REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 25, 1999 — World chess champion Garry Kasparov achieved victory Friday afternoon in the Kasparov vs. the World online chess tournament on the MSN.com TM network of Internet services. With 51 percent of the world team voting to resign, the intense game ended at move 62 after four challenging months of play, during which the world team proved to be a formidable opponent.
“Although I have technically won the chess game, I think the real winners are everyone who participated on behalf of the world team,” Kasparov said. “The world team was able to take advantage of Internet technology and join together to mount a real challenge. Over the past four months, I have been highly impressed by the proficiency of the collective world team and truly have enjoyed the competition.”
Kasparov, from Moscow, and event moderator Danny King, from London, will hold a live public chat on MSN.com Wednesday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. PDT at http://www.chat.msnbc.com/ . Kasparov will take questions about the game and his winning strategy.
“Launched as an experiment in combining chess with the social power of the Internet, Kasparov vs. the World evolved into a fierce, exciting chess game that fascinated more than 3 million World Wide Web visitors from more than 75 countries,” said Diane McDade, MSN.com public relations manager at Microsoft Corp. “We congratulate and thank Mr. Kasparov; our teenage chess analysts, Etienne Bacrot, Florin Felecan, Irina Krush and Elisabeth P
htz; our moderator, Danny King; and all the members of the world team, who kept the world champion at bay for 62 moves.”
The Kasparov vs. the World online chess game, which began June 21, 1999, has united chess players of all skill levels from around the world in a cooperative effort against the reigning world chess champion. With more than 50,000 individuals submitting move votes, Kasparov vs. the World on MSN.com has been one of the largest interactive gaming events in history.
The quality of the chess played throughout the Kasparov vs. the World game has been acknowledged by chess experts and third parties around the world as one of the best public chess games ever documented.
“This game has been a real treat to watch,” said international grandmaster and expert commentator Danny King. “The world team members should be proud of the game they played. They went up against Garry Kasparov at his best for more than 60 moves.” As moderator, King provided commentary on the match and hosted tournament-related activities such as chats and guest appearances.
Over the past four months, world team members from across the globe exchanged ideas and information in near-real-time on Web site bulletin boards, to bring the world chess champion to more than 60 moves — an accomplishment that could only take place on the Internet.
“I think this event was great because it promoted chess, and it gave anyone on the Internet the chance to learn more about chess and play against Garry Kasparov,” said Irina Krush, one of the four World Team Coaches who guided the world team throughout the game. “It’s good that we have a world champion who is interested in doing this. I was glad to be a part of it and look forward to other MSN.com-sponsored chess events.”
About Kasparov vs. the World
Kasparov vs. the World was an online, interactive chess tournament hosted by the MSN.com network of Internet services. Over a four-month period the game site experienced the following:
More than 58,000 unique world team voters
More than 3 million unique visitors
A total of 28 million page views
Participants from more than 75 different countries
Kasparov, playing as white, made the first move on June 21 and subsequent moves every 48 hours thereafter. Once Kasparov’s move was posted to MSN.com, the world team, playing as black, had 24 hours to cast its vote for a countermove. The move receiving the most votes was selected as the “world’s” move against Kasparov.
Throughout the chess match, the world team made its moves under the guidance of four chess experts, who acted as World Team Coaches and suggested 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.
MSN.com and the MSN.com Gaming Zone will continue to host the archive site for this event at http://www.zone.com/kasparov/ . The site contains a complete history of moves, all analyst recommendations and Danny King commentaries, photographs of various members of the world team, press releases and exclusive articles on the world of chess. Soon the site will also feature commentary and analysis from Kasparov and more information about the game from Microsoft.
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