Counties Chess

2012 Annual Meeting

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Page published 18 February

a Quick Guide for Players

The ECF supports and develops chess in England by organising events, supporting organisations and individuals providing competitive chess at every level and through its grading, accreditation and information services. The ECF receives no Government funding. We rely entirely on the support of players and chess organisations through membership subscriptions and game fees.

What’s changing?

Big changes are coming to the types of ECF membership available and the per-game fees for non-members. You can find out much more from the ECF website by following the link from the top of the Home page.
You are invited to join the ECF at one of four levels:

  • BRONZE £13 a year (Juniors £9)
  • SILVER £19 a year (Juniors £13)
  • GOLD £28 a year (Juniors £22)
  • PLATINUM £60 a year (Juniors £60)

There is a £1 discount on these rates if you join online, and you can protect yourself against future rises by opting for a 3-year membership (simply three times the annual subscription).

The membership year is fixed, running from 1 September to 31 August every year. You can join or renew your membership directly with the ECF: in some parts of the country there will be an alternative option of joining through the local County association or league.

What do I get for my membership?


Free grading of results in: Club competitions Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Leagues Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
County championships Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Congresses (excl. FIDE-rated)   Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
FIDE-rated events     Unlimited Unlimited
Cost of annual FIDE rating registration fee (€1) included with membership     Yes Yes
Cost of per-event FIDE rating fee (£1.50) for Swiss system events and leagues
(i.e. excluding all-play-all events) included with membership
    Yes Yes
ECF Yearbook Discounted price (£13.50) Free
15-month ECF Diary Discounted price (£2.50) Free
Eligibility for inclusion in the ECF Grand Prix   Yes Yes Yes
Eligibility for ECF Master Points Scheme Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access to online newsletter ChessMoves (six issues per annum) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Discounted subscription to British Chess Magazine Yes Yes Yes Yes
Discounted rates with HMCA Insurance Yes Yes Yes Yes

What if I don’t want to be an ECF member?

We hope that you will, but it’s up to you. If you play graded chess, depending on the local organisers’ regulations, there is also the option of paying an amount per game in club, league and county events and per event in congresses. If you want to play in FIDE rated events, the ECF does require all English-registered players to be a Gold member or higher.

Which type of membership would suit me best?

The choice is yours, but the following scenarios may be a useful guide to the best fit for you. You can always upgrade to a higher level at any time if your needs change.

“I don’t play tournaments, but I do like to play graded games in my local league and at my club.”

Choose BRONZE membership. You’ll be able to play an unlimited number of graded games in league, club and county competitions.

"I don’t play tournaments either. I’m mostly a social player and hardly play any graded games at all, certainly not more than six in a year.”

If you don’t expect to play more than 6 graded games a year, you may prefer to pay on a game-by-game basis. On the other hand, why not choose BRONZE membership and take advantage of the freedom to play lots more chess without worrying about any extra costs

"I’m a league and club player. I don’t normally play tournaments, but I might like to try one.”

Choose BRONZE membership and, if you see a congress you fancy, upgrade to SILVER by paying an extra £6 (Juniors £4). Bronze members and non-members can play in graded congresses, but Silver members and above are usually able to claim a discount on their entry fee of up to £6 (Juniors £4). If you upgrade from Bronze to Silver, the price of the upgrade should be covered by the discount on your first tournament, and if you get a taste for congresses, your Silver membership will earn you a discount every time!

"I’m a league and club player, but I like to play at least one congress every year.”

Choose SILVER membership. You’ll be able to play an unlimited number of graded games in league, club and county competitions AND enter as many graded congresses as you like at the discounted Silver (and above) member rate.

"I don’t play in a league or a club, but I do enter congresses from time to time.”

If you only play one or two congresses a year, and this is your only graded chess, you might just want to enter congresses as a non-member and pay the full, undiscounted entry fee. If you play three or more congresses a year, choose SILVER membership – it’ll be better value.

“I play in FIDE-rated events.”

Choose GOLD membership. If you’re registered as English for FIDE rating purposes, the ECF requires you to be a Gold member or above. In return, you can play as many games as you like in graded AND rated events and the ECF will pay for the FIDE rating fees (with the exception of all-play-all tournaments).

“I’d like to do a bit extra to support the work of the ECF.”

Why not become a PLATINUM member? You’ll receive all the benefits of GOLD membership, plus we’ll send you an ECF 15-month diary and a copy of the ECF Yearbook. It’s a pricier option at £60 a year, but if you can afford it, your subscription will be providing the ECF with invaluable extra funds to develop chess in this country.

I’m already a member – how do the changes affect me?

If your membership expires after 31 August 2012, it’ll be converted to one of the new categories. Standard, Junior, Family and Life members will be GOLD; Full members will be PLATINUM. When your membership expires, the ECF office will contact you to explain your renewal options.