The ECF is promoting a software application to English tournament chess organisers to help them manage entries, registration and payment online. The software, written by Malcolm Peacock, has evolved over a number of years and a few tournaments currently use it as their method of taking online entries. It is suitable for most weekend tournaments, FIDE-rated or ECF graded events. Malcolm is happy for English chess tournaments to use this software.
What the software provides
Online entry provides for the collection of all the individual player data items to enable the player to be entered into the tournament. For players on the ECF grading list, all they need to do is to enter their name and select it from the database. All other tournament data are automatically retrieved from the appropriate databases. Once entry is complete, the player is taken through to the PayPal payment system. Here players can select to pay by credit/debit card or PayPal. Once payment is complete, the software adds the player to the entries webpage automatically and sends an email back to the player and the organiser.
The organiser needs to create their own PayPal account or use an existing PayPal account. Whilst no IT programming skills are required, it would be beneficial for the organiser to have some IT literacy skills. No programming is required, as everything is configured via web inputs.
Flexibility – organiser customisation
The organiser has all the options available to set up the parameters for each individual tournament, including specific tournament elements such as rating/grading limits and prizes etc, plus the entry fees and discounts associated with each tournament.
For people who enter by mail or telephone, the organiser can add these entries to the software so the participants can be displayed on the entries page automatically.
Linking into your existing tournament website
The software can be linked to an existing website by reference with a URL link.
The software provides the ability to display tournament information. A facility is available for the entry of text information and, if required, can include most tournament information generally found on standard entry forms.
Reports and integration to pairing software
Various reports can be printed/downloaded, including entry files for Swiss Manager and Vega.
There are currently no charging fees, but a modest donation is expected on an annual basis depending on the size of the congress.
- The congress organiser logs in to add a new congress, specifying late entry date, number of sections etc.
- The congress participant fills in online form and selects themselves from the grading list (ECF or Chess Scotland)
- The congress participant fills in an on-line form to enter details and is directed to PayPal to pay.
- When the participant has paid via PayPal, this triggers his entry to appear on the list of entrants on the website. The software sends him a confirmation email and it sends a confirmation email to the congress organiser.
- The congress organiser can log in and amend entries if necessary (e.g. late bye requests).
- The congress organiser can log in and manually add entries, eg postal entries.
- The system automatically calculates an estimated FIDE rating from an ECF rating or vice versa if necessary.
- The grading type of each section can be set to FIDE, ECF, or Chess Scotland.
- The congress organiser can extract a list of entrants into Excel which can be fed into Swiss Manager or Tournament Director or used with a word template to print pairing cards or wall charts.
- A report is created adding up entries by section and accounting for PayPal’s fees for your treasurer. It also reports instances where the entrant has claimed to be an ECF Silver member but is not.
- When someone enters, a login ID is automatically created for them; if they then request a password they can login using this so that they do not need to specify their details each time and can remove or add themselves to mailing lists.
- The congress organiser can send a mass email to previous entrants of congresses in their organisation or to entrants of a particular congress.
If you wish to make further enquiries regarding this software application, please use the contact form on the website at http://congress.org.uk/contact