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PCAP kicks off inaugural season with 12 matches


THE 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) First Conference finally comes off the wraps Saturday with Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra as the special guest.

Mitra will deliver the inspirational remarks during a brief but colorful ceremony to be held online starting at 6:30 p.m

PCAP Chairman Michael Angelo Chua and PCAP President-Commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria will the deliver welcome remarks.

IM Chito Garma will lead the oath of sportsmanship, and Susan Grace Neri will lead the invocation.

PCAP treasurer Atty. Arnel Batungbakal will make the closing remarks.

Twelve matches featuring all 24 teams divided into the North and South divisions will be played in the inaugural day of Asia’s first-ever play-for-pay professional chess league.

Games will begin at 7 p.m.

San Juan Predators, bannered by GM Oliver Barbosa and WIM Jodilyn Fronda, will open its campaign against the Antipolo Cobras.

Laguna Heroes, led by GMs Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. and John Paul Gomez, squares off with the Rizal Towers, led by Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre and NM Rolando Nolte.

Manila Indios Bravos of GM Julio Sadorra and IM John Marvin Miciano also open their campaign against the Cavite Spartans.

San Juan, Laguna and Manila emerged as the early favorites based in their performances in the pre-season games held last Jan. 9.

The Hubert Estrella-mentored Predators demolished Lapu-Lapu, 19.5-1-5, in their 14-game showdown in rapid and blitz chess.

Laguna whipped Iriga City Oragons, 15-6, and Manila humbled Iloilo Kisela Kings, 13-8, in other decisive pre-season matches.

The complete first-round match-ups:

Antipolo Cobras vs. San Juan Predators

Laguna Heroes vs. Rizal Towers

Cagayan Kings vs. Pasig Pirates

Caloocan Load Manna Knights vs. Quezon City Simba’s Tribe.

Isabela Knight Raiders vs. Olongapo Rainbow Team 7

Cavite Spartans vs. Manila Indios Bravos

Camarines Soaring Eagles vs. Zamboanga Sultans

Cebu City Machers vs. Toledo City Trojans

Cordova Dagami Warriors vs. Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates

Iloilo Kisela Knights vs. Palawan Queen’s Gambit

Iriga Oragons vs. Negros Kingsmen

Lapu-Lapu Naki Warriors vs Mindoro Elgin Tamaraws.

Torre, who also made history by becoming the first player to be given a professional chess license, did not play in Rizal’s 13-8 victory over Cordova in their pre-season match last Jan. 9.

Paragua, who lost to Bersamina in their pre-season mini-match last week, is hoping to get a good start for Camarines against Garma.

Antonio, who was held to a draw by Miciano in their board one encounter, will go for the early victory against Palawan top bet Mendoza.

Based on tournament format, the players will play two games — one rapid and one blitz.

A victory in rapid chess is worth two points,a draw one point and a loss zero. In blitz, the winner gets one point. A draw is worth half point and loss zero.

The 24-team tournament is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), headed by Chairman/President Prospero “Butch” Pichay.

The groupings:


Antipolo Cobras

Laguna Heroes

Cagayan Kings

Caloocan Loadmanna Knights

Isabela Knight Raiders

Cavite Spartans

Manila Indios Bravos

Olongapo Rainbow 7

Quezon City Simba’s Tribe

Pasig King Pirates

Rizal Towers

San Juan Predators


Camarines Soaring Eagles

Cebu City Machers

Cordova Dagami Warriors

Iloilo Kisela Knights

Iriga Oragons

LapuLapu Naki Warriors

Mindoro Elgin Tamaraws

Negros Kingsmen

Palawan Queen’s Gambit

Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates

Toledo Trojans

Zamboanga Sultans