Filipino titled players headed by Grandmasters Eugene Torre and Joey Antonio on Thursday welcomed the creation of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines as the country’s first pro chess league.
“As long as everyone is united in promoting chess, I see no reason the PCAP will not be successful. This is a welcome news for Philippine chess,” said Torre in the virtual press conference Thursday.
Antonio, for his part, said the league would give opportunities not just to up and coming players but also the titled ones who have become inactive because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve been talking to the masters like me and they are happy to have this league. Personally, I’m more than happy because I have been waiting for this all my life,” said Antonio.
The Games and Amusements Board chaired by Abraham Mitra had already given the green light for the PCAP as a pro league, which meant it could start accepting applications from interested participants.
“Our target date for our drafting is a month or two from now while our opening is set early next year,” said PCAP founder and commissioner Paul Elauria.
PCAP already has 12 teams namely San Juan, Cagayan Valley, Tarlac, Pampanga, Makati, Palawan, Subic/Zambales, Pasig, Mindoro and Manila.
Each team will have six players seeing action every round—the top two boards for masters, the third for women, the fourth for seniors, and the last two for homegrown talents.