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?