ECF Covid-19 helpful articles

Covid update 02/02/2022
Please note that HMG have now reverted to Plan A for protecting against the impact of Coranavirus across England as detailed here –

The ECF’s guidance notes for chess events will continue to apply as per previous posts –

Although face coverings are no longer a legal requirement as of 29th January, they should be considered for crowded, enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet. Specific guidance on face coverings can be found at the link below and should be taken into account when organising or taking part in events –

Covid update 10/12/21
HMG announced on 7/12 that England will move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant – further details can be found here —
Stage 4 guidance notes for chess events/club nights will still apply overall. However please note the new and more stringent Plan B restrictions and guidance notes which will need to be observed for all indoor chess events/club gatherings, including in particular —
Updated rules on face coverings in indoors settings
The rules now include a requirement from 10th December for all attendees to wear face coverings for events/gatherings in indoor spaces aside from attendees who are unable to wear face coverings for the reasons listed  – Although the ECF is unable to provide specific advice on individual events, our view is that indoor chess venues will come within the scope of the new mask-wearing requirements.
The guidance reiterates the importance of venitilation and letting fresh air in for indoor meetings, with a note about meeting outdoors where possible.

Covid update 6/12/21
Stage 4 guidance notes for chess events still apply overall. Specific HMG guidance on face coverings in indoor spaces has been updated and should be taken into account when organising or taking part in events –

Covid Guidance – Step 4
Step 4 of HMG’s Spring Response plan started on July 19th. The Step 4 Guidance / Recommendations page summarises some of the key HMG guidance points and recommendations which still apply and are relevant for chess events as we move into Step 4. Find the page here —

The latest version of the ECF OTB Covid 19 Risk Assessment document (July 2021) can be found here – Word | PDF

Covid Precautions Draft Version 1.2 May 2021
The COVID precautions page provides a draft list of areas to consider when organising chess events for Step 4 onwards, and can be found here


Spring Response Pathway guidance post (please note the revised earliest date of 19th July for Step 4)here
There are older links further down this page, but please bear in mind that posts at the top of the page are the most recent and relevant. As more relevant material arrives, or is generated by the Working Party investigating a return to OTB chess, that material will be linked here as well.


HM Government’s Covid-19 Winter Plan, which comes into effect from 02/12/2020 | PDF here


Thoughts on running Junior OTB tournaments at the current time | Joseph Conlon
These are some thoughts on the practicalities of organising OTB junior tournaments in current times, which seem to me one of the areas of chess with the clearest legal route to OTB events [more] Please note – these are the personal views of Joseph Conlon and not the official line of any chess body.


Northumberland Weekend Congress – a superb effort in moving chess from Zoom to Room | Mick Riding
The Northumberland Weekend Congress was preparing for its fifty-sixth consecutive event when the governmental Covid-19 guidelines in late September left the organisers no option but to cancel. However, tournament organiser Mick Riding and the Northumberland Chess Association Executive have put together a comprehensive framework for OTB chess during the pandemic which the ECF, with Mick’s kind permission, is delighted to share with organisers, clubs and leagues.
Representing an enormous amount of research and work, the four attached documents provide a ‘Do and Don’t’ template, an Anti-Covid Measures and Congress Impacts document, a detailed Risk Assessment, and subsequent feedback from North Tyneside Council. 

Dos and Dont’s | Anti-Covid Measures | Risk Assessment | Feedback NTC document

The ECF is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for OTB chess and this work by Mick and the Northumberland Chess Association Executive will be of great value. We want to get back to OTB but as an indoor activity, chess is particularly vulnerable to the pandemic. The Northumberland Weekend Congress work will be essential reading for organisers when we start thinking of the move from Zoom to Room.
Mick is happy to help organisers, clubs and leagues and can be contacted at


European Online Youth Chess Championships – Tim Wall
A hybrid event examined and reported on …
Read the full report here


The ECF Risk Assessment document prepared by Gary Willson – here


Older guidance posts – 25th March | 3rd July | 8th August | 13th September | 12th October | 15th October | 5th November | 2nd December | January 2021