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Soyuz 9 Cosmonauts vs Ground Control
"An Advantage in Space" (game of the day Oct-02-2008)
Soyuz IX mission (1970), Outer Space, Jun-09
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Old Variation (D20)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Premium Chessgames Member We selected this for Game of the Day in observance of the interesting chess match between "the people of Earth" and International Space Station astronaut Greg Chamitoff.

More info:

Oct-02-08  newzild: Yes, 33.Bxf6 is a bad move.

If white wants to exchange the bishop for knight, he should at least wait until he is forced to exchange - the knight can't go anywhere while it is pinned.

Better would be 33.Rb1, intending 34.Rb7, 35.Bxf6+ and 36.Qxh7++

Black can defend against this threat, but the loss of time allows white to activate his rook and attack the Q-side pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Far out man!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <has anyone every been in outer space?>

Benjamin Lau!: <Yes- Armstrong for example. >

Yeah, when Lance broke up with Sheryl Crowe, he was either out of his mind or in outer space somewhere.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Major Tom- David Bowie

Ground control to Major Tom
Ground control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

Ground control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may gods love be with you

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five,
Four, three, two, one, liftoff

This is ground control to Major Tom
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now its time to leave the capsule if you dare

This is Major Tom to ground control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet earth is blue
And theres nothing I can do

Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles
I'm feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much she knows

Ground control to Major Tom
Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you....

Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do.

Premium Chessgames Member

The most eminent chess game was played in the Space using radio communication. The crew of the "Soyuz-9" spaceship <Andrian Nikolaev> and <Vitali Sevastianov> played white against "Terrestrials" in 1970, on June 9th.

It was their day off - if one can apply the word 'off' to a totally sealed can high above in the sky - and they wanted to play one against another but the Central Control offered them to play together against the Control team on the Earth.

That game has been since then known as

<Space vs. Earth Match <>>.

Oct-02-08  YifanFan:

There is some interesting background in the bio at Soyuz 9 Cosmonauts

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The circumstances of the game were out of this world! The game,however,was run-of-the-mill.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I'm not surprised that White didn't win the game. After all, if I was in a "totally sealed can" thousands of miles from Earth and totally dependent on my opponent for my continued existence--no, I don't think I'd try too hard to win either.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: For the heck of it I put the final position on Deep Fritz 10--dual core machine for six minutes. It analyzed five paths forward and gave each one 0.00--an absolute draw. That's no surprise, but it's interesting that there was no advantage whatever--even a minute one--in any scenario.
Oct-02-08  zb2cr: I, personally, have never been in space. I have met U.S. space shuttle mission specialists Dr. Steven Hawley, Dr. Mary Cleave, and the late Dr. Ron Parise, though. This was back when I worked launch support for a company that did contract software for NASA.

The U.S. astronaut corps these days has two tiers. Mission specialists are scientists who have been cross-trained to (if necessary) fly the shuttles, and the pilots who typically do it.

Oct-02-08  mworld: from the end position its hard to see how you could determine that the end would be a definite draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: The final position does look absolutely drawn - both sides have exposed kings and plenty of open lines for the queens to penetrate. There are no immediate pawn breaks.

So if either side gets an advantage (and they are not about to do so quickly), the other side heads for perpetual check.

Fritz 11 confirms. Within a few seconds, it grinds to a halt at =0.00 and totally refuses to budge.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Interesting. If an astronaut brought a copy of Fritz or Rybka into orbit and used it to 'play' a game with ground control, nobody would pay much attention - because we know that the engine behaves in the same way wherever its 'platform' is located.

But put a human up there, and it's different. Is that the *metaphysics of presence* at work?

btw, flat evals of 0.00 almost always mean a forced draw, usually perpetual.

Oct-02-08  mworld: its easy to determine a draw when you set a computer to playing itself out, but being that both sides were human I find it hard to believe they didn't stick it out a few more moves...just takes a single inaccuracy and its a different ball game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <mwrold> This was more of a stunt than a serious game. I'm sure that both sides needed to get back to doing more important things.

Yes, there are more important things than chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Yes, there are more important things than chess.>

Indeed. It's not rocket science...

Oct-03-08  klangenfarben: .
do you remember a guy that's been
in such an early song
I've heard a rumour from Ground Control
oh no, don't say its true

they got a message from The Action Mann
"I'm Happy, Hope You're Happy Too"
I've loved all I've needed love
sordid details following

the shrieking of nothing is killing
just pictures of Jap girls in synthesis and I
ain't got no money and I ain't got no hair
but I'm hoping to kick but the planet its glowing

ashes to ashes, fun to funky
we know Major Tom's a junkie
strung out in heaven's high
hitting an all-time low

time and again I tell myself
I'll stay clean tonight
but the little green wheels are following me
oh no, not again
I'm stuck with A Valuable Friend
"I'm Happy, Hope You're Happy Too"
one flash of light but no smoking pistol

I never done good things
I never done bad things
I never did anything out of the blue
want an axe to break the ice
wanna come down right now

ashes to ashes, fun to funky
we know Major Tom's a junkie
strung out in heaven's high
hitting an all-time low

my mother said, to get things done
you better not mess with Major Tom

Oct-05-08  KlunkenFarben: Final position 1/2-1/2

click for larger view

White has twenty-five legal moves. Fritz11 line analysis:

: =12 : ten as 0.0, one as -0.03, one as -0.04
: 1 : -0.65 (36. ♕h4)
: 1 : -3.11 (36. ♕e5, a rookie mistake)
: #11 : eleven forced mates in 19 to 13 (36. ♕f7+) moves

Oct-11-08  just a kid: I don't like 29.Nxd5 it evens out Black's pawns.
Jan-02-09  WhiteRook48: it would be even funnier if white won. the pun would come to life. LOL
Jan-22-09  WhiteRook48: "Ground Control" is interesting for a player name.
Mar-02-09  WhiteRook48: White really does have a space advantage (NOT humor-wise)
Jun-25-10  WhiteRook48: 24 g5 the knight is not going anywhere
Premium Chessgames Member
  NARC: I like 26. d5 followed by Bd4
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