MANILA – Philippine chess is set to make a big move forward as a professional league is set to start next year.
Officials from the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) led by founder Paul Elauria formally launched the said league on Thursday.
Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra, commissioners Ed Trinidad and Mar Masanguid, and legal division chief Ermar Benitez as well as chess legends Eugene Torre and Joey Antonio also graced the online press launch.
"The staging of PCAP will boost the development of professional chess and professional sports as a whole," Trinidad said while reading the agency's resolution that formalizes PCAP's foundation.
Twelve teams, all representing a certain place, will take part in the inaugural season initially set for early 2021.
"This is LGU (local government unit)-based, so we will have two players who are either born or permanently residing [in the city they will represent]," Elauria said.
The other four members of a PCAP squad will consist of two masters, one female, and one senior chess player.
To balance the competition, Elauria said, a draft will take place with a lottery preceding it to determine which club will pick first.
On the other hand, while online chess could be an option for the inaugural staging of PCAP, Elauria said that the league will likely hold over-the-board matches in its first season.
"Once the pandemic stabilizes or we will be in a better situation, we would prepare over the board tournaments," Elauria said. (PNA)