NEW YORK, June 21, 1999 — To kick off the “Kasparov vs. the World” chess tournament on Microsoft’s MSN Gaming Zone, world chess champion Garry Kasparov made his first move on a life-size chess board in New York City’s Bryant Park. The move — Pawn to E4, a common opening move — will be analyzed by four young chess experts, who will offer guidance and suggestions to a “world team” made up of MSN visitors. The team has 24 hours to vote on 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 — or a draw.
Expert analysis, strategy and suggested moves will be offered by the World Team Coaches, four next-generation chess champions who’ve 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 Phtz, 14, is ranked eighth in the World Championship of youngsters and is a member of the female German National Chess Team.
“This event takes chess in an exciting, new direction by allowing the world to participate in a game against one of the greatest players in history,” said international grandmaster and tournament moderator Danny King. After each of Kasparov’s moves, King will conduct a live chat on MSN to discuss the coaches’ strategies and the world team’s move options.
Other tournament activities include a sweepstakes to meet Garry Kasparov, chats and strategy sessions with chess experts, and daily updates on the tournament available by e-mail.
“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.”