Update on joining ECF - June

General Secretary Dave Latham has had some communications with ECF officers, informing them of our decision and wish to "join", and asking the questions raised at the meeting described below.

Regarding becoming properly involved in ECF, as opposed to simply getting members/games graded, the helpful/unhelpful answer was: "If you apply to become an affiliated organisation you will automatically get a seat on Council. For the first year this will only entitle you to one vote; once you have submitted results for grading at the end of 2018-19 season the number of votes you get will be proportionate to the number of results submitted. The exact process of applying to affiliate is not totally clear. At one time it would have been formal notice to the Company Secretary, but since John Philpott's death that job has been rearranged, and I believe now that a note to  office@englishchess.org.uk is the correct way to proceed."

Dave also says "The ECF did make a point worth publicising: no point an individual joining now, as that would be joining for the year ending Aug 2018. Don't want anyone saying that, for their £16, they got nowt. They join after the ECF offers Aug 2018 to Aug 2019 membership. Usually that's available from this August."

In answer to the question "Besides grading, what else will Sheffield players get for their money", Dave was directed to the https://www.englishchess.org.uk/membership/membership-benefits/ page of ECF website.

Special General Meeting of S&DCA (May)

The Special General Meeting of the Sheffield & District Chess Association was held on Monday 21st May, 2018, at Stradbroke Community Centre, Sheffield, S13 8LT..

The meeting was called at the request of the Executive to vote on the proposition: that the Sheffield & District Chess Association submit for grading by the English Chess Federation the results from the S&DCA leagues (winter & summer), its team knock-out competitions (Richardson and Haystead Cups), and the Sheffield Championship.

About 25 S&DCA players attended, of whom 21 had a voting right either for their club or as an officer.

4 clubs, SASCA, University, Rotherham and Sheffield Deaf, were not represented.

Quite a number of issues were raised and not clearly resolved on the night, but the proposal was passed unanimously (21 for/0 against), that S&DCA send league and cup match results to ECF for grading.

Concerns included: 

  • whether this meant we were "joining" ECF
  • who would pass results to ECF
  • would we use the ECF's League Management System (for match results and league tables) and who would enter the results
  • whether there could be a separate section of Sheffield Chess (similar to the 400 league) where club players who didn't want to join/pay ECF could continue to play match chess
  • how would we cope with the interim period, during which some players had to achieve enough results to get an ECF-calculated grade?
Several speakers re-emphasised that ECF is a much improved organisation doing far more these days for ordinary players, so it's important to recognise that membership fees we would be paying are not simply sucked into a black hole for the luxury of a few, a perception of the past.


General Secretary Dave Latham has now contacted ECF to inform them of our wish, resolve some of the above questions and discuss the implementation of the decision, and hopefully these and other matters will be clarified in the coming days.

Dave also emphasises: If you are new to ECF and plan to join in readiness for the 2018-19 season, don't rush!! At the moment the ECF website only allows you to join for the current year Sept 2017- Aug 18, which is rather pointless as you will be paying £16 for very few benefits. Wait until at least August when the system will be set up for you to join for the 2018-19 season. In fact you don't have to join before September; any time over the winter season will do, but joining in Aug/Sept will mean you receive all the ECF newsletters, etc. your membership entitles you to.

The ECF May Newsletter includes an article on "What the ECF does" with our membership fees


Some considerations (courtesy of Steve Mann):

Cost Implications: This has cost implications in that at the end of the grading season the ECF would charge to the S&DCA a sum fixed annually (currently £16) for each player who has more than three games included, but was not (by the end of the season) a member of the ECF at Bronze level or above. The present cost per person of Bronze ECF membership is £16.

Such fees charged by the ECF to the S&DCA would then be charged to the member clubs concerned.
Thus S&DCA league players would need to be ECF members, or else the S&DCA would pass on to their clubs the fee (currently £16) charged by the ECF to the S&DCA per such non-member.
Operational Considerations: Whereas league secretaries currently enter results into “Chessnuts” (which will cease to produce “Yorkshire” grades after June 2018), they would enter their results in a similar manner into the ECF’s similar web-based “League Management System” (LMS), which provides the same kind of on-line result reporting as “Chessnuts”.
The LMS provides for generation of the half-yearly ECF grading-data submissions, which would then be signed off and submitted to the ECF by an ECF Grader such as Phill Beckett or Steve Mann.

Some relevant information can be found on the ECF website at:

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