ECF rating categories

Version 8 Dec 2021
See also the FAQs page here — https://www.englishchess.org.uk/new-categories-faq/

When ECF monthly rating went live in July 2021 the existing grade categories were transferred across. During the Covid lockdown, inactivity was recognised by extending time periods by one year. These categories broadly reflected various averaging within the grading method, they have little relevance in the replacement Elo rating method. As more normal levels of chess return the rating team will institute categories more in keeping with the Elo system.

There are five lists. Two are Over-the-Board (OTB) – Standard and Rapid – and three are Online – Standard, Rapid and Blitz.

These lists were seeded from earlier systems on 1st July 2020 for OTB and 1st September 2021 for online; these lists give ‘inherited ratings’. An active player is one who has a rating published the previous month, if not the player is unrated. For the purposes of this note one should assume that an OTB blitz list will start soon.

The following categories will apply to each list separately

Category A
A player who has 30 or more rated results in the previous 12 calendar months

Category H
For OTB players who inherited a rating on 1st July 2020, but who has less than 9 rated results in the 60 calendar months prior to 1st July 2020 and has not played since; For Online a player with a rating inherited on 1st September 2021 and has no subsequent rated results. When a player with an H rating subsequently plays, their rating will convert to a K-rating.

Category K
All ratings of players not qualifying as A or H, with active ratings that will be updated by the K-method

Category P
All ratings of players with active ratings that will be updated by the P-method

Unrated
Any K or P rating where the player has no rated result in the previous 36 calendar months, but see below. An unrated player will be treated as a new player on return.

These categories will become effective on 1st February 2022. On 1st September 2022, any player still with an H rating will be converted to unrated (but will not become unrated before then).

Details on K and P rating methods can be found here – https://www.ecfrating.org.uk/v2/help/help_rating.php. All active ratings will be published alongside related categories across the website. K and A ratings are sometimes described as full ratings.