Palawan Queen’s Gambit is Philippines’ 1st All-Female Pro Chess team

Palawan Queen's Gambit
Woman International Masters Catherine Pereña-Secopito, Marie Antoinette San Diego, Shania Mae Mendoza. Photos from WIMs social media and SJDM information office.

Inspired by the hit Netflix series “Queen’s Gambit,” Palawan has put together the country’s first all-female professional chess team participating in the events of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP).

At the first PCAP draft held at the Quezon City Sports Club on December 20, 2020, Palawan picked the four women chess masters for the Queen’s Gambit team.

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“Palawan Queen’s Gambit” is bannered by Woman International Masters (WIMs) Marie Antoinette San Diego, Catherine Pereña-Secopito, Mikee Charlene Suede, and Shania Mae Mendoza.

Woman National Masters Carmelites Abanes and Cecilia Cuizon were among those drafted, along with three homegrown Palaweñas Marife Dela Torre, Yanika Eli Seratubias, and Jesibel Maberit, for the all-female pro chess team.

Team owner Jojo Mitra and Coach Susan Neri said they believe that the Filipinas will definitely make a mark in the inaugural season of the PCAP early next year.

“Chess is not just for men. It’s time women play and show that all’s fair in the game,” Coach Susan Neri said.

“In choosing to field an all-female team, we will garner more interest from Filipinas to play chess,” Team owner Jojo Mitra added.

The PCAP is considered the world’s first government-licensed Professional Chess League and is set to debut in January 2021.

Janelle Mae Frayna earlier made history as the first Filipino female chess Grand Master (GM).

The Philippine-born U.S. chess champion Wesley So has been making his mark in world tourneys. So recently won the Skilling Open, delivering a blow to the nearly-always unbeatable world champion Magnus Carlsen and now leads the Champions Chess Tour.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the country’s first all-female pro-chess team, “Queen’s Gambit” from Palawan!

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.