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After winning every game of chess in the last four months against his counterparts on Earth, NASA Astronaut Gregg Chamitoff has set his sights on the rest of us earthlings. In a first such match ever organized by NASA and the United States Chess Federation, Gregg is competing from Space against the whole World, with Earth being represented by the K-3rd Grade members of the U.S. Chess Championship Team and members of the Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue , Washington.
Played entirely on the Internet, the game, which began on Monday, September 29th, is structured so that every one on Earth can participate. Each day, the Earth representatives suggest four possible moves on their website http://main.uschess.org/content/view/8779/475/. People all over the world then get to pick the one they like the best. Gregg, who has a special Velcro-fitted chessboard at the International Space Station, then makes his countermove.
Only one move per day is allowed and there is no play over the weekends. Also, if Gregg is busy with his scientific and maintenance duties at the International Space Station, he is allowed to skip a day.
So far, the game seems to progressing quite well, with no clear leaders yet. As of Friday, each side had made two moves, and the ball is now in Gregg's court for Monday's play (see pic). However, if the earthlings want to win they better hurry, for Gregg is scheduled to return to Earth in November and it would be nice to defeat this Space chess champion before that.
If you wish to follow the game online or better still vote on the next move, check out the United States Chess Federation's Website at http://main.uschess.org/content/view/8779/475/
Sources: USChess.org, DailyMail.Co.Uk