Any serious player of chess requires having a reliable and durable chess clock. Nowadays, there are lots of online tools that claim to serve the same purpose. However, these applications would not cut the demand of the best chess clocks. As you know, there is definitely something aesthetic about a physical and stalwart clock by your side that counts off every second.
The universe of chess clocks is a varied and huge one. In the market, you will find analog mechanical clocks, analog clocks, and digital clocks. In terms of functionality, digital clocks are the best due to their convenient features and preset time controls. These chess clocks are best for serious and recreational chess players. Also, they are even good for grave chess learners. So, let’s know more about the best chess clocks further below!
- 1 What Is A Chess Clock?
- 2 History of The Chess Clock
- 3 Rules of Chess Clock
- 4 Why Buy A Chess Clock?
- 5 Top 8 Best Chess Clocks Reviews
- 5.1 1. DGT North American Chess Clock and Game Timer
- 5.2 2. ZMF-II Chess Clock - Black with Green LED
- 5.3 3. Robolife Professional LEAP PQ9907S Digital Chess Clock
- 5.4 4. US Chess Federation Chronos GX Digital Game Chess Clock –Touch
- 5.5 5. LEAP Chess Clock Digital Chess Timer for Board Games Timer
- 5.6 6. Wholesale Chess Basic Digital Chess Clock & Game Timer
- 5.7 7. CkeyiN Chess Clock, Professional Multifunctional Digital Chess Clock
- 5.8 8. Chronos GX Digital Game Chess Clock
- 6 What Are The Different Kinds of Chess Clocks?
- 7 How To Choose The Best Chess Clock?
- 8 How To Use A Chess Clock?
- 9 Conclusion
What Is A Chess Clock?
A chess set along with a great chess clock represents the major equipment of chess players. In board games like checkers, backgammon, or chess, players use a chess clock in order to keep a track of time every player spends throughout the game.
If you go for a competitive chess game, it is more likely that you need a chess clock to mange your game. A chess clock comprises of two clocks that are adjoined together. When a clock stops to work, the other one starts the same instant. Today, the chess clock that we use can be digital or analog.
History of The Chess Clock
In the times gone, chess players often located themselves in a challenge with their own resilience rather than intelligence as chess matches dragged inexorably for hours and days. Before the 19th century, there was no limit on how long a chess match can go on or how much time a player can take to contemplate his move.
Generally, a single player used to take several hours in order to complete. Sometimes, a draw was achieved when the game went on for days. Due to these reasons, there came the first suggestion of chess clocks in the mid-1800s. It was not practical to allow single chess matches to go up to 9 hours due to time-constricted and competitive nature of events.
In 1861, the first chess clock made of a regular set of sandglass came into play. At that time, chess clocks were becoming consistent. Here, the players had the option of selecting between makeshift chess clocks and sandglass timers. In 1883, the first-ever mechanical chess clock was introduced. It was known as the tumbling chess clock, where two pendulum clocks were placed together along a beam.
By this time, it became a rule that the player who runs out of time should lose the game. Prior to that, players were just fined for exceeding the time limit. Analog clocks appeared around the early 1900s. These chess clocks even included a flag that showed when you run out of time. Electronic chess clocks made their way in 1964 while digital chess clocks in 1973.
Now, all major chess tournaments employ digital clocks with the aim of increment control and time delay. So, that’s how chess clocks came into being!
Rules of Chess Clock
There are certain rules that you have to keep in mind while using a chess clock. So, let’s know about these interesting rules below!
- Always keep in mind to press the clock after making a move.
- Only the referee or player can claim the fact that the flag has dropped.
- Usually, a chess clock is set to the right part of the black chess pieces.
- Do not forget to ensure whether your rival has lost on time. This is the responsibility of the player to look after.
- At all times, tap the clock with the same hand that you used for moving the piece.
- Never hover a finger around or keep it on the clock button as this action is against the rules.
- Never pick up the clock or thump it by force. It leads you to forfeit the game.
- Please ensure the time limit before you begin to play the game.
- Keep score watchfully so as to know when you actually reach the time control.
Why Buy A Chess Clock?
As you all know, there is a huge difference between playing a chess game for fun and playing under time pressure. Without a chess clock, you can take as much time as you want to think about your next time. Having said that, there is a third opponent that we all face while playing a game of chess is the time pressure. No matter you are a beginner or master, everyone becomes fully conscious of the tickling of the clock.
It is really difficult to make out how much concentration you need to contribute to clock management. However, it has become a vital part of the chess game, where you need to treat it as your real enemy. Chess clocks are really important not just for playing a game with your friend but even for effectual chess training. In this way, you will turn out a better player soon.
The difference in playing strength and skill between competitors is determined by the potential decisions and performance level that each player boasts. In addition to this, it is even significant that how much time a player requires to make a decision and to reach that level.
