Chess first, and game seven of Garry Kasparov's million-euro match against Peter Leko was a hard-fought draw in 39 moves. The match is really catching people's attention, with virtual attendance up to fourteen thousand. Kasparov remains one up with three more to play, with the markets quoting him as a 1.6 favourite to close out the match ahead. Vladimir Kramnik's recent world championship defence attracted very little of the attention of this Kasparov match; while there have been accusations that Kramnik stacked the challengers' matches with opposition he knew he could beat, Kasparov has reiterated that he has no interest in playing for the World Championship ever again. "It's all about the money, baby", he said, calling out world number one Vishy Anand with 2,000,000 euros of his own money on the line. We'll have full analysis of the game from Nigel Short, Bill Hartssssston and the Fritz Network later.
Last night's headline result from the party.poker Dealer's Choice Global League was a shock 325,000 euro swing from Team Harrah's Las Vegas to Manchester United PC. We'll run you through the online action from the spectacular Omaha Hi/Lo hand where United's Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott took over a quarter of a million euros by filling his straight draw on the river. "Never any doubt about it" said Ulliott, before flipping down his shades and picking up his guitar. Manchester United overtake Yahoo! UltimateBet to go sixth in the standings, taking their team bankroll back up to 9.8 million euros; South Korea remain on top on 19 million euros after a night off for the state team, followed by the Trump Corporation, Wynn Las Vegas, Ferrari and the Tiltboys. Nokia remain rooted to the foot of the table behind Team Hustler, Ryanair Betfair, Foxwoods and Ken Jennings' New York Yankees; Nokia, known primarily as an online team, will need a good result in the face-to-face round on Saturday to avoid having to play-off to retain their Global League place against European Conference leaders Monaco.
We turn our attention to Davos now. Sony have controversially chosen the World Economic Forum to launch Playstation Online. This new system, available only to people with a 32 megabit or higher Internet conenction, not only lets you play state-of-the-art computer games but also comes with an optional keyboard and mouse to let you run OpenOffice applications on the customised Sonux operating system. Microsoft and Apple really are worried about this new contender; 1920x1080 graphics on your HDTV in 16 million colours at 50 fps plus it'll run all the standard Office and Internet applications in a single box. The box comes free when you commit to a three year subscription, including a basic game rental service, at 49.99 per month. The glitzy launch was presented by top games designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Dr. Reiner Knizia, with President Clinton the first to ceremonially upload to the White House blog from the new machine.
Our first detailed report, though, is on persistent rumours that J. K. Rowling is set to release the so-called eighth Harry Potter book - a sequel to last year's surprisingly inconclusive Harry Potter and the Apocalypse - by continuing the story solely through the medium of an online game...