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The Party's Over ... * Print E-mail
By Glenn Petersen, Editor, Chess Life for Kids   
December 16, 2009
inflatableballoons.jpgThe historic Earth versus Space match ended after Dr. Greg Chamitoff sent in his last move, 46. Kxa2 and resigns (44. Nc3 d1=Q, 45. Nxd1 Bxd1, 46. Kxa2, 0-1).

I can almost hear our astronaut singing the first refrain of "The Party's Over."
The Party's Over, it's time to call it a day.
They've burst your pretty balloon and taken the moon away

And I can hear our young champions from Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington, chiming in with the second refrain:

It's time to wind up the masquerade.
Just make your mind up the piper must be paid

*Music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, 1956

Actually, the ending was much classier than that, as Dr. Chamitoff send the following letter to our Washington Wizards:
Greg_2nd_video_chess_move_100.jpg Dear Stevenson Elementary Chess Team,

What a game!  Huge congratulations on your victory!  I'm truly proud of you, and inspired by your dedication, focus, brilliance, and patience too!

Also, a huge congratulations to all of you who followed the game and participated as part of the 'Earth Team', by voting for the moves on-line.  This was a fantastic game with so many intricate twists and turns.  When the time between moves is measured in days, it seems that the depth of analysis and strategy happens at a different level.  This made for a very exciting game!

This wasn't the longest game ever played, but for sure it set a record for long distance!  I wish we could have played the entire game between 'Space' and 'Earth' while I was still onboard the International Space Station, but perhaps there will be time for a complete 'Earth vs Space' match one day, when some of you are living on the Moon or Mars.  No doubt, that the game of chess will travel with us to the stars.

But more importantly, it's terrific to see how the game of chess is inspiring so many young minds to think and work in ways that can prepare them for the roles they will play in building our future.  It's been a great honor for me to play a small part in that.

Thanks to so many people from NASA, the US Chess Federation, Stevenson Elementary, Bellevue College, the Seattle Museum of Flight, ChessMagnetSchool.com, and many others who made this game possible.

May All Your Dreams Come True,

Greg Chamitoff
ISS Expedition 17/18 Flight Engineer and Science Officer

The party may be over, but as with most worthwhile endeavors, the memories will live on forever.

Here is the final position, after Earth's side converted its advanced passed pawns into the win of White's last piece:
Greg Chamitoff vs. Earth (final position after 46.Kxa2)

Use the links in the menu to the right to view the complete move list or to play over the game in our Java game viewer.
Earth vs. Space Chess Match, 2008-09

Astronaut Dr. Greg Chamitoff has sent 46.Kxa2 and his resignation and congratulations to the Stevenson stars and Earth's voters.
Use the Java chess viewer (below) to review and analyze this historic game and read game commentary.

Explore the game in our Chess Viewer

(Click here for help with Java or the chess viewer, or click here for a move list.)

The Final Position:
(after Greg's 46.Kxa2)


Read NASA's announcement about this game.

If you don't know all the rules of chess, and would like to learn, click here.
Media Contacts:
NASA - Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston

USCF - Glenn Petersen
[email protected]

Stevenson Team -
Coach David Hendricks
WA State Scholastic Coordinator

Match Director -
Hal Bogner
[email protected]