THE Games and Amusements Board (GAB) on Wednesday officially issued the professional license for Grandmaster Eugene Torre making the country’s foremost chess icon as the first GM to receive a government pro license in chess not just in the Philippines but in the world.
GAB professional games division chief June Bautista symbolically awarded the license to Torre during GAB-PCAP joint media conference via Google.
“We congratulate Grandmaster Eugene Torre for becoming the first Grandmaster in the Philippines — and according to the record of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines — in the world to receive a government professional license in chess,” said GAB Chairman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra, who was joined by Commissioners Ed Trinidad and Mar Masanguid and top officials of the PCAP during the milestone event.
Recently, PCAP made history as the country’s first chess professional league after GAB accepting its application with Atty Paul Elaria as the league commissioner and founder.
Mitra said that PCAP just like the other GAB-sanctioned league will received all the support and guidance particularly in the aspect of athletes’ contract and security without overstepping its internal affair and self-regulation policy.
“Partner po kami at hindi kalaban. We regulate and sanctioned the event, pero tiwala po kami sa self-regulation ng mga liga. But of course kung may problema sa kontrata at nagigipit ang atleta at ang liga mismo, kami po sa GAB ay handang tumulong at umaksiyon,” said the former Palawan Governor and Congressman.
Torre said he was overwhelmed and expressed his gratitude to GAB and to the united stand of chess stakeholders which he claimed ‘breakthrough’ in Philippine chess.
“I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for another milestone in my chess playing career. It is indeed a great honor to be recognized by the government and my chess colleagues as the first government-licensed player in the Philippines,” said Torre.
“Salamat po sa pagkilala sa ating kakayahan. Natutuwa po ako sa naging kaganapan sa Philippine chess. Malaking tulong itong PCAP para sa development ng chess, and of course boost the morale and spirits of our chess players, particularly the women, Para athletes and the young generation,” he added,
As a license GAB pro chess player, Torre is expected to be part in the inaugural staging of the league in January next year.
“Of course, entitled pong sumali si GM Torre. Actually, marami na pong team ang interesado, hindi lang po namin alam kung may napili na si GM,” said Elaria.
Elaria explained that 25 teams are already confirmed to participate in the league. To balance the team’s manpower, Elaria said PCAP set a salary cap per team with different salary per Board player. Teams also entitled for one ‘restricted player’, one women player and one Para athlete, while other team members will be selected through drafting.
“All players siyempre kailangan magpalisensiya muna sa GAB. Yung mga rating nila sa NCAP ang gagamiting batayan kung pasok na silang maging pro. May gagawin kaming drafting para makapili ang mga teams ng players nila,” said Elaria.
The PCAP is also in closed coordination with the National Chess Association of the Philippines (NCAP).