In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, butter (must be very soft but not melted), eggs and almond extract on low just until mixed. Beat on high for 5 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. On low speed, add flour mixture alternately with milk, mixing just until blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Sprinkle pecans in the bottom of a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Carefully pour batter over pecans. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool 20 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.