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Local professional chess league set for launch next year

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THE LOCAL CHESS scene is set to get a boost with the setting up of the first professional league for the sport in the country.

Organized by the Philippine Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP), and in collaboration with the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), the newly organized pro chess league is set for launch next year with the end view of bringing further to the fore the sport of chess, which has experienced a resurgence during this time of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a virtual media conference hosted by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) on Wednesday, PCAP, which recently got its government license to operate a professional league, said it is bullish of its plans as it provides another platform for players to showcase what they can do and give chess its due recognition as a sport that Filipinos can excel in.

PCAP, through its president Atty. Paul Elauria, said that a number of chess teams have also expressed interest in securing their professional licenses from GAB and compete in their inaugural tournament pencilled to start in January.

As a pro league, PCAP has set up certain regulations pertaining to the salary of the players and composition of the teams.

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For the NCAP, the setting up of the PCAP is a welcome development for the sport and expressed hope that the pro league gets to succeed in its mission.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s media conference was also used as an opportunity to present to Filipino chess icon and Grandmaster Eugene Torre the very first government professional chess license.

Mr. Torre also hailed the newly established professional league, saying “This will go a long way in developing chess and provide opportunities for chess players of all forms, including women and para-athletes.”

The GM did not say if he would join the tournaments, but the PCAP said the door is open for him and that many teams have actually expressed interest in getting the services of Mr. Torre. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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