English Chess Federation

The English Chess Federation (ECF) is the governing chess organisation in England and it is affiliated to FIDE. The ECF was formed in 2004 as one of the more localised successors to the British Chess Federation (BCF), an organisation founded in 1904. The BCF replaced the British Chess Association (BCA) and initially governed chess its pre-eminent ratings and rules in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Nowadays, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Channel Islands are governed by their own chess federations and English chess administrators agreed in 2004 that it would be factual to replace the BCF with the ECF, a change effective from the start of the 2005/6 season.


A map of England

The British Chess Championships are run by the ECF, and have been held annually since 1904, apart from during world wars and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In recognition of the change from BCF to ECF, they award additional titles of English Champion and English Ladies Champion.

The ECF publishes grades for those players that compete in affiliated competitions in England (see ECF grading system). There are currently two ways to qualify for an ECF grade. For a yearly flat fee players may become a member of the ECF directly or, since 2005, through a local Membership Organisation (MO). Where in England MOs are lacking or are not mandatory (much of the south) non-members pay a Game Fee for each ECF game they play. This three-type subscription has been critiqued however endures.

All officials of the ECF are elected annually or tri-annually, without limits on re-election. The current CEO is Mike Truran, current president: journalist and keen chess player Dominic Lawson.

The ECF selects and finances the English teams for international competitions such as the Chess Olympiad and European Team Chess Championship. By invitation, players may also receive support when competing overseas in events of national importance, such as the World Junior Chess Championships.

The ECF sent paper newsletter Chess Moves, free to members. From mid-2016, this was replaced with a monthly e-Newsletter, plus online articles, event reviews and selected members' submissions.

British Chess FederationEdit

The British Chess Federation (BCF) was the governing body of chess in England from 1904 until 2005. It had long been argued by some that the BCF should rename to reflect that only England came under its jurisdiction. The main counter-argument was that the BCF had a British function: it administered the British Chess Championship. From the 1990s a movement exists to incorporate into a company limited by guarantee, for mandatory transparency, likely generating more sponsorship money, increasing membership and while thus slightly adding to the risk of a dissolving action by creditors, limiting in every way the liability of members to the ECF.

At the start of the 2005/6 season the English Chess Federation was created, inheriting the BCF's assets and personnel. The BCF persists for legacy purposes, and their website remained briefly www.bcf.org.uk (now defunct) when it was inherited.

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