Garry Kasparov is no longer the best chess player in the world—he lost that title, which he'd held for 15 years, last week, when fellow Russian player Vladimir Kramnik forced a draw in the 15th match of the world championship in London to clinch a 8.5-6.5 victory. Kasparov's website, though, is still the best chess site around; www.kasparovchess.com covered the championships (in which the 25-year-old Kramnik won two matches; the other 13 ended in draws) in an unbiased fashion and quite comprehensively, with stats, analysis and chats, most of which was archived for players of all levels to study.
Chess never caught on with TV audiences as Kasparov hoped it would, and now he sees the Internet as the ideal medium for attracting a worldwide audience of chess fans who want to watch matches live: The scrutiny every move invites is ideal chat-room fodder, and the paucity of action makes it easy to render graphically. His site is no mere hobby. It has 65 employees in three countries and has played host to a number of tournaments in which players could compete from anywhere in the world while anyone with a modem could watch. Kasparov recently told England's Manchester Guardian Weekly, "With the Internet, chess has perhaps its last chance of acquiring a new status in society."
If Net chess catches on, it would certainly bode well for the game but even better for its erstwhile champ, who, as always, seems to have a clearly mapped-out endgame in mind: Kasparov plans to take his site public.