THE country’s top players, led by Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre, and national team members GMs Mark Paragua, Rogelio Antonio, Jr. and Rogelio Barcenilla, welcomed the establishment of the first -ever Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP).
Torre, one of the country’s most recognizable players since the early 70s, said the newly-organized professional chess league will benefit a lot of players, who “want to play the game and at the same time earn a living for the family.”
“It’s about time that we have our own professional chess league. In Europe and even in India, matagal ng may mga professional leagues kaya naman talagang magagaling ang kanilang mga players,” said Torre during the formal launching of the PCAP in the presence of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) via Google meet yesterday.
“Matagal na itong pina-pangrap ng ating mga chess players, kaya naman suportado ko ito, pati na ang iba pang mga players at mga kasama natin sa National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP),” added Torre.
Antonio, Paragua and Barcenilla also throw their full support ot the staging of the PCAP tournaments.
“It will be a big honor for me to be a part of the PCAP, the first pro chess league in our country,” said the New York City-based Paragua.
Barcenilla, who is now based in Arizona, said he intends to return home and play in the PCAP-organized events. “If ever, I would definitely join in the competition.”
The PCAP was formally launched yesterday with no less than GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra, GAB commissioners Eduard Trinidad and Mar Masanguid, PCAP founding president-commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria, deputy commissioner Noel Garcia and NCFP director Martin Gaticales in attendance.
“PCAP will be to chess what the PBA and NBA are to basketball,” said Elauria.
Elauria said PCAP will be composed of approximately 32 LGU-based but privately-owned chess teams with eight to 10 male and female players under contract.
Each team will field six regular players composed of two titled players, one female, one senior and two homegrown players.
As professionals, all participants will have to apply for a GAB license to be eligible to play, according to Elauria.
All GAB-licensed players will then be included in the PCAP Draft where participating teams can pick as many as 10 members.
As per agreement with GAB, all players will get standard contract with minimum and maximum salaries based on salary caps agreed by all the teams.
Among the LGU-teams which have confirmed their participation are Baguio Lion Kings, Bataan Marching Heroes, Bulacan Bloody Bishops, Cagayan Valley Kings, Makati Red Gambits, Manila Noble Knights, Mindoro Golden Tamaraws, Palawan Beach Masters, Pampanga, Pasay, Subic Knightmares and Tarlac Top Guns.
Also interested are ARMM, Batangas, Bohol, Cavite, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, General Santos, Ilocos, Iloilo, Laguna, Leyte, Misamis, Negros, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal, Surigao and Zamboanga.