Following the launch of the new categories of membership from 1 September 2012, the primary source of income for the ECF has become the membership subscriptions. However, the concept of Game Fee has been retained, at least for an interim period, as a mechanism for charging for games played by non-members that are to be graded. There are four situations to be distinguished.
(1) FIDE-rated events
Game Fee does not apply to FIDE-rated standardplay events: all English/ENG registered participants are required to be ECF gold/junior gold or platinum members. While the present FIDE approach of accepting rapidplay events for rating on a trial basis free of charge continues, this principle is not being applied to FIDE-rated rapidplay events, which will therefore be dealt with under (2), (3) or (4) as applicable.
(2) Other congresses not falling into (4)
A fixed “pay to play” fee of £6 for adults or £4 for juniors (rising to £7 and £5 respectively from 1 September 2015) will be charged for each participant who is a non-member or a bronze/junior bronze member at the date of the event. This fee is the same regardless of the number of rounds or whether the event is standardplay or rapidplay. The amount due will be calculated by the ECF after the results have been processed for grading and will be invoiced to the event. In the case of a bronze or junior bronze member, the pay to play fee once received will be used to upgrade that individual’s membership to silver or junior silver.
(3) Other events not falling into (4)
A Game fee of £2 per standardplay half result or £1 per rapidplay half result (rising to £2.50 and £1.25 respectively from 1 September 2015) is payable. Where the event in question is organised by a membership organisation that has entered into a framework agreement with the ECF, any amount due will be invoiced by the ECF at the end of August, with payment to be made within 30 days. For other organisations, the due date for payment is 15 January for winter leagues or 30 June for summer leagues. These payments should be made on the basis of a best estimate at the time of the number of games that are likely to be played by non-members. At the end of August, the ECF will raise an invoice for the difference between the amount paid and the amount which is due based on the grading data processed. Immaterial adjustments will be incorporated into the next payment; material adjustments will be settled within 30 days of invoice.
(4) Special arrangements apply to games played between junior players under the age of 18 in exclusively junior events. Game Fee at a reduced rate of 50p per standardplay half result or 25p per rapidplay half result (rising to 60p and 30p respectively with effect from 1 September 2015) is payable in respect of such games. These rates override the “pay to play” arrangements for adult/mixed non-FIDE-rated congresses described in (2).
Membership / Game Fee Exemptions
Where cross-border leagues are submitted to the ECF for grading, game fee will not be charged in respect of members of clubs geographically outside England who are members of the appropriate National Federation.
Braille Chess Association and the English Deaf Chess Association
Game fee is waived in events organised, solely for the benefit of their own members by the Braille Chess Association and the English Deaf Chess Association
Events for Individuals, where only players from one county or league may play, are treated as a league; requiring only Bronze membership.
Membership requirements and Game Fee payments are waived in respect of players playing as a filler in a congress.
4NCL Wild Cards
The requirement for ENG players to be Gold members is waived in respect of players playing as a Wild Card.
Other FIDE rated league
The requirement for ENG players to be Gold members is waived in respect of players playing one game.