THE Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) made history this weekend with the launch of its first official tournament on Saturday, January 16, 2021.
The inaugural game was held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic but that did not deter the players from bringing their best to the virtual board.
A total of 24 teams composed of all-Filipino players participated in Saturday's tourney, which was the first of three conferences planned for the 2021 season.
The country's first professional chess league
PCAP, the first professional chess league in the country and in Southeast Asia, spearheaded the event. The organization was established on July 28, 2020, 45 years after the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Its mission is to "give millions of Filipino chess enthusiasts the opportunity to hone and showcase their skills, and promote the love of the game -- by ensuring integrity and fairness for professional chess in the Philippines."
Recap of the tournament's first round
For Saturday's match, the teams were equally divided into two groups -- the North and South divisions. Among the teams that represented Cebu in the South division were the Cebu City Machers, the Lapu-Lapu City Naki Warriors, and the Cordova Dutchess Dagami Warriors.
Cebu City Machers, whose team captain is National Master Elwin Retanal, competed with the Toledo Trojans in a thrilling match. Retanal won his blitz game against the Trojans' Rommel Gazon and drew their game in the rapid competition. Machers Team Manager, Eduard Dela Torre garnered the same results in this match against Bonn RainauldTibod. Meanwhile, Cephas Seguisabal won both of his games against GlicerioPardillo Jr.
But the tables quickly turned and the Machers ultimately lost to the Trojans with a score of 8-13.
Lapu-Lapu City's Naki Warriors had a similarly exciting match but with a much more positive outcome. The team, which is owned and managed by former chess varsity player Aldwin Daculan, won their game against the Mindoro Tamaraws with a score of 11.5-9.5.
Another excellent set of games were played by the Cordova Dutchess Dagami Warriors as they competed against Surigao'sFianchetto Checkmates.
The team is owned by chess enthusiast and PCAP Vice Chairman Ariel Potot and enjoys the full support of Cordova Mayor Mary Therese "Teche" Sitoy-Cho.
Edsel Montoya, National Master and Dagami Warriors team captain, won both his blitz and rapid matches against the Fianchetto Checkmates. Team manager Francis River also participated in the games and won a blitz round.
Overall, the Dagami Warriors emerged victorious against the Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates with a score of 11.5-9.5. Team owner Ariel Potot is set to play for the team in the next game scheduled on Wednesday, January 20th.
For more information about the schedule of the games, visit the PCAP official website at www.philippineschess.com. (PR)