Email despatched this afternoon:
"Dear League / County chess colleagues
I am writing to let you know about the ECF's package to support the move
to online chess given current circumstances.
As you may be aware the ECF currently provides online clubs on lichess
and Chess.com for ECF members looking to play ECF-rated games online. We
have several hundred members across the two clubs, and currently
schedule 4 or more club tournaments per week. We calculate and publish
ECF blitz and rapid online ratings on a monthly basis for results from
our online club events. These ECF Online ratings are kept completely
separate from the OTB grading lists, which are not impacted.
We are also running international events for club members on both
platforms, including England entries in the lichess Cup of Nations
tournaments and one of matches with other federations. In addition, we
have an ECF open club for social players who may not be ECF members,
with over 2,300 members on Chess.com and a regular schedule of
Further details can be found below and you should note that the ECF
online ratings for members club events are 4 digit Elo ratings, which
are completely separate from ECF OTB grades given the different playing
conditions, and are published separately on a monthly basis.
The ECF is now looking to extend this service to provide support for
leagues and clubs who are looking to schedule online club nights and
inter-club matches on internet provider platforms given current
The support package is based on leagues/clubs establishing online clubs
on one of the internet provider platforms (e.g. Chess.com or lichess)
and scheduling a series of online events - e.g. club nights, club
tournaments, summer leagues etc. We will be publishing guidance on
setting up an online club (based on provider guidance), ideas and
guidance on establishing online club nights and events, and minimum
standards for inter- or intra-club events to be recognised and ECF
online-rated. We will also be providing guidance on fair play and
Leagues or clubs will be able to get ECF-recognised events rated by
submitting results in the normal way to the ECF grading team, and we
will include these results in standard play, rapid or blitz ECF online
listings when there is a sufficient volume of results - either in July
to coincide with the final six-monthly OTB list, or otherwise later in
the year, aligned directly with one of the monthly online lists. As
above, you should note that online ratings will be held completely
separate from OTB ratings, with separate rating lists.
Please respond with any feedback on the above proposals including level
of interest from your league and member club, any points you think will
be important to consider, and areas where you feel the ECF could help
with a shift from OTB to online chess. We will be writing separately to
all clubs, but do feel free to forward this email to member clubs for
further feedback as appropriate.
Yours as ever
English Chess Federation"