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News Archive Space 2008

A Game of ‘Space Chess’ - ISS v Mission Control

24 July 2008

 Chess on the ISS
zum Bild Chess on the ISS
It is a well-known fact that chess has a venerable history behind it. It was being played before the sixth century in south and east Asia from where it spread to Persia, and then the rest of the world; and now even beyond: Since the start of July 2008, an unusual game of chess has been taking place in space, between the crew of the ISS and the staff at the six mission control centres.

US astronaut Gregory Chamitoff opened the game for the crew of the ISS, offering a classic queen’s gambit: pawn to d4. Mission control neutralised that move with pawn to d5 and, since then, each day has seen a move from one of the ISS crew and a counter-move from one of the mission control staff.

The various mission control centres rotate turns, as it were, so that Houston, Huntsville, Oberpfaffenhofen, Tsukuba, Korolev and Toulouse all get a go. During the daily ‘morning planning conference’ (midday, German time) the ISS crew plays its move and at the ‘evening planning conference’ it is mission control’s turn.

 Chess at mission control, Oberpfaffenhofen
zum Bild Chess at mission control, Oberpfaffenhofen

"Houston, we've got your queen”

“The game was the idea of the Russian members of the ISS crew,” says Roberto Passini. He made the first move in the Columbus Control Centre at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen. “The crew of the ISS are going to win,” believes Prashant Shukia, also from the Columbus Control Centre.

“We are playing with six different strategies – up there in the ISS, they have just one. They clearly have the advantage.”

In the course of the game, mission control (playing black) has sacrificed its queen, but that does not seem cause for undue concern – this game still has a long way to go!

Note: The game has been resigned after 30 moves!

 

The crew of the ISS (playing white) in a notable game of correspondence chess with the staff of the mission control centres (playing black). State of the board after 30 moves (12 August 2008).
Image: Wikipedia/GPL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Notation Algebraic Notation
Crew MCC Mission Control Crew MCC

P-Q4

P-Q4

MCC-H

d4

d5

N-QB3

P-QB3

POIC

Nc3

c6

B-KB4

N-KB3

COL-CC

Bf4

Nf6

N-KB3

N-Q2

SSIPC

Nf3

Nbd7

P-K3

P-K3

MCC-M

e3

e6

N-K5

Q-QR4

ATV-CC

Ne5

Qa5

B-Q3

N-K4

MCC-H

Bd3

Nxe5

B-K5

B-QR6

POIC

Bxe5

Ba3

Q-QB1

B-QN5

COL-CC

Qc1

Bb4

Castle

P-QN3

SSIPC

O-O

b6

P-QR4

B-QR3

MCC-M

a4

Ba6

N-QN5

Castle

ATV-CC

Nb5

O-O

B-KB6

P-KB3

MCC-H

Bxf6

gxf6

P-QB3

P-QN4

POIC

Pc3

Pxb5

R-Q1

R-QB1

COL-CC

Rd1

Rc8

PxQN5

BxR

SSIPC

Pxb5

Bxc3

RxQR5

BxR

MCC-M

Rxa5

Bxa5

Q-QN1

B-QN2

ATV-CC

Qb1

Bb7

P-QN4 P-KB4

MCC-H

b4 f5
PxQR5

PxQR4

POIC

Pxa5 Pxa5
R-QB1 P-QP5

COL-CC

Rc1 a4
RxQB8 BxQB1

SSIPC

Rxc8 Bxc8
Q-QN4 B-Q2

MCC-M

Qb4

Bd7

QxPR4 R-QB1

ATV-CC

Qxa4 Rc8
QxPR7 R-QB8+

MCC-H

Qxa7 Rc1+
B-KB1 B-QB1

POIC

Bf1 Bc8
P-QN6 K-KN2

COL-CC

Qa8 Kg7
P-QN7 BxPb7

SSIPC

Pb7 Bb7
QxBb7 K-KB3 

MCC-M

Qb7 Kf6 
P-KB3  P-QR6  

 ATV-CC

f3  Ph6 

 


Contact
Miriam Kamin
German Aerospace Center

Corporate Communications, Oberpfaffenhofen

Tel.: +49 8153 28-2297

Fax: +49 8153 28-1243


Michel Winand
German Aerospace Center

Corporate Communications, Cologne

Tel.: +49 2203 601-2144

Fax: +49 2203 601-3249


Created: 24/07/2008 14:20:00
All topics: News Archives