Grenke Bank Wins FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship
Georg Meier, Alina Kashlinskaya, Hanna Marie Klek, and Inna Agrest. Image: still from the live broadcast.

Grenke Bank Wins FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship

| 32 | Chess Event Coverage

Grenke Bank won the inaugural FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship on Sunday. The German team, led by GM Georg Meier, defeated top seed SBER (with GM Ian Nepomniachtchi on top board) in the final's second match.

How to watch?
The games of the FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship finals can be found here on our live events platform.

The final, played over two matches, was a nail-biter. The two top seeds had fought their way through the pool stage, quarterfinals, and semis, and then tied their first match 2-2:

Bo. 2 Grenke Bank Rtg - 1 SBER Rtg 2 : 2
1.1 GM Meier, Georg 2628 - GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2789 0 - 1
1.2 IM Kashlinskaya, Alina 2494 - FM Kadatsky, Alexander 2368 ½ - ½
1.3 WGM Klek, Hanna Marie 2302 - IM Lavrov, Maxim 2401 1 - 0
1.4 WIM Agrest, Inna 2285 - WIM Komiagina, Maria 2241 ½ - ½

As Black, Nepomniachtchi defeated Meier on board one after the German grandmaster played inaccurately in the opening:

Grenke secured a playoff because on board three WGM Hanna Marie Klek beat IM Maxim Lavrov:

The live broadcast.

In the second match, Meier held Nepomniachtchi to a draw.

Eventually, it was WIM Inna Agrest's win against WIM Maria Komiagina that decided the overall outcome.

Bo. 1 SBER Rtg - 2 Grenke Bank Rtg 1½:2½
1.1 GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2789 - GM Meier, Georg 2628 ½ - ½
1.2 FM Kadatsky, Alexander 2368 - IM Kashlinskaya, Alina 2494 0 - 1
1.3 IM Lavrov, Maxim 2401 - WGM Klek, Hanna Marie 2302 1 - 0
1.4 WIM Komiagina, Maria 2241 - WIM Agrest, Inna 2285 0 - 1

It was a bitter pill to swallow for SBER and especially Komiagina, who had outplayed her opponent and was completely winning when she blundered terribly:

Interestingly, Grenke Bank was the only team in the whole competition that had three women playing: IM Alina Kashlinskaya (invited player), Klek (deputy team leader operational banking), and Agrest (project manager), along with Meier (risk controller) and Sven Noppes (member of the board).

Grenke Bank is part of Grenke AG, a financial services company based in Baden-Baden, Germany, where it has supported the local chess team to numerous Bundesliga titles. The company also sponsors the annual super tournament Grenke Chess Classic alongside the Grenke Open.

The top-four teams (Grenke Bank, SBER, Sberbank Trade Union, and PT Pelabuhan Tanjung Priok) secured four seats each to participate in an online simul against the winner of the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2021.

FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship results

In a fundraiser organized by FIDE, a total of $7,055 has been donated so far. The team that raises the most money for social projects until February 26 (you can still donate) will be invited to the FIDE World Championship Match 2021, with accommodation expenses covered for three nights and VIP tickets provided to attend three rounds of the match.

The FIDE Online World Corporate Chess Championship was held February 19-21, 2021 on A total of 288 teams from 78 countries played, with close to 1,500 participants, including 204 titled players. That included World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who played for his sponsor, Kindred Group.

The list of participating companies included giants like Amazon, Samsung, Ford, Microsoft, Gazprom, Facebook, Siemens, Dell Technologies, Bosch, Airbus, IBM, Boeing, Sony, Intel, ArcelorMittal, Equinor, HP, Twitter, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Vodafone, Sberbank, American Express, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Oracle, Credit Suisse, and Airbnb.

Each team consisted of four players, including at least one male player and at least one female player. Each team could invite one player not working for the company. However, only one player could have a FIDE rating higher than 2500.

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