http://www.telegraph.co.uk/games/106582 ... rules.html
Much the same would apply to chess in the UK and VAT applies to events deemed directly run by the ECF such as the British Championships. For historic reasons rather than as a tax dodge, much of British chess is outside the scope of VAT, being run by smaller local organisations with turnovers below the tax threshold, who are demonstrably independent of the ECF.The English Bridge Union had argued that its members should not have to pay VAT on competition entry fees because they were taking part in a pursuit that is recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee, the Charity Commission and several other European countries.
But are there really 300,000 regular Bridge players in Britain?
The article quotes income from Bridge entry fees at Â£ 631,000. It occurs to me that aggregate chess entry fees are of a similar magnitude. With around 65,000 regular and 60,000 rapid half games played, that translates into 13,000 and 12,000 entries assuming 5 round tournaments. This adds up to around half a million if you assume entry fees of Â£ 25 and Â£ 15 respectively. Fortunately very little of this goes anywhere near the ECF's accounts, which keeps it out of the VAT net.
You can sometimes compare Chess events with Bridge ones, particularly when they take place over a similar time period at the same venues such as weekends at the Riviera Centre in Torquay. One difference is that there seldom seems any prize money in Bridge even though entry fees are similar to Chess