Chess / In a tangle on the world wide web

Share
Garry Kasparov gave a clock simultaneous display on Tuesday: playing 10 opponents on 10 boards, under normal conditions with clocks. Kasparov, darting from board to board, had one hour for all his moves in all the games; his opponents had 45 minutes each. There's nothing unusual about that, except that he was in Munich and his 10 opponents - including England's 10-year-old superteeny Luke McShane, were scattered around the world in London, New York, Switzerland, India, Berlin, Israel, France and Denmark. The whole thing was conducted over the Internet and could, in theory, be followed by any web-literate chess fan.

So half an hour after the scheduled start, with a deft http://www.intel.com/, I was looking at the home page of Intel, the sponsors of the event, whence a quick mouse blip led me to the "virtual chess match". That's where it began to get a little confusing.

There was an on-screen button for game selection, followed by the names of Kasparov's 10 opponents, each with a blippable box by it. But should I blip the box, then the button, or the button then the box? And which of the four servers should I choose? I opted for "game select" "Luke McShane" and "Intel Europe" and after a brief wait, there appeared on the screen a picture of a chessboard in its starting position. A line of commentary, however, indicated that the game was well under way, so I pressed another server button. Up on the screen came this chessboard:

Luke, playing Black, was threatening Qg2 mate, and 1.Qxb8+ Kg7 2.Nf4 loses instantly to 2...Qxg3+. Was the champ facing a knock-out? Sadly not. I soon noticed 1.Qxb8+ Kg7 2.Kf2! when 2...Qg2+ 3.Ke1 gets White out of trouble. When trial and many errors had produced the correct combination of button presses to update the position, I deduced that Kasparov had followed my advice, and the game had continued 3...Bf3 4.Rxf3 Qxf3 5.Qf4 with a hopeless position for McShane.

Now more confident in my technological expertise, I blipped through the other games of the contest. A little guesswork was needed where the "select server" button obliterated several squares on White's back rank, but Kasparov seemed to be doing well.

Next time I looked, McShane had resigned. Kasparov ended with seven wins and three draws. At one moment I even tried a button promising a JPG image from a live camera in Munich, but it rudely told me I had an "unsupported SOF marker type Oxc2". Persevering with the GIF image button, I was soon looking at a blurred picture of someone's back. Not quite the image, as in the picture above, that I had hoped for. All in all, a fairly typical day on the Internet.

But do you think that blurred back on my computer screen might have been Kasparov himself?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

year 5 teacher

£21000 - £32000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Supply Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...

Supply Teacher - Chelmsford

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We urgently require Primar...

Year 5 Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Assistant Editor: Domestic violence is no petty matter

Siobhan Norton
 

There’s nothing wrong with GM

Steve Connor
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried