NACCL Week 5 – Photo Finish in the Making

North American Corporate Chess League og

Week 5 of the North American Corporate Chess League saw big changes at the top of the standings – longtime frontrunner Qualcomm, Inc. fell to fourth place while Deloitte and Wells Fargo surged to the lead.

Although tied at 31.5 team points, Deloitte and Wells Fargo have earned their current first place positions much differently.  Deloitte has a large and balanced roster of 13 players, including NM Samuel Song (2300, 9 points out of 10), NM Saumil Padhya (2355, 7 points) and a few 1800-2200 rated players to assist.  Wells Fargo has a relatively small squad of 8 players, half of whom are rated under 1600, but their star performer is GM Ashwin Jayaram (2571) who remains absolutely dominant with 10/10!

Susquehanna International Group, LLP (SIG) is in third place with 29.5 points.  Brian Luo (2093) has certainly outperformed his rating and has 8 points, while NM Eric Most (7.5) is the team’s second highest scorer.  Further down the roster, SIG’s highest rated player IM Arthur Shen (2511) stumbled this week and will need to recover some points in week 6 of 6 if SIG is to fight for first place.


National Master Siddharth Arun of Charles River Associates was on the unfortunate end of a nice game in round 7 as annotated in last week’s blog.  However, he rebounded nicely this week with a nice attacking game against Deloitte’s Pratik Thorwe (1900):

The NACCL’s most entertaining games in terms of opposite side castling and major piece attacks are usually found in the middle of the pack.  However, this high-profile, board 2 duel between FM Kyron Griffith (2470) of Lyft and NM Samuel Song (2300) of Deloitte was thrilling and very significant for the standings:

Further down the standings, 1475-rated Stuart Spiegel (Novetta) was fortunate in this up-and-down game against Tristan Gruska of Palantir:

All games played in the league can be found here.


With up to 8 team points up for grabs in the final week, all of the teams in the top 10 stand a serious chance to be the inaugural North American Corporate Chess League Champions.  The enterprising format of the league in taking the top four individual totals to constitute a team’s score means that even a single chess move can affect the entire league standings.

While Deloitte and Wells Fargo (31.5) are the frontrunners, SIG and Qualcomm (29.5), Lyft (29), IBM and Jump Trading (28), and Google (27.5) each have a great chance for the title.  With the prize list expanded to include team prizes to the top 10 overall, top 2 small companies, top financial service company, top IT company, top law firm and individual prizes to include top 15 overall, top 10 under 1700, top 10 under 1100, and top 10 unrated, almost every team and player has something to play for.

As mentioned above, GM Ashwin Jayaram dominates the Individual Standings with an amazing 10/10.  He has defeated many titled players (including those in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th places) and now boasts a 2837 lichess rapid rating – one of the highest ratings on the entire site.  NM Samuel Song (9/10) is unblemished besides his round 8 loss to Jayaram, and FM Movses Movsisyan is in clear third place with 8.5/10.

Commentary and Lectures

FM Peter Giannatoscommentary was watched by nearly ten thousand unique viewers thanks to a Twitch “raid” by GM Daniel Naroditsky. Monday’s improvement seminar with GM Daniel Naroditsky was very well-received by attendees, and will back back next Monday for his last lecture of the season! Players in league who miss the Monday improvement seminars with GM Naroditsky can rewatch them using the link in the weekly newsletter.

Guest Lectures

The NACCL is more than just a chess tournament for working adults. It’s a team bonding experience and a way to complement and enhance corporate performance. The NACCL has scheduled “Chess and Business” seminars that all participants are encouraged to join these lectures and are included as part of their membership to league.

Special Guests this Season:

  • GM David Smerdon, PhD – Your Opponent’s Mind: A Behavioral Economist’s Guide to Chess (Concluded)
  • GM Patrick Wolff – The Parallels of Chess and Finance (Concluded)
    • Wednesday, February 17, 7:30pm-8:30pm EST
  • GM Matthew Sadler – Finding a Path: Lessons from Chess Applied to IT
    • Sunday, February 21, 3:00pm-4:00pm EST

The links for these lectures are sent out in the NACCL’s weekly newsletter. Please let us know if you have not received our weekly newsletters.

Week 5 Tactics Test

Follow the League

Keep up with updates via this blog, our LinkedIn group, and Facebook page.

The NACCL has already made history in its first season and we would like to thank so many teams and players for competing.  Onward to the 6th and final week of the first season!

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