WORLD Fischer Random chess champion GM Wesley So will give a special video message to the participants of the first-ever Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Draft in Quezon City on Sunday, Dec. 20.
So, the Bacoor, Cavite-born champion now considered as the greatest Filipino chess player in history, is expected to congratulate PCAP officials, coaches and players for the launching of the country’s first-ever professional chess league.
Although he now plays for the United States, the 27-year-old So remains a Filipino at heart and still wears a barong tagalog during awards ceremonies. He also maintains a solid fan base in the country even after his departure in 2014.
PCAP founding president-commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria will preside over the first PCAP draft aimed at filling in the lineups of all 24 member-teams in time for the start of the First Conference on Jan. 12.
The country’s top players, led by Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre and multi-titled GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. and reigning national women’s champion WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, have joined the draft.
The three players are expected to be selected highly by PCAP teams, which are required to field two titled players, one female, one senior and three homegrown talents for their teams.
Antipolo City holds the distinction of making the No. 1 pick overall in the talent-laden draft.
Aside from Torre and Antonio, the other grandmasters in the draft are GMs Mark Paragua, Rogelio Antonio, Jr., Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr., Darwin Laylo, John Paul Gomez, Oliver Barbosa and Julio Catalino Sadorra.
Joining Fronda as top female choices are Top Bernadette Galas, Shania Mae Mendoza, Marie Antoinette San Diego, Catherine Perena-Secopito, Allaney Doroy, Cherry Ann Mejia, Kajoy Acedo and Mira Mirano.
Also in the list are GM-candidates Haridas Pascua and Ronald Dableo, IMs Rico Mascarinas, Paulo Bersamina, Jan Emmanuel Garcia, Vince Alaan, Yves Ranola, Chito Garma, Ricky De Guzman, Cris Ramayrat, Angelo Young and John Marvin Miciano and titled players Edgardo Garma, Jerome Balico, Mari Joseph Turqueza, Jayson Salubre, Richard Natividad, Ellan Asuela, Cesar Mariano, Elias Lao, Rudy Ibanez, Carlo Lorena, Nelson Mariano III, Emmanuel Emperado, Zulfikar Sali, Deniel Causo, Eric Labog and Karl Victor Ochoa.
Based on the drawing of lots to determine the order of the draft, Antipolo will make the No. 1 pick.
Iloilo City will pick second, while Quezon City will choose third.
Also drafting are Iriga, fourth; Negros, fifth; Cordova, sixth; Rizal, seventh; San Juan, eighth; Mindoro, ninth; Lapu Lapu, 10th; Surigao, 11th; Manila, 12th; Camarines, 13th; Olongapo, 14th; Cabuyao, 15th; Toledo, 16th; Cagayan, 17th; Zamboanga, 18th; General Trias, 19th; Isabela, 20th; Cebu, 21st; Caloocan, 22nd; Pasig, 23rd; and Palawan, 24th.Publication Source : People's Tonight