Guidelines on treatment of disabled chess players

  1. These guidelines will be used for all ECF-organised events, and are recommended for adoption by organisers of non-ECF events.
  2. No one has the right to refuse to play another player against whom they have been correctly paired on the grounds of race, gender, age or impairment.
  3. All chess venues should  be equally accessible to all players and event officials. Should this not be the case and as a result a disabled person is put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with people who are not disabled, such adjustments should be made as it is reasonable to have to make to avoid the disadvantage.
  4. A circular should be sent out when all players are known, or with any entry forms, asking if any potential player has an impairment that will require reasonable adjustments to be made.
  5. No chess player should be penalised on a time parameter against the normal rates of play because of their impairment.
  6. Any disabled player who reasonably requests the placing of their equipment in a particular seat or orientation has the right to do so, provided that this does not disadvantage their opponent. The event director should ensure that the needs of both players are catered for.
  7. It is recommended that any playing conditions are printed out and placed on all boards before the start of play, including maps of the venue showing the location of toilets, refreshments, bookstalls, emergency exits etc.
  8. It is recommended that all events have a first aid kit at the event in case of accident, and that the local hospital/doctor’s phone numbers are known.
  9. If a player or event official cannot access any refreshments/bookstall areas, arrangements should be made for their needs to be met.
  10. If a player cannot press their own clock or move their own pieces, an assistant should be available if the opponent is not willing to do so.
  11. If a player has made a prior request, copies of all notices should be available in large print. If a player is unable to read large print, then the notices must be read to them before the start of each round, and on request without disturbing other players.
  12. It is recommended that all league events have the rule that if a visiting team indicates that it has a player with an impairment coming with them, giving sufficient notice, that the home team does everything which is reasonable to ensure that that player can participate.
  13. If spectators are permitted at an event, the provisions in 3) above should apply to spectators as well as players and event officials.
  14. Reasonable adjustments should be made for the needs of disabled players to allow them to take part in online events, for example provision of an extended range of devices which would be acceptable for games played on Zoom and in relation to fair play monitoring.
  15. The ECF contact on matters to do with these guidelines is the Director of Home Chess –

Download these guidelines as a PDF here – ECF Disability Guidelines
Page updated 23/2/22