As there is a limited time in tournaments, players have to go through pressure from time to time while practicing their games at home. It even stimulates tournament situations. For instance, you can put up a tricky chess puzzle and offer just 15 minutes to reach a distinct decision regarding your next move.
In this way, you can effectively drive out your weaknesses and strengths. So, chess clocks are indispensable tools for your chess practices if you like a bit exciting competition. As you know better, accumulating serious gaming experience is entirely necessary for enhancing your skills.
Top 8 Best Chess Clocks Reviews
DGT chess clocks are one of the best chess clocks due to their affordability. This chess clock is inexpensive, durable, and reliable. DGT chess clocks offer high-quality features, which are appreciated even by the most demanding chess players.
DGT North American chess clocks came out in the U.S. market along with cooperation from the United States Chess Federation. Later on, it was released for the global market. It features lots of options based on the FIDE rules except the option “Delay”. The particular “Delay” option was based to suit US custom and hence, different from the FIDE clocks.
This chess clock is really simple to operate and lightweight. It comprises of various time controls that are based as per the US and Canada standards. DGT clocks come with soft levers along with a low-battery signal.
- 16 Contrast Settings
- Quick-set Options
- Large Display
- Easy-to-press Levers
Zmart Chess Clock is a well-known clock among both serious and recreational chess players. It packs enough control aspects that are adequate for chess learners and hobbyists. This chess clock comes with programmable tournament time controls and other general time settings.
The ZMF-II chess clock comes with stainless steel touch buttons with rugged build. The battery of this chess clock is quite big and thus, makes this clock a bit heavy.
Additionally, Zmart chess clock provides three slots for counter move options, customized settings, and typical increments and delays. This clock even hosts added timing modes for games like jenga chess, shogi, scrabble, etc. Zmart clock comes with a low-profile design, lightweight body, and extra stability. Moreover, its touch sensors and LED display make it an ideal choice.
- Made of Plastic
- Manufactured by Zmart (USA)
- Digital Clock Type
- Touch Buttons
This chess clock from RoboLife comes with both bonus and delay time function. RoboLife chess clock is a pre-settable countdown and count-up timer. The battery of this chess clock lasts up to 10 hours on a maximum. So, you will finish up your chess game without worrying about the battery status.
The chess clock restores the last game settings when it switches ON. It is a portable and lightweight, which makes it convenient for carrying here and there. It even comes with an alarm function that buzzes when the chess match is about to over. Here, you can turn this feature ON or OFF. Lastly, it is a durable and environmental-friendly chess clock. Go for this Robolife Professional chess clock!
- Countdown and Count-Up Timer
- Manufactured by RoboLife US
- Made of electronic elements +ABS shell
- Easy to Use
The US Chess Federation manufactures some of the best chess clocks. This chess clock is a digital type and offers a touch feature. These clocks are manufactured with unmatched durability and reliability. That’s the reason you see lots of Chronos clocks at serious chess tournaments and clubs.
The best thing about the U.S. Chess Federation Chronos GX Digital game chess clock is that it comes in lots of different colors. It is available in colors like black, blue, yellow, white, and red. So, choose this chess clock in your favorite color.
This chess clock comes with a simplified user-interface. However, it does not offer a lot of features. But, all that it offers are adequate for practitioners and beginners. It features 8 tournament controls and 4 preset timers. If you like, you can even buy this chess clock with a carrying bag.
- Digital Clock Type
- Manufactured by US Chess Federation
- Touch Clock Buttons
- Come in Different Colors
It is a perfect game timer for lots of board games. This chess clock comes with an alarm feature that can be turned OFF. It offers the features of both countdown and count-up timer. The battery of this chess clock lasts for 10 hours on a maximum.
The chess clock from LEAP is made with ABS shell and electronic elements. Thus, it is a reliable and environment-friendly product. It features delay and bonus functions, which are really simple to set. So, go for this lightweight timer for a wonderful game of chess.
- Manufactured by LEAP
- Constructed with ABS shell and electronic components
- Delay and Bonus Functions
- Lightweight and Durable
Wholesale chess is a great budget clock. It is a reliable timer that is really simple to use and program. This chess clock comes with both countdown and count-up options. In addition to that, Wholesale Chess digital chess clock features both bonus and delay increment options.
This chess clock even offers an audible alarm function that buzz when the time expires. You can turn this feature ON or OFF. The Wholesale Chess Clock supports only one kind of time control in a game.
- Manufactured by Wholesale Chess
- Digital Clock Type
- Made of Plastic
- 1-Year Warranty
CkeyiN chess clock is nothing but a simple timer. It is lightweight and durable. One can easily pause and reset this chess clock. This chess clock even serves as a pre-settable, countdown timer, count-up timer for games like chess. The battery of this chess clock lasts up to 10 hours.
CkeyiN Chess Clock supports enough large digits that can be read without using glasses. It comes with an alarm function. So, you can go with this chess clock for playing or practicing chess at home.
