International Chess Federation
Tuesday, 18 Jun 2024 01:52
Chessify wins the World Corporate Chess Championship

The San Francisco company emerged as victors after defeating the Delaware-based ChessMood team in the finals. Third place went to another U.S. company – the global quantitative trading firm SIG, while the European team UBS ended up in fourth place

The last day of the World Corporate Championship, organized by FIDE and presented by Freedom Holding, opened with a surprising announcement by FIDE that the 2024 World Rapid and Blitz Championship will be held in New York at the end of December. The Cipriani Hall on 25 Broadway rang with cheers and applause as FIDE CEO Emil Sutovsky broke the news.

“I am very happy we had the World Corporate here in New York, and I am excited about one of the most popular chess tournaments in the world coming to this place in December. The World Corporate Chess Championship has shown there is a great appetite for chess in the city and the U.S. We have also seen a lot of great people from great companies come and network. We hope to see more of this in the future and are very much looking forward to the World Rapid and Blitz in December,” said Timur Turlov, CEO of Freedom Holding.

The Finals and the Smartest Company in the World

The atmosphere was vibrant on the final day as teams and spectators gathered for the finals. Even members of other teams who had participated but did not qualify came to watch the games, enjoy chess, and mingle.

In the first semi-final, Chessify defeated UBS in a tough match. The UBS team faced additional challenges as some members were under pressure to catch a flight back to Europe. “We did not expect to get this far,” said Andrik Starke, who runs the UBS Bank Chess Club in Zurich and attended the event. Both rounds ended with a 3:1 victory for ChessMood.

In the second semi-final duel, ChessMod triumphed over SIG, despite the financial company boasting Sam Shankland – the 2018 U.S. champion and one of the top grandmasters in the world. Chessify won both rounds by a score of 2.5:1.5.

In the duel for third place, UBS suffered a defeat in both rounds at the hands of SIG, losing 3:1. The match was tight until the end of the second round when both of UBS's last boards collapsed in quick succession, handing victory to SIG.

The match for the title saw fierce competition between two U.S. chess companies – Chessify and ChessMood. The first round ended in a tough draw – 2:2, but in the second and final round, Chessify scored victories on the top two boards and secured a draw on the third, clinching first place.

“It’s a great feeling that we won the title of the world’s smartest company on the day the great World Champion Tigran Petrosian was born. It has been an amazing event – we had a great time, met many interesting people, and it was a wonderful networking opportunity for us to talk about what we do and build connections with other teams and companies here. I would like to thank all the teams that took part – it was wonderful,” said Zaven Andriasian, the top player for Chessify (and the Junior World Chess Champion in 2006).

Andriasian also mentioned that he had a bet with the company’s CEO, Gor Vardanyan, that if they won, both would shave their heads! Vardanyan confirmed the deal, but whether this will happen remains to be seen.

A Jazzy Night at Cipriani: Awards, Music, and Dancers

The closing ceremony at Cipriani on Broadway was a dazzling event, perfectly capturing the classy style and vibrant energy of New York. The venue, known for its elegance and historical charm, provided a fitting backdrop for a night of celebration and music.

As the final day drew to a close, the top three teams were invited to the stage to receive their awards. It was an all-American triumph, with the top three teams hailing from the U.S.

The ceremony featured a live music performance and a spectacular show inspired by the 1920s, reminiscent of the famous Rockettes.

The winners didn't just walk away with a trophy and the title of the Smartest Company in the World; they were also presented with exquisite designer watches from the Norwegian watchmaker Von Doren, aptly named the Grandmaster II. These prestigious timepieces were handed out by FIDE Vice President Joran Aulin-Jansson, adding an extra touch of class to the proceedings.

Cipriani's grand and sophisticated ambiance made it the perfect setting for such a momentous occasion, reflecting the spirit of New York and the world of chess in perfect harmony.

Chess Streamers Join the Final Day of the Event

Two major chess streamers attended the final day of the event: Anna Cramling and Levy Rozman (who came straight from his spectacular performance at a tournament in Spain). Both streamers mingled with the audience and players and expressed their support for more events of this type, bringing people from diverse backgrounds together.

The announcement that the World Rapid and Blitz Championships would be held in New York was particularly thrilling for them. “As a New Yorker, it’s great to have this event come here. Compared to other events and places, I think we can do better here in New York. The potential is massive, but it has to be done right,” said Levy Rozman, who is also known as GothamChess on social media.

This is not the end, but the beginning…

FIDE Secretary General Lukas Turley, who was also the director of the World Corporate Chess Championship, said that the tournament proved to be a great success as “several large international corporations, who have been following the event, reached out and asked to take part in this competition next year.”

These sentiments were echoed by FIDE CEO Emil Sutovsky, who in his closing remarks noted that the World Corporate Championship, along with the World Rapid and Blitz Championship coming to New York this December, will mark “the beginning of a new era for chess, where it will get the spotlight it deserves.”

Event Details:

  • Dates: June 15, 16, and 17
  • Venue: Cipriani, 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004
  • Official website:

Written by Milan Dinic

Photos: Rafał Oleksiewicz