FOLLOWING the approval of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) as the country's first pro-chess league, the organization has laid down its guidelines for next year's inaugural conference.
PCAP founder and league commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria confirmed this, adding the league is formed primarily for the benefit of the players.
"Players are allowed to play in other tournaments unless there is a conflict with the PCAP schedule. But, for the national team participation, players will be allowed at all times even if it conflicts with PCAP schedules because the national interest is paramount," he added.
Elauria also said that the teams have to make the league sustainable to continue serving this purpose since PCAP's primary objective is helping the players.
Meanwhile, teams are composed of seven players consisting of two Open-rated, a lady, a senior who can be hand-picked from the draft. Also, there will be three more homegrown players that can be directly-hired if their ratings are below 2,000.
"The league has increased the number of homegrown players from two to three for total playing boards of 7 from the original of 6," Elauria said.
"No ELO rating limit for players, but those with a rating above 2,000 for males, and 1,950 for females should join the draft. Lower rated players may be hired directly by the teams," he explained.
As agreed, the first qualification online tournament try-outs for the draft is tentatively in the second or third week of October. Meanwhile, the second online qualification will be in the second or third week of November.
The deadline for the players' application for the draft will be November 20. The draft day will be in the first or second week of December. However, trading of players will be allowed after the draft and until two weeks before the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the organizing of teams will commence from the draft day until December 31, 2020. It will then be followed by licensing of PCAP players with the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) from draft day until the first week of January 2021.
Elauria stressed that based on the meeting, each team should have an annual salary cap of P720,000 but subject for further review. The players' salary, meanwhile, will range from around P40,000 to P180,000 annually upon the board assignment.
PCAP will also endorse teams to get sponsorship from local government units and private companies as well as merchandise marketing, provided that part of these revenues is due to players.
"There are around 50 teams that have expressed interest. However, it will be decreased to a manageable number of 24 to 32," the PCAP head said.
As agreed during the meeting, there will be a one-time franchise fee of P50,000 for founding teams. It will be split-up into two payment schedules -- P25,000 in October and the remaining as the league needed. Franchise prices for expansion teams will increase annually.
The league planned for three conferences each year with a span of two and a half months apiece. The first conference is expected to unfold in the second week of January 2021 and will run until March.
Meanwhile, the second conference will take place from the second week of May to July 2021, and the third conference will run from the second week of September to November.
"The PCAP extends our gratitude to GAB and the National Chess Federation of the Philippines for their continued guidance and support to the league," said Elauria.