SEATTLE, June 9, 1999 — Later this month, world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who lost a match to a computer two years ago in a famous “man vs. machine” competition, will use the power of the Internet and Microsoft’s MSN network of Internet services to bring people together from all over the world for an online chess tournament that is expected to last all summer.
The Russian grandmaster will challenge a self-selected “world team,” guided by five young chess experts and comprising people of every skill level from all around the globe, who choose to visit the MSN Gaming Zone and vote on strategies to counter Kasparov’s moves. Kasparov will make the opening move on Monday, June 21, and visitors to MSN will have 24 hours to vote for a countermove. Kasparov will respond with another move 24 hours later, and the game will continue with one move daily until there is a winner.
“Since the birth of the Internet, which has significantly affected the game of chess, I have dreamed of this type of match,” said Kasparov. “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.”
Beginning today, Microsoft will offer a wide range of activities on the MSN Gaming Zone, including a “pre-tournament” to help people sharpen their chess skills; chats and workshops where users can discuss strategy with expert players; and a sweepstakes to win a trip to meet Kasparov in person.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity for every chess player out there — myself included,” said Irina Krush, 15, who is one of the five coaches for the world team in the online tournament, the U.S. women’s chess champion and the youngest member of the U.S. Olympiad team. “I will advise the world team and provide strategies against Kasparov, a player whose strategies I’ve respected all my life.”