WGM Sabina-Francesca Foisor is the 2017 US Women’s Champion and GM Alex Yermolinsky has written a very nice piece about it HERE. Her result is remarkable, a true tribute in the memory of her mom IM Cristina Adela Foisor who passed away in January, right before the Women’s World Championship 2017 in Tehran she qualified for. I remember playing in tournaments where Cristina and her husband IM Ovidiu Foisor were also playing while we were juniors. Ovidiu was a rising talent at the time, a regular member of the junior national team. Later on he moved into coaching and he is a well respected and successful chess coach. Cristina was even more successful, winning the Romanian Chess Championship five times (1989, 1998, 2011, 2012 and 2013), plus the title of EU women’s champion in 2007. It is no wonder their family also includes two strong players in Sabina and her sister WIM Mihaela-Veronica Foisor.
I have been following Sabina’s participation in US tournaments and as a member of the USA Olympic team for a few years now. Knowing her parents ties her to a time when we had no other worries than school, chess and fun. Her play this time around was very exciting. I followed closely the first 3 rounds and was impressed by the high quality of the games played and combativeness shown in general. Sabina did not back down and took no prisoners. The game I liked the most was from the third round and it gave me an opportunity to reflect again upon differences between human and engine play. Here is the game:
What do you think about this game? In my opinion this is high level, showing how far chess has advanced at the top in North America! What would your choice be as white at move 25 if you could be faced with this decision over the board and with no help but your knowledge? My choice would probably be for 24. h4 … first. I think you should not put much weight into not seeing the sacrifice 25. Ne7+ …; very few would see it if any. Noticing the fact Black’s castle is not protected and should be attacked is a definite plus; if you did see that, give yourself a pat on the back. How you take advantage of it is what makes each one of us different. Sabina’s choice was the best since it brought her the win; my sincere congratulations!
Valer Eugen Demian