Match Saint-Peterburg - Paris

28th May, 2003

Hello St. Petersburg, Hello Paris...

  As the reader probably knows, in May the Russian city St. Petersburg celebrated its 300th anniversary. As part of the celebration, an Internet match between a team from St. Petersburg (Khalifman, Svidler, Korchnoi and Sakaev) vs. a team from Paris (Kramnik, Radjabov, Fressinet and Karjakin) was held. I was in St. Petersburg and IA Yakob Damsky from Russia was in Paris. We had many ways to communicate with each other. There was a direct TV connection. We could see each other on screens in the playing hall, we could talk to each other, there was of course an Internet connection, but the funniest thing was the following: immediately after a player had completed his move, this move was shown in the display of the opponent's clock. I do not understand too much about technology, but this was really a fantastic novelty. We saw on the TV monitor that the "French" player in Paris made his move and immediately after this we saw it in the display of the clock in St.Petersburg. There was a special button on the clock to offer a draw to the opponent and when the opponent agreed he would press the same button on his clock. This happened three times: on the boards 1, 2 and 4. On board 3 Korchnoi won his game against Fressinet. The time limit was 15 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 15 seconds per move from move 1. There were no problems at all and I congratulated Boris Yesham, who was responsible for the technology, with this wonderful performance. In my opinion a new chapter was added to the game of chess. I think this kind of match has a great future.

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