ECF Arbiters

List of Arbiters [as at 16/06/2021] – click here [PDF]
Please notify the Manager of Arbiters Alan Atkinson, of any errors, omissions or amendments required at manager.arbiters@englishchess.org.uk. You can also email Alan with enquiries about the FIDE Arbiter Licence Scheme.

Arbiting at online and hybrid events
Please follow the link to our page covering arbiting at online and hybrid events – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/arbiting-at-online-and-hybrid-events/

Chess Arbiters’ Association website here
ECF Arbiters’ Courses
– for results and forthcoming courses click here
Arbiter Instructors
– for a list click here
FIDE Arbiters’ Courses – for forthcoming courses click here
Arbiters’ Course Syllabusclick here (updated June 2021)

ECF Arbiter Regulations (revised May 2021)

Levels in the new Arbiter system

1 Attend an ECF Seminar and pass the examination
2 Become an ECF Arbiter
3 Become a FIDE Arbiter
4 Become an International Arbiter

Details of each level

Level 1) The ECF will aim to organise a minimum of three ECF Arbiter seminars per year, and advertise them on the ECF website. These seminars will have a reasonable geographic spread around England. The title will be awarded upon achieving a pass mark in the examination. Titleholders will be eligible to apply for a FIDE Arbiters Licence. To pass the assessment, and acquire a norm, the pass mark is 16 out of 20.

Level 2) Attaining this level will require three tournament norm passes from a minimum of two different Assessors. At least one of these three tournaments must be from a tournament that is either Rapidplay or Blitz. At least one of these three tournament norm passes must be from a tournament that is Standardplay. Each norm must have been obtained at a tournament that had a minimum of 30 players and five rounds. Level 2 norms can only be acquired by arbiters who are not considered inactive, and after the candidate has attended the ECF Arbiter seminar and passed the examination. The title can then be awarded by a majority vote from a panel consisting of the Director of Home Chess, the Manager of Arbiters (Home) and the Chief Arbiter.

Level 3) The FIDE Arbiter title will be awarded by FIDE under the regulations in force at the time. The ECF will organise a minimum of one FIDE Arbiters seminar per year, and advertise it on the ECF website. This FIDE Arbiters seminar can be attended, and the test taken, before Level 2 has been reached, but must be done after Level 1 has been achieved. No application for this level will be made for a candidate who is not already a Level 2 Arbiter. The Manager of Arbiters (International) will be responsible for submitting applications for FIDE Arbiter.

Level 4) The International Arbiter title will be awarded by FIDE under the regulations in force at the time. The Manager of Arbiters (International) will be responsible for submitting applications for International Arbiter.

The ECF will not use norms that form part of a Level 2 application for Levels 3 or 4.

Other arbiter-relevant regulations

FIDE Arbiter Regulations will continue to be in force for FIDE-rated events, specifically —

  • All arbiters working at a FIDE-rated event must be FIDE licensed arbiters
  • All FIDE title norm events must have a licensed FIDE Arbiter or International Arbiter on their list of registered arbiters

In addition, the ECF will not register any events with FIDE whose English-registered arbiters do not appear on the ECF Arbiter List (see below).

Other titles

A – Assessors

For new assessors –

  • Three Assessor norms are required. A norm shall be earned in the following way – Candidates will be required to mark an arbiter on their performance at an event; the Candidate and his Assessor will independently mark the arbiter; the Candidate and the Assessor must then discuss any differences in the independent assessments; if the Assessor is happy with the outcomes of this discussion, then he shall be empowered to award a norm; this norm must then be reported to the Manager of Arbiters (Home)
  • Must be listed at Level 2 or higher

When a Candidate Assessor has acquired the three norms, he may apply to the Manager of Arbiters (Home) to become an Assessor. The title will be awarded by a majority vote of the Director of Home Chess, Manager of Arbiters (Home) and Chief Arbiter.

L – Arbiter Instructors

For new Arbiter Instructors, candidates –

  • Must already be an assessor
  • Must be on the Arbiter list at Level 3 or higher
  • Be an assistant at three seminars (ECF or FIDE) delivered by a qualified Lecturer, at a standard considered acceptable by the Lecturer

When an Arbiter has been an assistant at three seminars, the assistant may apply to the Manager of Arbiters (Home) to become a Lecturer. The title will be awarded by a majority vote of the Director of Home Chess, Manager of Arbiters (Home) and Chief Arbiter.

