Thursday evening, the North American Corporate Chess League returned for season 6. With 422 players representing 37 company teams, the NACCL continues to be the largest corporate chess league in the world!
All three of the previous NACCL champions have returned to seek another title: Susquehanna International Group (SIG) (Season 1 Champions), Google (Seasons 2, 3, and 5) and Deloitte (Season 4). As always, there are many new teams and hundreds of new players.
The league features an inclusive and easy-to-understand format. An overwhelming number of the players in the league are casual hobbyists, but they are joined by a strong internationally titled players who have a professional job: GM Andrey Baryshpolets (PricewaterhouseCoopers), GM Andrew Tang (SIG), IM Michael Bodek (Lyft), IM Kyron Griffith (Lyft), FM Ethan Li (SIG), FM Andrey Krasnov (Jump Trading), FM Igor Tsyganov (DRW Holdings) as well as many National Masters.
The top four scores from each company comprise a team’s score, so amateur players can compete and contribute to their team’s score just as much as masters. There are also individual standings and prizes, plus weekly chess improvement seminars for all participants.
With a simple online check-in process and no downloads, rosters, memberships, or powerhouse chess teams from within the industry, the NACCL is very accessible and straightforward, meanwhile emphasizing engagement, team building, and the popularization of chess.
310 of the 422 players checked in for week 1, which consisted of two games of 15+5 (15 minutes plus 5 second increment per move) played on lichess.org. As always, there were several upsets, including a few masters (2200+) who did not get through 2 rounds unscathed.
66 players move to 2-0, but with an accelerated pairing system and closer matchups coming up in week 2, the number of perfect scores will be reduced quickly. Players who skip an early week earn half point “byes” to help their team a bit even if they must miss a week or two. With both Grandmasters (Tang and recent FIDE President candidate Baryshpolets) yet to enter the fray, there is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.
Although there are individual awards, the NACCL is primarily a team competition. In the team standings after round 1, four teams scored the maximum 8 points – Google, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Sullivan & Cromwell.
The Prometheus Group are just behind with 7.5 team points, while Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Auduril Industries are tied for 6th place with 7 points. With just four teams on a perfect score and many right behind them, this looks to be the most competitive season yet.
IM Kyron Griffith (Lyft) annotates 4 games each week of the NACCL. See those games with his comments below:
If you feel as though you played an interesting game. Please feel free to send Kyron a link to the game via lichess. His account is @kyrongriffith
FM Peter Giannatos provides puzzles from games played in the NACCL. These are great tactical warmups and you never know when your game will appear here!
If you had an interesting tactic in your game. Please feel free to send Peter a link to the game via lichess. His account is @Giannatos
Commentary and Lectures
FM Peter Giannatos commentated live on week 1’s games, which can be replayed here. Each Monday is our weekly improvement seminar with GM Daniel Naroditsky.
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