Magnus Carlsen was in action in a world championship under an English flag at the weekend, albeit not in the way you might think. Carlsen was representing Kindred, the Norwegian company which has a Wimbledon, London office, and which sponsors him via Unibet, in the first official online World Corporate Championship.

The event attracted 288 teams of four, including many famous global brands. One member could be a 2500-plus rated guest, but the other three had to be employees including at least one woman. 

Carlsen scored 5.5/6, while his No2 Jasper Tambini, a former England junior, added 5/6, but Kindred’s lower boards were outclassed. The champion’s first game showed the massive gap between him and an Indian amateur.

Germany’s Grenke Bank, which won the final when the No1-seeded Russians SREB blundered in the last few moves, already sponsors Europe’s top team Baden-Baden and backs an annual elite invitation plus a huge open. It fielded three women in its squad of four, all of whom scored vital points. 

In contrast, the major US companies, placed in Western time zone groups, were eliminated by teams from Mexico and Indonesia. The World Corporate is sure to repeat in 2022, and lessons will be learned.

Puzzle 2408

Philip Crocker v Alan Merry, Blackpool 2017. Black (to move) sacrificed a knight for an attack which looks stymied. Can you find Black’s winner?

Click here for solution

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