World Chess Plc is incorporated under the laws of England and Wales under the company number 10589323. The Company's shares are traded on the main market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CHSS. The Company’s principal activities include operating a chess gaming platform chessarena.com, operating chess clubs, manufacturing and selling chess merchandise and organizing chess tournaments promoting and managing chess’ players. The company reinvents chess for the 21st century fans and consumers.
News Email Alerts
Board of directors
Ilya Merenzon, Chief Executive Officer
Ilya was educated in the US and holds an MPhil in Economics and an MBA. His previous experience includes working for the New York mayor’s office where he was part of the team that developed the ‘e-government project’. Ilya led a successful communications and government relations practice in New York, and his clients included the New York Stock Exchange and the New York Times. Ilya advised on several IPOs in the US. He has won several awards for his work in communications and finance. Ilya is resident in Berlin, Germany and is not ordinarily resident in Russia
Graham Woolfman, Non-executive Board Chairman
Graham has over 30 years’ experience in advising, investing, and supporting businesses. He was a founder Director of Gateway VCT plc, a technology focussed venture capital trust listed on the London Stock Exchange and managing partner of its investment adviser. Graham has worked with companies across a range of sectors, including technology, industrial, renewable energy, general service based, and financial services sectors. He is a director of public interest entities and private companies and has served as a director of investor backed, AIM quoted, and LSE listed companies.
Graham was a Non-Executive Director of Filta Group Holdings plc quoted on AIM since 2016, until it was taken over in March 2022, and Chair of the Audit Committee, and member of the Remuneration Committee. He is a Non-Executive Director, and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, and member of the Treasury Committee of Peabody Trust, and a Board member of its subsidiary, Catalyst Housing Limited. Graham was Chair of Ethernity Networks Ltd, a growth technology company based in Israel, quoted on AIM since 2017, where he advised and supported the process in the run up to its successful IPO and led and mentored the Board team until 2021. Graham is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and previously a partner and head of Corporate Finance at a medium sized UK professional firm.
Matvey Shekhovtsov, Chief Operating Officer
Matvey obtained a master’s degree in International Economic Law at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and a Master degree of European and French Economic Law at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University.
His fields of expertise include tax planning, compliance, sports law and corporate governance. He has participated in numerous PR, sport, and media projects. He joined the World Chess project in 2014 and in his current position oversees day-to-day operations of the company with special focus on compliance, corporate governance, and finance. Matvey is resident in Berlin, Germany and is not ordinarily resident in Russia.
Jamison Reed Firestone, Non-Executive Director
Jamison is a graduate of Tulane Law School and a member of the New York Bar. He founded the first independent foreign law firm in Russia. He lived in Moscow for eighteen years and has managed a law practice there since 1993. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia for six years, where he lobbied both the US and Russian governments for changes to improve trade and business in Russia.
In 2007 Mr. Firestone’s original Russian law firm exposed the largest tax fraud perpetrated against the Russian Government. During the last ten years Mr. Firestone has spent considerable effort advising on issues of how to effectively sanction dictatorships and kleptocracies and what to do with the frozen funds of kleptocratic regimes which belong to the people of their nations.
Richard Collett, Chief Financial Officer
Richard is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and a non-practicing barrister, he has a degree in Economics from the University of Leeds and a post graduate diploma in Law from the City Law School, City University, London. He has nearly 20 years’ experience leading finance, IT, HR and legal teams in SME’s and scale up businesses, both privately owned, AIM and main market listed, across a range of industries including entertainment, travel, property, professional services, manufacturing, and luxury retail.
Neil Rafferty, Non-Executive Director
Neil has spent much of his career in the telecoms and technology sectors holding a variety of senior executive positions. These range from being CEO & Board member of Easynet PLC (listed on the main London Stock Exchange before being acquired), CEO of Priority Telecom (a Dutch based cable company), and CEO of UCS (a Swiss based pan-European network carrier) which he managed through to sale after completing a significant business ‘turn-around’. He was also Global Operation Director at Cisco Systems, primarily responsible for the British Telecom relationship, which was one of Cisco’s largest global customers
Neil was a Non-Executive director of Ethernity Networks Ltd, quoted on AIM since 2017, where he supported the process in the run up to its successful IPO and was Chair of the Nomination Committee as well as serving on the Audit & Risk Committee and Remuneration Committee until December 2021. Latterly, as founder of Portent Business Services, he has been advising companies across a variety of sectors primarily helping them implement growth strategies. Neil holds a BA (Hons) degree from Newcastle Polytechnic.
As a Company with a Standard Listing, the Company is not required to comply with the provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code. The Directors are committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance and propose, so far is practicable given the Company’s size and nature, to adopt and comply with the QCA Code.
The Company will hold timely board meetings as issues arise which require the attention of the Board. The Board is responsible for the management of the business of the Company, setting the strategic direction of the Company and establishing the policies of the Company. It is the Directors’ responsibility to oversee the financial position of the Company and monitor the business and affairs of the Company, on behalf of the Shareholders, to whom they are accountable. The primary duty of the Directors is to act in the best interests of the Company at all times. The Board also addresses issues relating to internal control and the Company’s approach to risk management and has formally adopted an anti-corruption and bribery policy. The Directors have established an audit committee, and a remuneration committee with formally delegated duties and responsibilities.
Graham Woolfman, Jamison Reed Firestone and Neil Rafferty are considered by the Board to be independent Non-Executive Directors.
Documents and presentations
10117 Berlin, Germany
+49 176 830 88 799
Investor Relations: Matvey Shekhovtsovms@worldchess.com
27/28 Eastcastle Street, London,
United Kingdom, W1W 8DH
Novum Securities Limited
David Coffman / George Duxberry
+44 (0) 20 7399 9400
Yellow Jersey PR