Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa was chosen as the first ever Most Valuable Player of the first season of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP).
Barbosa played a key role in the San Juan Predators' third conference title win, as well as their second-place finish in the Wesley So Cup during the 2021 campaign.
San Juan won 90 percent of its games in the inaugural tournament of PCAP as they went 90-10 across three conferences.
The Pasig King Pirates, meanwhile, were given the Tag Team Champions Award, while one of its stalwarts, Eric Labog Jr., was named Best Player of the 3rd Conference.
The season MVP award was special for Barbosa as it coincided with his 10th year as chess grandmaster.
“Medyo na-shock ako sa award kasi hindi naman natin iniisip o inaasahan 'to,” he said. “Ang goal lang naman ay matulungan ang San Juan manalo.”
Aside from the MVP plum, Barbosa also got the Open Conference Finals MVP award, as well as one of the two Top-Rated Board Players of the first season’s Mythical Seven.
The other winner was the Caloocan LoadManna Knights’ IM Jem Garcia.
The Mythical Seven also include San Juan’s Jan Jodilyn Fronda as the Best Lady Player, IM Cris Ramayrat formerly of the Manila Indios Bravos and now with the Pasig King Pirates as Best Senior Player, and GM John Paul Gomez (Laguna Heroes), NM John Michael Silvederio (Iloilo Kisela Knights), and NM Fritz Bryan Porras (Iloilo Kisela Knights) as the best players on the Homegrown Boards.
The Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates received the Team Sportsmanship Award.