REDMOND, Wash., July 22, 1999 — The MSN TM network of Internet services today announced that its “Kasparov vs. the World” online chess match is on target to be the largest and most popular interactive gaming event in history and is expected to surpass traffic on IBM Corp.’s “Kasparov vs. Deep Blue” Web site during the renowned “man vs. machine” competition in 1997. The MSN site has received more than 6 million page views in the first four weeks of the event, which is expected to last through August. Spectators and players alike can log on to http://www.MSN.com/ , click on “games” and join the world team in its quest to defeat the world champion.
Microsoft Corp. and Garry Kasparov are using the technological innovation of the Internet to bring together people from around the world in this unique, collaborative competition. It is estimated that people from more than 79 different countries have logged on to http://www.MSN.com/ and joined forces to play Kasparov in the ultimate chess game, which is open to chess fans of all skill levels. In response to feedback from participants around the world, Microsoft recently simplified the voting process for users of Macintosh, UNIX and other systems not based on the Microsoft® Windows® operating system.
“Unlike 1997’s man vs. machine, this tournament on MSN allows gamers to be participants instead of just spectators,” said Yusuf Mehdi, director, Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft. “Now, whether users are in an Internet cafe in Prague or an ad agency in Chicago, it’s even easier to participate in this historic game.”
The match, now in its 16th move, shows no indication of a winner.
“The world team is strong, and some of the moves have surprised me,” Kasparov said. “They have made no mistakes so far, but I wonder how long ingenuity can prevail.”
Kasparov has placed the world team in “check” positions, but each time the world team has outmaneuvered the world champion’s plans for a swift victory.
“The game is really starting to smoke,” said international grandmaster and expert commentator Danny King. “Whatever the outcome of the game, I believe we will be forcing the best from Garry. This is going to be a treat to watch.” King is the moderator for Kasparov vs. the World, providing commentary on the match and hosting tournament-related activities such as chats and guest appearances.
In an effort to showcase some of the enormous talent Kasparov is up against, MSN also announced today that members of the world team can submit photographs and biographies of themselves, where they will be considered for a “Faces of the World” profile. These profiles will feature an international roster of world team members as they challenge the world champion. Those interested can obtain more information by logging on to http://www.MSN.com/ and clicking on “games.”
About Kasparov vs. The World
Kasparov vs. the World is an online, interactive chess tournament hosted by the MSN network of Internet services.
Kasparov, playing as white, made the first move on June 21 and makes subsequent moves every 48 hours thereafter. Once Kasparov’s move is posted to MSN, the world team (playing as black) has 24 hours to cast its vote for a countermove. The move receiving the most votes is selected as the “world’s” move against Kasparov.
Throughout the chess match, the world team makes its moves under the guidance of four chess experts who act as world team “coaches,” suggesting moves and strategies to counter each of Kasparov’s moves. The world team coaches are next-generation chess champions who have 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.
htz, 14, is ranked eighth in the World Championship of youngsters and is a member of the female German National Chess Team.
The game will continue until one king is checkmated or the game declared a draw. Kasparov vs. the World is open to anyone with Internet access. To reach the site, players and spectators log on to http://www.MSN.com/ and click on “games.”
MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.com ( http://MSN.com/ ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; wireless services information; 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.
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