Chess Champion Garry Kasparov Challenges the World on

REDMOND, Wash., June 9, 1999 — This month, world chess champion Garry Kasparov will challenge
“the world”
via the Internet on the MSN TM network of Internet services, in what is expected to be the largest interactive competition ever. People from around the globe, of any level of expertise, can join forces to play Kasparov in a chess tournament beginning June 21 by logging on to and clicking on games. Beginning today, MSN will offer a wide range of activities on the MSN Gaming Zone, including a
to sharpen chess skills; chats and workshops with expert players to discuss strategy; and a sweepstakes to win a trip to meet Kasparov in person.

“Imagine playing in a historic chess game against the greatest chess player of our time,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, director, Consumer and Commerce Group.
“MSN and the Internet will make it possible for anyone around the globe to try and checkmate Garry Kasparov.”

Kasparov achieved widespread notoriety in 1997 when IBM challenged him to play its Deep Blue supercomputer in the famous competition of
“man vs. machine.”
Now Microsoft Corp. and Kasparov will use the technological innovation of the Internet to bring people together from around the world in this unique, collaborative competition.
“Since the birth of the Internet, which has significantly affected the game of chess, I have dreamed of this type of match,”
Kasparov said.
“No matter who you are or where you live, whether you’re a grandmaster or a casual player, technology gives you the opportunity to take part in the biggest chess event in history.”

Throughout the chess match, the world team will make its moves under the guidance of four young chess experts (all younger than 20) acting as
“World Team Coaches,”
who will suggest strategies to counter each of Kasparov’s moves. The World Team Coaches are
next-generation chess champions who have already gained recognition in the international chess community:

  • Etienne Bacrot, 16, became the youngest grandmaster in history at only 14 years old.

  • Florin Felecan, 19, is the highest-rated American chess player under 21.

  • Irina Krush, 15, is the U.S. women’s chess champion and youngest member of the U.S. Olympiad team.

  • Elisabeth P
    htz, 14, is ranked eighth in the World Championship of youngsters and is a member of the female German National Chess Team.

Kasparov will make the first move on Monday, June 21, and subsequent moves every 48 hours thereafter. Once Kasparov’s move is posted to MSN, the world team will have 24 hours to cast its vote for a countermove. The move receiving the most votes will be selected as the
move against Kasparov. Each pair of moves will take 48 hours. The tournament is expected to last through the summer.

Danny King, international grandmaster and expert commentator for the 1997 Kasparov vs. Deep Blue match, will act as moderator throughout the tournament, providing commentary on the match and hosting tournament-related activities such as chats and guest appearances.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for every chess player out there – myself included,”
said Irina Krush, who has never played against Kasparov.
“I will advise the world team and provide strategies against Kasparov, a player whose strategies I’ve respected all my life.”

About MSN

MSN is the network of Internet products and services from Microsoft that helps people tailor the Web to what’s important to them. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.

About the MSN Gaming Zone

With more than 6.6 million registered users from around the world and up to 450,000 unique visitors per day, the Zone is the most popular gaming community on the Internet. The Zone offers free* membership and a wide variety of games including free* card, board and puzzle games; free* matchmaking for popular CD-ROM games; and premium games designed specifically for
“massively multiplayer”
gaming on the Internet. In addition, the MSN Gaming Zone has teamed with others to offer its members expanded gaming services such as industry news, product reviews, downloadable demos, online shopping and a broader range of online games.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

*Connect-time charges may apply.

Microsoft, Sidewalk and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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