Regulations for ECF Arbiter Seminars

Lecturers, the ECF Arbiter Instructors, cannot unilaterally decide to run an ECF Arbiters seminar. ECF Arbiter seminars must be organised by the Manager of Arbiters (Home). Organisations that wish to organise a seminar must do it through the Manager of Arbiters (Home). The Manager of Arbiters (Home) will appoint one Lecturer and one Assistant Lecturer, considering factors such as the location of a seminar, and any recommendations or requests from the organisation requesting to run a seminar.

The Chief Arbiter will create a minimum of three different tests, one of which shall be distributed to the Lecturers of each course. Each test will have a mark scheme accompanying it. The relative importance of the topics within the test will broadly follow the time allocations set out in the syllabus. After each year, one of the tests shall be replaced with a new test. In addition, a mock test will be distributed to candidates in advance, which will be half the length of the full test. Additional materials may be produced centrally, such as Powerpoint slides. The exam may be answered either by typing the answers or handwriting them.

The cost to attend a seminar will vary from seminar to seminar depending on venue costs, but the minimum charge is £40.00. The money will be paid to the ECF centrally. The ECF will cover the travel (at 30p/mile if driving) and the accommodation expenses of the Lecturers attending the seminar.

The seminar and examination will normally require sixteen hours. The topics for the seminar are set out elsewhere. All seminar attendees must be ECF members at the time of the examination.

The ECF Arbiters List

Arbiters will be listed in accordance with these regulations. It is a condition of being listed that the public list contains the following information about the Arbiter –

  • ECF rating reference
  • FIDE ID
  • a contact email address
  • a contact telephone number
  • their level of qualification
  • their county of residence

This information will ensure that organisers who are looking to appoint Arbiters to their events will have the necessary information to contact an Arbiter, as well as having an idea of their location.

Addition of non-English arbiters to the list

Arbiters whose FIDE registration is something other than England may apply to join the ECF Arbiter list if they meet all of the following criteria –

  • they are ECF members
  • they are, at the time of application, resident in England and have been for a period of 1 year
  • they hold either their country’s full domestic arbiter title, or the FIDE Arbiter title, or the International Arbiter title

The applicant will be listed in the following way –

  • any holder of their full domestic arbiter title may apply to be listed at Level 2 upon successfully completing the ECF seminar and examination
  • any licenced FIDE Arbiter may apply to be listed at Level 3
  • any licenced International Arbiter may apply to be listed at Level 4

Should the applicant subsequently gain a higher title, then the ECF will increase their level upon notification. This notwithstanding, any ECF member may go through the full ECF system if they choose, regardless of their nationality.

Roles of other officers

Chief Arbiter
(appointed by the Board annually, must be Level 4)

  • Produce documents etc. about any changes to FIDE Laws of Chess – documents are advisory on how arbiters should change their behaviour, but should also help players to understand the changes too
  • Resolve any Laws of Chess disputes sent to the ECF
  • Create the exam and syllabus for the ECF Arbiter seminars as outlined above

Manager of Arbiters (Home)
(appointed annually by the Director of Home Chess, Director of International Chess & Chief Executive)

  • Administering the domestic Arbiter system
  • Arbiter norms for Level 2
  • Assessor norms
  • Lecturer norms
  • Organise and publicise ECF Arbiter seminars
  • Appoint Lecturers to deliver ECF Arbiter seminars

Manager of Arbiters (International)
(appointed annually by the Director of International Chess & Director of Home Chess & Chief Executive)

  • Administering the process to apply to FIDE for the FIDE Arbiters or International Arbiter
  • Co-ordinate the organisation of FIDE Arbiter seminars
  • Appoint Lecturers and other necessary staff to deliver FIDE Arbiter seminars
  • Liaising with organisers and candidates to assist in finding opportunities for Arbiters to obtain titles or uprated classifications.

Arbiter Regulations – proforma guide for assessors (May 2021) | Arbiter Regulations – proforma (May 2021)