- Made of electronic elements +ABS shell
- Manufactured by CkeyiN
- Inexpensive as compared to other choices
- 1-Year Money Back Guarantee
Chronos is one of the most popular names for the best chess clocks. It is also manufactured by the US Chess Federation. The main difference between the previous product and this one is that this chess clock offers buttons.
Chronos GX is the latest chess clock from the company. It features various delay and increment modes. The clock comes with 4 blitz timings, 8 preset tournament controls, and several customizable options. It is available in five colors while providing touch sensors and push buttons for ease.
- Made of Steel
- Manufactured by Chronos (USA)
- 8 Preset Controls
- Push Buttons & Touch Sensors
What Are The Different Kinds of Chess Clocks?
When it comes to a chess clock, there are lots of varieties available. A game of chess makes use of diverse kinds of chess clocks. These varieties include modern, analog, digital, and tournament variants. Below, read these different kinds in brief detail.
These mechanical chess clocks were immensely popular before the digital versions. In these clocks, the assigned time for the entire game is adjusted by the hand positions. For instance, for a reflection time of about 30 minutes, they are set to six to thirty.
Some minutes prior to the conclusion of the fixed time, these clocks hoist a small flag. The falling of this flag signifies that the person has run out of time. You can easily find these kinds of clocks in offline or online shops.
On the other hand, digital chess clocks can be pointed to the nearest second. In these clocks, various aspects are pre-scheduled. Here, you can even increment the time. These digital units enable the use of unique cadences.
Modern chess clocks allow players to enjoy the expediency of a handy unit. It helps the players to stay focused on their game. These chess variants are more advanced and really simple to operate. These clocks come with typical features like sound notifications, pause/resume ability, and attractive interface.
Antique chess clocks are the classic models that remain the staple all the time. These clocks offer numerous key advantages like universal recognition, precision, compact design, and durability. Most of the players go with this chess clock so as to experience the archetypal wind-up function.
Tournament clocks help in to measure the reflection period available to both players. These clocks have undergone a lot of changes over all these years. The amendments were based on the rules related to the reflection time. A tournament clock made its first appearance in the London tournament in 1883, where it took place of the challenged and uncomfortable hourglasses.
How To Choose The Best Chess Clock?
When it comes to selecting the best chess clocks, you have to bear some features in mind. These features include:
While buying a chess clock, you have to take into consideration the clock material. Check the material of chess clock whether it’s made with plastic, metal, or wood. Only then, you can decide on the expected longevity of a chess clock!
Definitely, you will like a chess clock that offers an easy-to-press button. A chess clock with poorly crafted or difficult to reach buttons can waste valuable time during your chess matches.
Type of Clock
The kind of chess clocks you go with makes a huge difference in aesthetics, functionality, and readability. Here, you have to need which style will work great for you.
If you are thinking of buying a chess clock from an unfamiliar brand, carry thorough research. Make sure that the company manufactures high-quality products. In the same way, you need to ensure that the new product from established brands offers positive reviews before you settle to buy it.
Another important decision that you need to make is whether you want the chess clock for your home or for travel. Probably, you would not like to carry an expensive analog clock with you while you are traveling. Also, high-ended chess clocks are best suited to put at home. Meanwhile, portable chess clocks do not look too much beautiful. So, it is best to buy both the chess clocks if you like.
Nowadays, this function is becoming very popular in chess clocks. Most of the tournaments in the United States and other countries use this function. So, do not forget to look for this feature in the digital chess clock you are settling on.
Last but not least; price plays a vital role in deciding on the best chess clock for you. So, look for a chess clock that features good abilities and fits your budget. It might be difficult to find the best chess clock for people with tight budgets but not impossible!
How To Use A Chess Clock?
In order to use a chess clock, you have to bear some points in mind. Still, it is not much difficult to use a chess clock. In a chess game, a chess clock is kept at the playing board side. When a player is done with his move, he immediately stops his chess clock and starts the clock of his opponent the same instant. The clock countdowns the time each player has to complete their moves prior to getting closer to the time edge.
In the starting of the game, players with the white pieces start their clock. If the minute hand points towards 12, a flag drops down. At the same time, the other clock starts to push up the flag. If the player does not make some particular moves on falling of the flag, he lost the same instant. However, the game is drawn if the opponent owns inadequate moves to checkmate.
So, all you need to do is to press the button on your side of the chess clock to stop the timer. Also, this will simultaneously start the timer of your opponent. After every move, you have to press the clock button. At first, it looks tedious but soon, you will master the skill and perform it rapidly and smoothly.
Today, you will come across hundreds of chess clocks in the market. Therefore, you can find a chess clock without much difficulty. However, getting the best chess clock is quite a different task. That’s the reason we have come up with some of the best chess clocks out there. You can go with any of these clocks to enjoy a great game of chess. So, wait no more and buy a chess clock for yourself!