ECF Support for Moving Online

ECF Online Members Clubs and Events

The ECF currently provides online clubs on lichess and chess.com for ECF members looking to play ECF rated games online. We have more than 1,500 members across the two member clubs which we run, and currently schedule and run six ECF online rated club tournaments per week. We also have well supported Junior and Women’s clubs.

We run a number of ECF Online National Competitions including the Online Blitz Championships, the National Club Championships, and the English Counties series of events.

We are also running ECF online international events for club members on both platforms, including England entries in the chess.com Nations League, the lichess Cup of Nations, the lichess World Series tournaments and one-off matches with other Federations.

In addition we have an ECF open club for social players who may not be ECF members, with over 3,500 members on Chess.com and a regular schedule of non-ECF rated events. Further details can be found here

The main ECF members clubs can be found here on Chess.com and lichess —

https://www.chess.com/club/english-chess-federation-members

https://www.chess.com/club/english-chess-federation

https://lichess.org/team/english-chess-players


Affiliated Leagues, Club and Events – The ECF is looking to provide help and guidance to leagues, clubs and organisers wanting to setup online events, including ideas for club nights and online events and competitions, ECF calendar entries major events, and rating of online events registered with the ECF.

This page provides organisers with some guidance on establishing an ECF affiliated online league or competition and submitting events for online rating.

Selecting a platform – The first step is to select a platform for your league, club or competition. This will often be based on where the majority of your member clubs or potential players are used to playing, but there are other factors to consider such as the type of events you would like to run (team match, team battle, individual challenge or Swiss) and the fair play arrangements you are looking for. Chess.com and lichess have by the largest numbers of members on their platforms and provide some useful guidance on running events (as per the chess.com guidance below). There are a number of other platforms you may want to consider and it’s worth considering a number of options before deciding on your preferred platform.

https://www.chess.com/article/view/how-to-run-chess-events-online

Match or Competition Format – Team matches can be managed as either team events (which are supported natively on chess.com) or by way of individual challenges (which are supported on chess.com, lichess or other platforms). The advantage of team matches is they are much easier to organise, easier for the players to join and see what’s going on as the match progresses, and generally easier for monitoring / capturing results and pgns etc. The disadvantage of chess.com team matches is that the board order will be set by chess.com ratings which reflect online games played on the platform and are not always accurate for new players who only have less than 8 games on chess.com at the relevant time control. If board order is a major concern you will need to offer the individual challenge format as an alternative. Competitions/ Congresses are usually run as multi-round Swiss events or Arena format tournaments which are both supported natively on chess.com, lichess or the majority of the other platforms. Larger congresses may be run by way of pairings with individual challenges.

Establishing league or competition clubs – Its usually a good idea to establish a special club or competition/ league club on your chosen platform as a way of publicising the club, competition or league, and as a general forum and means of communication with club or league members. You can find some examples of league or competition home pages here:

https://www.chess.com/club/ecf-online-english-county-championships

https://www.chess.com/club/west-midlands-area-league

https://lichess.org/team/lichess4545-league

Setting up competitions and fixtures – You should also decide where you are going to organise and publish your competitions and fixtures. This can generally be done on the provider platform for congress type events and competitions – eg as for the English Online Blitz at the link below.

https://www.chess.com/tournament/live/ecf-english-blitz-championships—group-stage-2-1217782

There are other options to consider for larger events, leagues or competitions which are being organised as individual challenges on the provider’s platform. Options include the ECF LMS or a number of other third party systems.

The ECF LMS has been upgraded to accept online events and allows you to set up an organisation with competitions or league seasons, generate ‘all play all’ as well as manually set fixtures, support fixtures by publishing online player addresses for individual challenges and spectators. ECF LMS also allows you to capture results and prepares files for online-rating submissions which will be accepted monthly using the new json format. Examples of online leagues and competitions in LMS are as follows:

National Clubs Online – http://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/60234/home

Online English Counties – https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/60070/home

West Midlands League – https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/59701/home

Registering your League or Event for Online Rating – For an event to be accepted for online rating in the ECF Online National list it must be played at one of the standard time controls (standard, rapid or blitz) with time odds / berserk mode not allowed so that both players have the same time allowance. In addition players must be required to observe the provider’s terms and conditions and fair play requirements.

The time controls for standard, rapid and blitz are as follows:

A. Standardplay – Each player must have 60 minutes or more for the complete game.

B. Rapidplay – Each player must have more than 10 minutes and less than 60 minutes, for all moves. This includes both the initial time control and any subsequent time controls or quickplay finish.

C. Blitz – Each player has between 3 and 10 minutes per game.

Where increments are used the time available for the game is calculated for rating purposes on the basis of a 60 move game.

You can register your league or event for online rating with the ECF at the link below. You can also request an ECF calendar entry for your event by checking the relevant box on the form.

https://britchess.wufoo.com/forms/register-your-event-for-ecf-online-rating/

Eligibility and Game Fees – All players must be ECF members or supporters for an event to be online rated without game fee charges. You can check a player’s membership status in LMS or in the ECF membership system in the organiser’s page on the web site when you are entering results. If you have non-members/ supporters playing the event or league can still be online rated but there will be a charge of £5 per non-member / supporter playing per congress, or per monthly rating period for a league, payable as a non-member game fee to the ECF. Any online game fees should be paid together with a template proforma invoice which should be completed as results are submitted.

Submitting Events for Rating – If your event is using ECF LMS then this can be done very easily by selecting the ‘rate automatically’ option in LMS after which events will be submitted on a monthly basis with results appearing in the next monthly list on the ECF online web site. Players are provided with separate online ratings for Standardplay, Rapid and Blitz Events.


Affiliated leagues and events – Games from registered events will be rated in the ECF online lists alongside games played in ECF members’ club tournaments on chess.com and lichess. Leagues, clubs or organisers will be able to get their events rated by submitting results in the normal way to the ECF grading team using one of the standard formats. LMS will be available as an option for submitting results, but all of the current input options will be supported as for OTB matches/ events. We will include these results in standard play, rapid or blitz ECF online listings for players taking part in ECF members club competitions or affiliated leagues and events.

As above you should note that online ratings will be held completely separate from OTB ratings, with separate rating lists.