-white chessboard by her own father, Andon Stefanov, himself a designing artist. With her elder sister, Liana, Antoaneta had made her best mating tandem.
- At the age of seven, Stefanova became a Sofia champion.
- In 1989, Stefanova swept the world chess crown for kids in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and later the same year triumphed in the under-14 Czech championship.
- Since 1994, Stefanova has successively competed in grandmaster championships, taking even seventh among male nationals in 1993.
- In 1997 Stefanova's FIDE rating broke into the top ten of women worldwide. Also she earned the title of Grandmaster in June 2003, a title held by only ten other women.
- She has played for Bulgaria in five Chess Olympiads so far, starting in Manila, the Philippines, in 1992 when she was just 13.
- In 2000, her coach promoted her in the Bulgarian men's team for the Istanbul Olympiad.
"Sexy, self-confident, sociable ... can we be talking about a professional chess player? Yes, we can," says Pergammon Chess where her photo was on the cover.