MANILA -- The Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) is kicking off its 2023 season with its third players’ draft on Sunday at the Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig City.
The draft will serve as an opportunity for PCAP’s more than 20 teams to strengthen their rosters from the pool of applicants, mainly composed of players who just turned 18 years old and veteran masters who missed the two previous drafts.
PCAP is composed of teams from all over the Philippines, each with 10 to 15 players.
Teams play in Rapid and Blitz formats, over seven boards. There are special boards for ladies, seniors and homegrown players. Persons with disabilities, junior players and executives, are likewise given special opportunities to play in PCAP’s past legs.
Among the previous PCAP champions are the Laguna Heroes, Iloilo Kisela Knights, San Juan Predators, and the Pasig City King Pirates.
Other PCAP teams are the Manila Indios Bravos, Quezon City Simba’s Tribe, Cavite Spartans, Rizal Batch Towers, Isabela Knights of Alexander, Magic Mandaluyong Tigers, and the Cagayan Kings which play in the league’s North Division, together with teams Laguna, San Juan and Pasig. On the other hand, the South Division is composed of the Davao Chess Eagles, Negros Island Region Kingsmen, Toledo-Xignex Trojans, Cebu Ninos, Zamboanga Sultans, Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates, Tacloban Vikings, Camarines Iriga Flying Eagles, and the Mindoro Tamaraws, along with Team Iloilo.
The PCAP draft will also hold side events – an individual rapid tournament among junior players, to be held on Saturday; and another individual tournament among PCAP players and draft applicants on Sunday morning before the live draft.
Early draft applicants include reigning Philippine National Chess champion IM Daniel Quizon, Grandmaster Richard Bitoon, IM Michael Concio, and NM Homer Cunanan.
The first PCAP draft was held on December 20, 2020, in Quezon City, where Asia’s first grandmaster, GM Eugene Torre, was picked first by the Rizal Batch Towers. Other Filipino chess legends picked that day were GMs Joey Antonio, Banjo Barcenilla, John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo, Ronald Salvador, Oliver Barbosa and Ino Sadorra, along with dozens of International, FIDE, and National Masters.
PCAP, founded in 2019 and sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board), is managed by its board of directors headed by chairman Michael Angelo O. Chua and its president-commissioner, Atty. Paul Elauria.