Chess and Business Meet at Nasdaq: Opening Ceremony of World Corporate Chess Championship

New York –The World Corporate Chess Championship was officially launched with a spectacular ceremony at the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in Times Square, marking a significant milestone for chess in the business world.
The World Corporate Chess Championship aims to celebrate strategic excellence in business and chess by uniting 12 strong chess teams composed of employees from major companies across the globe. The championship will help build a lasting connection between chess and the business community on an international scale.

Guided by the idea of bringing together some of the smartest companies across the glove, the event – hosted by Nasdaq and presented by Freedom Holding – saw history being made as the logo of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) appeared on the giant screen of the world renown financial institution.

Dating back to the 1870s, ringing the closing bell at the Nasdaq Stock Market is a significant event, symbolizing the official end of the trading day. As a company registered at the Nasdaq, Freedom Holding got the honor to ring the closing bell in a ceremony broadcast live worldwide. Thanks to Freedom – FIDE was a part of this ceremony broadcast across the U.S. and the world.

“The universal language of chess knows no borders and requires no special translators and brings together the most unlikely sports people across the board… Competing in this event will give participants tremendous networking opportunities, and we hope that many arrangements will be reached and for this event to be a win-win for everyone, where chess serves an important role as an intermediator,” said Timur Turlov, CEO of Freedom Holding, which presents the World Corporate Chess Championship.

The ceremony also celebrated the fifth anniversary of Freedom’s listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Since going public, Freedom Holding’s shares have surged by an impressive 600%. With 6,000 employees across 20 countries, the company recently reported record revenue of $1.6 billion.

“Competing in this event offers tremendous networking opportunities, fostering valuable connections and collaborations. We hope this event will be a win-win for everyone, with chess serving as an important intermediary,” Turlov said.

FIDE CEO Emil Sutovsky noted that, “for FIDE, it is crucial to maintain global connections across various fields, including finance. Our relationship with Freedom is very reliable and goes from strength to strength. Freedom has shown a genuine appreciation for chess, and we extend our gratitude to Timur. This event marks the beginning of a long journey, with plans for many more major events, potentially even here in New York.”

During his speech, Turlov announced Freedom’s intention to support more social initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable development and business practices. One such initiative is the Chess in Schools project in New York, which supports the intellectual and social development of low-income youth through chess education. Stating that “chess teaches critical thinking, which is crucial in an age of short attention spans”, Turlov announced a $50,000 donation to this project adding that “this is not just a donation, but an investment in the future.”

The ceremony featured the fifth Women’s World Champion Nona Gaprindashvili and U.S. Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura. Hikaru mingled with players and VIP guests, including economist and Harvard professor GM Ken Rogoff, journalist and author Frank Brady, and several high-profile figures from New York’s chess and business scenes. Nakamura also participated in an exhibition game against Turlov and Sutovsky, each supported by three non-professional guest players.

About the Event:

The 12 finalists competing in New York are:

Goldman Sachs (USA)
BlackRock (USA)
Nanjing Spark Chess Technology Co., Ltd. (China)
ChessMood Inc. (USA)
LLC “LC” “GRECO” (Ukraine)
UBS Group AG (Switzerland)
Chessify (USA)
Freedom Holding Corp. (Kazakhstan)
Google (USA)
Tengizchevroil (Kazakhstan)
Deutsche Bank (USA)

The finals are the culmination of two online qualifying stages with entrants from around the world. The competition features group stage matches and intense playoff rounds, culminating in the crowning of the World Corporate Chess Champion.

Teams are split into two groups, each with four knockout qualifiers and two wild-card teams. The competition unfolds in two stages: a 10-round group stage over June 15 and 16, followed by the semi-finals and finals on June 17.

The games will be broadcast live on Lichess.

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