MANILA, Philippines — Chess Grandmaster Wesley So commended the Professional Chess Association for the Philippines (PCAP) on the eve of its historic draft last Sunday, December 20, at the Quezon City Sports Center.
PCAP Director and Treasurer Arnel Batungbakal read So’s message right before the start of the draft.
“I was excited as well as surprised when I heard of the formation of PCAP,” began So. “It takes courage and stamina to start thinking differently in an arena where thinking has been characterized by complacency and status quo.”
“No one can guarantee that if you train in chess you will become a grandmaster. No one can guarantee you will go on to make your living at this sport. But I can guarantee this – if you train your brain with chess, you will go much farther ahead in life than if you train with your body for other physical sports.”
“Thank you to the PCAP Board headed by Chairman Michael Angelo Chua, Commissioner Paul Elauria, and everyone else involved in trying to create a professional chess league. It’s a dream worth fighting for.”
Following the message, the PCAP Draft saw over 50 Filipinos with titles affixed to their name and none, women, homegrown players, and senior citizens selected among the 24 squads that comprise the league.
Some created history by drafting the oldest professional athlete in 81-year old national Master Pacifico Villasenor, and the all-women Palawan Queen’s Gambit team.
The inaugural PCAP pro tourney will begin this January 2021.
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