ECF support for moving chess online

For club secretaries, organisers and chess players – this post is to inform you all how the ECF will be supporting the move to online chess, given current circumstances. This post has also been emailed to as many of these people as we have email addresses for (24/3/20)

ECF Online Clubs and Events
As you may be aware the ECF currently provides online clubs on lichess and Chess.com for ECF members looking to play ECF rated games online. We have several hundred members across the two member clubs which we run, and currently schedule four or more club tournaments per week. We calculate and publish ECF four digit Elo blitz and rapid online ratings on a monthly basis for results from our online club events. ECF online ratings are completely separate from ECF OTB grades, which are not affected.
We are also running international events for club members on both platforms, including England entries in the lichess Cup of Nations tournaments and one-off matches with other Federations.
In addition we have an ECF open club for social players who may not be ECF members, with over 2,300 members on Chess.com and a regular schedule of non-ECF rated events. Further details can be found here

The ECF clubs can be found on Chess.com and lichess —

https://www.chess.com/club/english-chess-federation-members | https://www.chess.com/club/english-chess-federation | https://lichess.org/team/english-chess-players

ECF Support for organisations looking to set up online clubs, teams and events
The ECF is now looking to extend this service to provide support for leagues, clubs and organisers who are looking to move online given current circumstances. 
The support package is based on leagues/clubs/ organisers establishing and running online clubs or events.  Leagues and clubs may decide to form clubs on Chess.com or lichess which is where we are running the ECF online clubs, or they may prefer other platforms (eg Chess24, Chessbase etc).  Clubs will then want to schedule online events – e.g. club nights (with a background tournament for club members with content streaming for items of interest), more structured club tournaments, and summer leagues between clubs etc. Many congresses and events will also be looking to move their operations online.
The ECF will provide help and guidance to clubs, teams and organisers wanting to setup online, sharing of best practice including ideas for club nights and online events, ECF calendar additions for major events, and rating of online events registered with the ECF. In the first instance email the office – office@englishchess.org.uk
We will also be publishing minimum standards for online events to be recognised and ECF online-rated. These will include – recognised platforms, time controls, event registration and results submission process, exclusion of time-odds/ berserk features, and player lists and ECF member/ supporter status.
Games from recognised events will be rated alongside games played in ECF members’ club tournaments on chess.com and lichess. Leagues, clubs or organisers will be able to get ECF-recognised events rated by submitting results in the normal way to the ECF grading team. LMS will be available as an option for submitting results, but all of the current input options will be supported as for OTB matches/ events. We will include these results in standard play, rapid or blitz ECF online listings when there is a sufficient volume of results – either in July to coincide with the final six-monthly OTB list, or otherwise later in the year aligned directly with one of the monthly online lists. As above you should note that online ratings will be held completely separate from OTB ratings, with separate rating lists.

Leagues and Clubs already moving online
This is already happening with a number of leagues and clubs setting up online and organising matches with other clubs. For example –

We will be adding online club details to the ECF club finder soon, and please do email the ECF office with details if you move your club online.

National Leagues and Events
A number of national leagues and events are also moving online with examples including –

4NCL Online
The 4NCL will shortly be inaugurating online events. 4NCL Online will be based not only on existing 4NCL teams who are interested in participating, but also any new teams that wish to apply to join the league including existing OTB clubs across the four nations.  The format will be a regionally based group stage after which the top teams from each group will qualify for a final stage. Matches will be between teams of four players using a 45 + 15 (45 minutes per player with 15 second increment) time control. The precise format will depend on the number of teams entering. Any clubs interested in joining 4NCL Online should email Mike Truran at mike@truranfamily.co.uk. Any thoughts on preferred formats or other details would be very welcome.

Chess England
Chess England are also moving events online. You can find further details here with the schedule of upcoming events – http://www.chessengland.com/
The Chess England club is on lichess.org at this link – https://lichess.org/team/chess-england

2020 Chess
2020 chess are moving their events online with teams pooled into a Swiss system and fixtures already in progress.

UKCC
The UKCC are looking to run some Gigafinal qualification events online. Some Megafinals are being rescheduled for later in the year (looking at September) but some may not run and so the online qualifiers should give everyone a chance to qualify. The UKCC team will also be broadcasting some training videos and lessons throughout the coming months. Further details can be found here – https://www.delanceyukschoolschesschallenge.com/2020-schedule/

EPSCA
EPSCA are currently planning to run Inter Association matches online.

Feedback
Please respond with any feedback on the ECF’s proposals to support online chess including level of interest from your leagues, clubs, events or players, any points you think will be important to consider, and additional areas where you feel the ECF could help with the shift from OTB to online chess given the current situation. In the first instance email the office – office@englishchess.org.uk

Photo by Deva Darshan on Unsplash | Adjusted by Andrew Walker