Philippine pro chess body bares plans for maiden tourney
PCAP commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria, the pro chess circuit will have elements pulled from the NBA, PBA, and even Major League Baseball.

Philippine pro chess body bares plans for maiden tourney

Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - November 23, 2020 - 1:04pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) is launching the first professional chess tournament in the world on January 15, 2021.

PCAP was granted a professional license this past July 28, 2020 by the Games and Amusements Board.

According to PCAP commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria, the pro chess circuit will have elements pulled from the NBA, PBA, and even Major League Baseball.

“Structurally, we are closer to the NBA as the competition is more geographically-based than Manila-centric with the Northern and Southern Conferences,” bared Elauria. “PBA-wise, we have three conferences — the Open, All-Filipino, and Reinforced Conferences where teams can get foreign grandmasters to help their teams. And just like MLB, we will have some inter-league play where teams from the north will play the teams from the south once during the eliminations. They will play their division rivals twice. The top teams for each conference will play in the finals.”

Among the 22 confirmed teams are squads from Zamboanga, Isabela, Cagayan, Manila, Bicol, Iloilo, Surigao, Negros and Cebu — that is fielding three Cordova, Lapu-Lapu City — among others. Some five more city-based teams have applied for franchises.

According to Elauria, each conference will be about two-and-a-half-months long.

Each match shall include seven boards — two rated players, one lady, one senior for 60 years old and above, plus three homegrown who are either born or registered with the city they represent.

“To ensure PCAP’s viability, we have a salary cap in place, clarified the league commissioner. The teams are privately owned but have the support of Local Government Units (LGU).”

It’s an exciting time for Philippine chess.

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