Guide to joining the ECF

Is this document for you?

  • This guide is for people who are joining the Federation for the first time, including those eligible for the special introductory offer of one year’s free membership for junior players who have not previously been members of the Federation.
  • If you are an existing member of the Federation and need to upgrade your membership to a higher category you need the Guide to upgrading your ECF membership [pending]
  • If you were a member of the Federation last year and wish to renew your membership for the coming season you need the Guide to renewing your ECF membership

PLEASE NOTE – the ECF membership year is fixed, and runs from the 1st September to the 31st of the following August. Members joining later in the year will inevitably get less benefit from their membership.

Ways of joining

The easiest way to join the Federation is through our online system; the rest of this guide walks you through that process.

Joining online

What you need
In order to join the Federation using the on-line system you need –

  • an e-mail address;
  • a credit or debit card, or PayPal account, to make payment;
  • your ECF grading reference, if you have one.

If you have not previously played a graded game you will, of course, not have a grading reference. However, any player who has played a graded game in the last twenty years should be able to locate their reference in the grading database, located at http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php. Type your surname into the box labelled ‘Search the Grading List‘ and click the ‘Find Players‘ button. Then, if you have not played recently, when the list of names appears click the ‘Click here to Include ungraded players‘ link.

Entering your details

1) Open your web browser and go to ecf.azolve.com to go to the login page.

2) Click the Sign Up button, and you will be taken to a screen on which you can enter your basic details. 

3) Enter your details on the screen – forename, surname, email address, date of birth, gender, first line of address, town, postcode, and password are required information; all other boxes are optional. Once you have entered all the data, click Continue.

4) You will see a screen on which you may choose to opt in to various communications from the ECF and the provider, GO! Membership. We recommend that you sign up to the Federation’s monthly electronic newsletter. Tick whichever boxes you wish and click Continue.

5) You will now see a screen showing the various Terms & Conditions you are required to accept by either the Federation and GO! Membership, to permit us to retain the data necessary to administer your membership. The Finish button on this screen will not work until you follow the instruction to scroll down to the bottom of the screen, below all the Terms & Conditions documents, and tick the tick box which appears below (see next screenshot)

6) You will see the Welcome screen, which contains links to the various sections of the system, some of which are not yet being used by the Federation. At this point you have successfully registered with the system, but have not joined the Federation. If you click the Go button below the ECF logo you will be taken directly to the membership screen (see step (8) below). If you click the Let’s Go button at the bottom of the Welcome screen you will be taken to your profile.

7) Your profile is a summary of your details as recorded on the system. If any details you entered are incorrect you can click the Update Details button to go to the Membership Details Form and edit your details. Clicking Save on the Membership Details Form will return you to the Profile screen.

8) Click on the Membership link below the My Membership heading – the Membership item in the menu bar above also works but more slowly – and you will be shown the membership options available to you.

9) Click on the icon for the membership category in which you wish to join. The icon will change to show which category has been selected.

10) You will see a box showing your ECF Grading Reference. If you have a grading reference please use the link to look it up on the ECF Grading Database and enter it. You will also see a note about associating your membership with a club. Please note associating your membership with a club in this system enables an authorised administrator for that club to access your membership details. It is our intention in the future to give this right to club secretaries or treasurers.

11) A pop-up box should appear informing you that your new membership has been added to your shopping cart and offering the choice of paying now or later.

Free Junior Silver memberships

There is a special introductory offer of one year’s free membership for junior players who have not previously been members of the Federation. You will automatically be offered this option if you are eligible, but this is done by giving a discount equal to the normal membership fee when

Making payment

1) If you did not take the option of paying immediately after you had selected your new membership, then you can return to the shopping cart by clicking on the MENU item to the left of the MY PROFILE item at the top of the screen, and selecting the Cart icon from the menu screen.

2) You will be shown a summary of the items in your shopping cart, to enable you to verify that the memberships being purchased are correct. You have the options of removing an individual item, or all items in the cart, but if everything is in order you should click Checkout.

3) The next screen asks you to confirm that your profile details are correct; click Next to proceed.

4) You are taken to the checkout screen, where you again have the option of deleting items from the basket. This is also where you select your method of payment. Although there is an option Pay via Bank please be aware that this option is setting up payment by Direct Debit. The majority of members will probably wish to choose the Pay by Card option. If you are eligible for Free Junior Silver membership the net fee will be shown as £0.00 and the button to be clicked will be labelled Complete Transaction; this will take you directly to the summary screen.

5) A pop-up screen will appear on which you can enter the usual card details: card number (16 digits), expiry date (month/year), and security number (3 digits off back of card).

6) You will be taken to a summary screen from which you have the option of printing off a PDF receipt.

What happens next?

You will receive an e-mail Payment Receipt Confirmation from membership@englishchess.org.uk to the e-mail address you registered with; this is your receipt of payment.

You will receive a second e-mail Membership Purchase Confirmation from the same sender which will confirm your membership type, membership number, and expiry date.

HOW WE USE YOUR DATA

We use your membership data only for the purposes of administration of membership. This includes making contact in connection with your right of representation on the ECF Council.

If you chose to subscribe to it on the opt-ins page we will add you to the circulation list of our e-newsletter, which appears approximately bi-monthly. You may chose to unsubscribe from this at any time. To do so, log in to the membership system, click the Opt Ins item in your profile, and remove the tick against the newsletter item.

We publish name, membership number and category (including expiry date), grading reference, and any club specified in your membership record for both current members and those whose membership has recently expired. This information is provided for organisers to determine your eligibility to compete in events.

The only data which is transferred between our membership and grading databases is membership number, category, and grading reference. In addition date of birth may be used to assist in determining whether records in the two databases refer to the same individual. However, the majority of members join the Federation in order to meet the requirements of an event in which they wish to compete. You should be aware that such events will usually submit their results to the ECF for grading, and that these results will be published on line and remain indefinitely as an historical record.

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