The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) has granted the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) pro status, making it the first professional chess league in the country.
GAB chairman Baham Mitra hopes the development would boost the interest of players to the sport.
The PCAP, headed by lawyer Paul Elauria who played top board for Philippine Normal University in the 80s, is scheduled to make the official announcement in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
PCAP is being groomed like the PBA where it is expected to attract the best and brightest in the land.
They will be given a contract with minimum and maximum salaries and with a salary cap.
And just like the PBA, trading of players will be allowed.
To date, the PCAP reportedly has already received commitments from 12 provincial teams that include Cagayan, Palawan, Subic/Zambales, Tarlac, San Juan, Pampanga, Pasig, Mindoro, Manila and Makati.
The group is hoping to help the country produce top notch Grandmasters in the molds of Eugene Torre, Wesley So, Julio Catalino Sadorra, Mark Paragua, Oliver Barbosa, Banjo Barcenilla, Darwin Laylo and Joey Antonio.