England has a well established chess club scene with more than 600 over the board clubs across all parts of the nation, many of them with junior and/or online clubs in addition to face-to-face club nights and competitions.
ECF Clubs Support Survey
We have received a good number of responses so far, with seventy-five clubs filling in the form up to the 14th August. This has been extremely helpful, so thank you to all the club secretaries and members who have taken the time to provide input. Please follow the link here to see the interim findings with a summary of the responses to date – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Clubs-Survey-Summary-Findings-August.pdf
We are currently developing an action plan to follow up on the priority areas where clubs are looking for further support, and we will publish the plan shortly on this page. We are also sharing some of the great initiatives which clubs have told us about, some of which are already in progress, here — https://www.englishchess.org.uk/chess-club-initiatives/
You can find chess clubs in your area by following this link – https://ecf.justgo.com/clubfinder.htm – and using the search facilities on the resulting map page. The club finder shows the club location and contact details, as well as a web site link [if the club has a website] to find out more about clubs near you.
Club lists by region or county
A number of the English county and regional websites provide links to local clubs – click here
Growing your chess club
Chris Skulte has written this document to help clubs to establish an online presence using social media and WordPress – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Growing-chess-clubs.pdf
Club nights and leagues
Most clubs have regular club nights where you can play friendly over-the-board matches against other players and take part in club competitions and local league team events. Clubs are generally looking for players to join at all levels of ability, and frequently have separate junior sections. Chess clubs have mostly been closed for over the board play during the pandemic but are now starting to plan for a phased return to club nights and over-the-board competitions as restrictions start to ease.
Running club events and getting them rated
As clubs start to open up again, many club and competition secretaries are looking at running rated club competitions, so that club members can get an ECF rating in addition to any games played in league matches. Club events can include multi-round Swiss or all-play-all club championship events over several club nights, regular or one-off club tournaments at a variety of time controls, or matches with other clubs. The easiest way to organise an over the board, online or hybrid club event is via the ECF LMS system.
The LMS allows you to set up your club and competitions and then generate fixtures and pairings. Results can then be captured with a facility for having games rated in the ECF rating database. You will also get a home page in the LMS for your club where you can include contact details.
You can find further details here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/running-club-or-league-events-on-the-lms-and-getting-them-ecf-rated/
Click this link to read a guide to getting started with the League Management System for clubs – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s4wu2SYXyoQZ390SfMSonmfFLlPpPJc9/view
Many clubs have continued their operation with online matches and participation in online leagues during the pandemic, when over the board chess has been difficult or impossible. You can find a club in your area that has an online presence by clicking on the map at https://englishchessonline.org.uk/english-club-finder-map/. On the same page we list the ECF clubs at Chess.com and Lichess.org. We welcome all levels of player to these groups, but you need to be a member or supporter of the ECF to join. Details of how to join us for as little as £10 per year are at https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-membership-rates-and-joining-details/
Amendments/additions to the club map
Club secretaries and organisers can add and/or amend their club details via the ‘Add/amend your club’ link on the ECF website – https://britchess.wufoo.com/forms/submit-your-chess-club/
Clubs and other organisations can renew their insurance via a block club insurance arrangement provided via Green’s Insurance – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/clubs-congress-insurance-2023-24/
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provisions came into force on 25th May 2018. The GDPR applies to all clubs and counties as separate organisations, regardless of their size. Further information is available on the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office – https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/. You can also find a summary of key points here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/GDPR-County-and-Club-Guide.pdf