WHEN the inaugural season of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) unfolds early next year, expect the Palawan Queen’s Gambit team as among the groups making waves.
An all-women team, Palawan Queen’s Gambit vowed to give its all in the competition, while also highlighting that women can excel in the sport.
The team is bannered by Women International Masters Marie Antoinette San Diego, Catherine Pereña-Secopito, and Shania Mae Mendoza.
Also part of the squad are Women National Masters Carmelites Abanes and Cecilia Cuizon, and homegrown Palaweñas Marife Dela Torre, Yanika Eli Seratubias, and Jesibel Maberit.
“Chess is not just for men. It’s time women play and show that all’s fair in the game,” said manager and coach Susan Neri in a release of the decision to form the all-women team, which has Jojo Mitra as owner.
Adding, “In choosing to field an all-female team, we will garner more interest from Filipinas to play chess.”
Ms. Neri said in the PCAP, the newly organized pro chess league in the country, they will be up against tough teams, but it is not stopping them and instead using it as further motivation.
“We know the Queen always has the last say. Just see. We’ll surprise everyone,” she said.
The PCAP was set up to provide another platform for players to showcase what they can do and give chess its due recognition as a sport that Filipinos can excel in.
The league had its drafting of players last Sunday. Apart from the team from Palawan, 19 other teams will be part of the tournament targeted to begin in January. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo