A Plea from the English Chess Federation

Apologies to those of you who have already seen this, but I thought it was worth passing along. Towards the end of September, I received the message below from Mike Truran, Chief Executive of the English Chess Federation. To support their ongoing activities, the ECF are asking all previous members to consider renewing their ECF membership despite the current lack of over the board chess.

If you can’t see your way to renewing at your current membership level, you might want to consider a lower level of membership. There is a special “ECF Supporter” category, costing just £10, which is sufficient for having eligible online games count towards your online ECF rating.

I am writing to you to ask for your help in the ECF’s hour of need.

Our sincere thanks go to all our members who have shown such faith in the ECF by renewing their memberships even though over the board chess has ‘hit the buffers’ for the time being; the Board is immensely grateful to them. Renewal of membership fees is vital for ensuring the continuation of the ECF’s work both online and over the board. Like many sports and leisure organisations we have taken an enormous hit over the past six months, and we need members’ help to continue providing online and over the board services now and in the future.

Despite members’ best efforts so far, however, around 55% of members have not renewed yet. We will face serious financial difficulties and potential damage to our infrastructure if the current crisis extends too far into 2021 without sufficient membership income to sustain a cost base that we have already stripped back as far as we feel able.

The help I’m asking for comes in two parts:

1. Please share this message about the ECF’s position with your club members and ask those members who have not yet renewed their memberships to do so if at all possible, recognising of course that many people are facing financial difficulties in these unprecedented times. We believe it is vital that the ECF’s core infrastructure is protected so that when the Covid-19 pandemic abates the ECF will emerge all the stronger.

2. Please remind club members that the ECF is about much more than just providing a grade. The various benefits of ECF membership can be found here at, and club members can get a good idea of what the ECF does here at

Renewal is a very simple process using this link –

Wishing you all a safe and healthy autumn and beyond.

Kind regards

Mike Truran
Chief Executive, English Chess Federation

One thought on “A Plea from the English Chess Federation
  1. Everyone who has lost, or has reduced, earnings during the Coronavirus pandemic surely warrants sympathy. However, the 45% income retention rate looks relatively healthy in the circumstances, given that many, many chess-players are using this period to take a sabbatical from the game.

    Certainly, I would hope that those participating in online tournaments continue to support the ECF. (Indeed, for those taking part in, for example, the 4NCL Online or ECF Online County Championships this is mandatory.)

    Those resting their chess-boots may require a little more by way of persuasion as to what the ECF is doing for them right now.

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