FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship Underway

FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship Underway

| 19 | Chess Event Coverage

The FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship began on Friday with 288 teams representing some of the biggest corporations in the world. Saturday will see three more rounds in each pool before Sunday's finals.

How to watch?
The games of the FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship can be found on our live events platform. Daily commentary will be available on More details can be found on Chess-Results.

The World Corporate (teams of four, time control 10+2) is not your everyday chess tournament. And that's good. For the first time, the International Chess Federation has brought together such a big number of companies from all over the world with all the potential benefits that this can create.

One nice consequence is the extra exposure for our sport from all the tweets by those companies, such as the following.

Yep, you saw it right: in the first round, World Champion Magnus Carlsen faced a 1400 player. Representing his sponsor Kindred, Carlsen can play because each team is allowed to have one player with a FIDE rating higher than 2500 and also one player who doesn't work for the company (usually the same person).

For Santosh Hassan, a senior assistant financial controller for Oracle in Bangalore, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He had no clue that Carlsen was also participating in the tournament and only learned 10 minutes before the start of the game when FIDE asked for his photo!

As the 12th seed in Eastern Pool D, Kindred won this match 4-0. They also won in the third round, but in round two Russia's Sberbank, the top seed in a group with four titled players in the lineup, was too strong.

Carlsen drew with GM Anton Korobov, the world number-five in rapid chess, in a game where the world champion missed a (difficult) opportunity in a rook endgame:

There are six eastern pools with about 40 companies, each mostly from Europe and Asia, and two western pools with close to 30 companies from the Americas. On Saturday the pool stage ends with rounds 4-6. (Chess-Results is currently your place to go for results and standings.)

Most players will be playing on only Friday and Saturday because only the top team in each pool will qualify for the next stage: quarterfinals, semifinals, and a final, all on Sunday.

Besides the previously mentioned Sberbank, another favorite to win the championship is Russia's Sberbank Trade Union, which has GM Ian Nepomniachtchi on the top board alongside three more titled players. "Nepo" won his three games with little effort but will face stronger opposition in his future matches.

GM Anish Giri had to work from the get-go as he faced GM Nihal Sarin in the very first round, in the match Optiver vs. Akshayakalpa Farms and Foods—the sponsors of the two grandmasters, respectively.

A total of 204 titled players are taking part in the competition, including 36 grandmasters. Here's a list of the strongest participants:

Top 10 participants

# Fed Name Rapid rating Team
1 Magnus Carlsen 2881 Kindred
2 Anton Korobov 2794 Sberbank Trade Union
3 Ian Nepomniachtchi 2778 Sberbank
4 Vladislav Artemiev 2757 Aeroflot
5 Anish Giri 2731 Optiver
6 Radoslaw Wojtaszek 2703 COIG
7 Dmitry Jakovenko 2700 Yandex
8 Salem Saleh 2689 Emirates
9 Vladimir Malakhov 2670 Alrud Law Firm
10 Georg Meier 2651 Grenke Bank

Another super-strong player we haven't heard from in a while is GM Dmitry Jakovenko. The Russian grandmaster, who plays for Yandex, also won his first three games. The most interesting was his clash with the Polish IM Piotr Nguyen, board one for Samsung Electronics. 

An instructive endgame! You might want to play this out yourself:


There was no entry fee of any kind for this competition. However, FIDE has organized a fundraiser in cooperation with the platform Softgiving, and participating companies are encouraged to donate to one of three social projects currently developed by FIDE: Chess in Education programs for underprivileged children, Chess for People with Disabilities, and FIDE Veterans Support Program. If you also want to contribute, you can through this link:

SoftgivingAll donations received through this link count towards the leaderboard offered by Softgiving. The most generous donors will appear on top of the leaderboard (donation amounts won't be revealed).

At the end of the event, the team that has donated the most funds for those charity causes will be invited to the FIDE World Championship Match 2021, taking place at Dubai World Expo in late 2021, with accommodation expenses covered for three nights and VIP tickets to attend three rounds of the match.

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