International Space Station flight engineer and science officer Greg Chamitoff has no problem playing chess in zero gravity while traveling at 5 miles per second. In fact, he made short work out of defeating the NASA Mission Control Center crew in his spare time while in orbit on the International Space Station. Now comes the real challenge. Can Greg defeat a democracy of earthlings headed by third graders?
Beginning Monday, September 29, the kindergarten through third grade U.S. Chess Championship Team and its chess club teammates from Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington will select up to four possible moves that the inhabitants of earth will then vote on to select the final move sent to Greg. Greg Chamitoff will then transmit a move back to earth and its elementary school advisers. The match organizers at NASA and the USCF has this to say about the historic match:
“For the past 10 years, the International Space Station has been an important platform to learn about living in space. We’re excited to have the opportunity to engage not only young students, but the public at large in this unique chess match,” said Heather Rarick, lead flight director for the current space station mission at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“We hope the excitement and interest this game generates will inspire students to become interested in chess,” said USCF Executive Director Bill Hall. “Chess is a valuable tool to lead students to become interested in math and to develop critical thinking skills, objectives we focus on in our work with schools nationwide.”
To find out more information on this match or to take part in it you need to visit http://www.uschess.org/nasa2008
Below is a game played by the crew of the International Space Station vs. Nasa Mission Control:
Crew – MCC [D00]
ISS Space game, Earth Orbit, 13.08.2008
1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 c6 3.Bf4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.e3 e6 6.Ne5 Qa5 7.Bd3 Nxe5 8.Bxe5 Ba3 9.Qc1 Bb4 10.0-0 b6 11.a4 Ba6? 12.Nb5! 0-0 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.c3 cxb5 15.Rd1 Rac8 16.axb5 Bxc3 17.Rxa5 17…Bxa5 18.Qb1 Bb7 19.b4 f5 20.bxa5 bxa5 21.Rc1 a4 22.Rxc8 Bxc8 23.Qb4 Bd7 24.Qxa4 Rc8 25.Qxa7 Rc1+ 26.Bf1 Bc8 27.b6 Kg7 28.b7 Bxb7 29.Qxb7 Kf6 30.f3 h6 and Black resigned. 1-0