Ian Nepomniachtchi scored 6/6 and his team SBER dropped just
1.5 points out of 24 as the favourites to win the 1st Online FIDE World
Corporate Chess Championship cruised into the knockout stages. It was tougher
for the other 2700 players, including Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri, who lived
up to their ratings but are now out after their teams couldn’t top their groups.
For most of the almost 1500 players the event was about having some fun, with a
few amateurs getting once-in-a-lifetime chances to play the world’s best.
Out of almost 288 teams just 8 made it through into today’s
knockout stage: SBER (GM Ian Nepomniactchi on top board), Grenke Bank (GM Georg
Meier), Morgan Stanley (HUN) (IM Levan Bregadze), Sberbank Trade Union (GM Anton
Korobov), ERG (GM Anuar Ismagambetov), Emphie Solutions (GM Tomasz Warakomski),
Anahuac (IM Oscar Sanchez) and PT Pelabuhan Tanjung Priok (IM Muhammad Lutfi
They’ll now battle it out in a knockout, with the teams again playing rapid
10+2 matches on chess.com, but with the possibility of blitz matches and
Armageddon if tied.
Most of the teams to qualify for the knockout did so with
room to spare, with five of them winning all of their matches (it should have been
six, but ERG seemed to lose two games by disconnect to draw their first match).
Poland’s Emphie Solutions got in by the closest margin after beating Czech
National Bank 4:0 in the last round while their rivals State Bank of Mongolia could only win
their final match 2.5:1.5 to finish half a point behind.
For most of the star names the group stages were where the
event ended, even though only Dmitry Jakovenko of the six highest rated players
lost a game (he
stumbled into a mating net against GM David Jojua in the final round).
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen missed out on 6/6 after
letting Anton Korobov escape in a
tricky rook endgame but he made the day of an Oracle employee from
Bengaluru, India. Santosh Hassan Sampath, an amateur player, only learned who
he was playing in Round 1 when the organizers phoned to ask for a photograph.
I was too shocked to react. I had no idea Carslen was
playing the tournament and hadn’t in my wildest dreams imagined I’d be facing
Magnus played the King’s Gambit (Santosh declined it) and
went on to
give checkmate in 25 moves, but it may just have changed one player’s
This game is going on my CV for sure and now that bosses
love me, maybe I should ask for a good appraisal.
And tune in from 16:00 CET for the knockout stages live here