Membership of the Club is open to:

(a) Natives and residents of Wanstead or Woodford

(b) Others at the discretion of the Committee.

See also the Club Constitution and Rules

Anybody interested in joining should contact Philip at or attend the Club at Wanstead House on a Tuesday night (other than the last two Tuesdays in August when the House is closed for refurbishment) and speak to the Officers present.

The Club’s membership year runs from the 1st September to 31st August.

The annual subscription for 2019-20 is a minimum of £33 for ordinary members, with reduced minimum rates of £11 applying to juniors under 14 (as at 31st August), and £16 to members aged 14 and over who are in full time education. For members who have a current year English Chess Federation (“ECF”) membership the above Club membership rates are discounted to £15, £5 and £10 respectively. The Club subscription includes Bronze membership of the ECF to avoid incurring high Game Fee penalty charges for the grading of our internal standard and rapid chess competitions as well as matches. An upgrade to Silver or higher membership for those wishing to play in congresses or support the ECF can be arranged through the Club’s Treasurer. Any member who opts out of ECF membership will not be able to participate in our standard and rapid chess competitions and matches.

The subscription is due at the start of the season and can be paid to the Treasurer Peter Nickals on a Club night, to the Club directly by bank transfer or sent to the Treasurer direct. Details for these alternative options can be found in the pre-season circular (see below).

A Board Fee for each attendance at the Club at Wanstead House of £3 for ordinary members and £1 for juniors will be collected on the night. The Club offers potential new members three free visits before Board Fee and the annual subscription become payable.

Separate termly fees apply to the Junior Chess Coaching Club (see the “Juniors” page accessible from the main menu). However, for the purposes of the Club’s team and internal competitions a junior having paid a termly attendance fee shall be deemed to be a junior member of the Club (without voting rights) for that season and at the discretion of the organiser shall be at liberty to participate in such events exempted from Board Fee.

Modest entry fees, which will be returned in prize money, are charged for the Handicap Blitz Grand Prix tournaments (£1), the Club Championship (£2.50) and the Lightning (£1), Blitz (£1) and Rapidplay (£4 including Board Fee) Championships. For events held on a club night, the Board Fee is also levied.

Out of the membership subscription, the Club pays its dues to the Essex Chess Association, the London Chess League, the North Circular Chess League and of other organisations whose events we participate in, all of which require ECF memberships to compete and pass on to their member clubs the high Game Fee charges levied by the ECF for graded games of non-members. It is to avoid these high penalty charges, which also apply to our internally run standard and rapid chess events, that the Club requires its members to be ECF members.

The Club is a “Constituent Body” of the Wanstead House Community Association (“WHCA”) and hires one or more rooms at the House at least on one night a week. The bulk of the cost of the room hire is met out of the Board Fees charged. All members of the Club are automatically enrolled as members of the WHCA as part of the Club subscription. This confers rights to use the bar and the car park and to vote at the Annual General Meeting of WHCA on matters affecting the running of the House.

Members of WHCA using the car park are requested to display their membership card in the car windscreen when parked, and to “double park” if necessary.

All Club members, visitors and guests must comply with the Fire, evacuation and health & safety requirements of the House. These together with the Club’s Health & Safety notice to members can be found on our Safeguarding page accessible from the corporate menu below. It is a House requirement for a register of attendees to be kept.

All Members of the Club and visitors are responsible for the safeguarding of others. More information about the Club’s Safeguarding Policy concerning children, young persons and adults in need can be found on our Safeguarding page.

New members and those who have elected to renew their memberships automatically are required to complete a data protection membership form. It is the responsibility of all members to ensure that their personal data held by the Club is up-to-date. The membership form can be downloaded from the Privacy Notice page accessible from the corporate menu below.

More information on how the Club, Wanstead House, the Essex Chess Association, the English Chess Federation and other organisations who run competitions we participate in process your personal data can be found on the Privacy Notice page.

For more information about where and when we meet, and our activities please visit our “What’s on” page accessible from the main menu. For an overview specific to the current season please consult the pre-season circular which can be also be found on the Privacy Notice page.

Honorary life members

In recognition of their long-standing service to the Club, the Club has bestowed honorary life membership upon: Ken Davis, Ian Hunnable, David Smith and Terry Whitton.