Meet the First NACCL Chess Team SIG

For the past six weeks, SIG chess members have participated in the North American Corporate Chess League’s first online tournament. This online league brings together teams from 43 institutions across North America and allows chess players of all levels to engage in friendly competition, as they compete against players from other institutions every week. The finals were played last night. On the final night, Team SIG went from third to first to win the entire tournament. We sat down with some of our team members to find out how they got into chess, what they love most about the game and a little about their style of play.

How did you get interested in chess? I started playing when I was about five years old. My older sister taught me many board games, but chess stuck with me as a child. How would you describe your chess style?

Violent / nearly obscene plot; Level awareness is something I need to work on. What kind of chess do you like?

Bughouse is probably my favorite because it’s aggressive and quick/timed. I’m also a fan of Chess960, but not enough people play it. A lesser known exception is Monster Chess where White starts with only 4 pawns and a king against Black’s normal pawns, but White can move twice at any time. It is difficult to play with black, but if played carefully it will be a win; the novelty wears off after a while, but I recommend trying it a few times. It’s a fun way to change it up!

Do you prefer to play online or in person? Both have their merits; In person is fun for the social aspect and overall experience, but you have a bigger pool to play against online. Playing the same slot every time can be boring, sometimes making us change our slots to something we don’t really know. Delen
When did you start playing chess?

My father taught me how to play when I was young. He is a chess master and also a teacher and writer, so there is no avoiding chess for me. But he never forced me to play. The most fun I had was in high school, where I convinced my friends to play and we ended up having a strong chess team (ranked 2nd in Pennsylvania).

What is your favorite type of chess? The funniest form of chess is the booth. It’s 2v2 and you pass each piece you capture to your partner to put on their board. Very sweet and fast. Popular for playing between rounds and tournaments. Do you prefer to play online or in person?

In person it’s more fun because you can talk and laugh, but it’s hard to beat the beauty of online games. John
How did you get interested in chess?

My parents taught me when I was about 5 years old, but I was introduced to the world of tournament/chases many years later, when I was 14 years old. I always liked the game, but once I got into chess training, it was not easy for me to stop myself from playing.

How do you usually approach the start of a game? Since I am a club level player and don’t play high level tournaments, I like to choose unplayed slots like King’s Gambit in White or Pirc Defense in Black, to damage my opponent. They are great for creating value in quick chess games. If it’s a bigger game, I like to stick to risky slots like Queen’s Gambit, Italian in White and Sicilian in Black.

How would you describe your chess style? I try to make the game fun. Since I’m relatively strong in the opening and late game, I like to complicate things and force my opponent into a strong mid game and gain a mid game advantage. Of course I’m a big fan of fighting, methods and sacrifice.

Do you prefer to play online or in person? If it’s fast chess (bullet or blitz), I like to play online because moving pieces and beating the clock can be so bad for people. It’s also easy to find talented players online, but nothing offers the same speed and depth of thought as an in-person competitive game. Justin
When did you start playing chess?

My uncle taught me to play chess when I was in kindergarten, and I started competing in fifth grade. At that time, winning the Cup was a great motivator!

How would you describe your chess style?

I would describe my style as a situation where I try to avoid mistakes and being attacked. Do you prefer playing chess online or in person?

I think playing online is more fun. Chess itself is serious and difficult. The games tend to be longer and more tedious, you sit across from your opponent while fighting on the board, but it’s very satisfying when you finally defeat them. Thanks to our players for taking the time to chat with us. You can see how each game plays

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