The Chess Clock Corner: A Comprehensive Guide to Chess Clocks

Find the perfect chess clock for home and tournament play

Chess clocks are a pair of clocks used to time the moves of two players in a game of chess. They are an essential part of the game, adding excitement to every move and ensuring each game does not get unnecessarily prolonged.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about chess clocks: from choosing the best options to knowing how to operate them.

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Best Chess Clocks For Casual Play

Casual play requires a clock that is practical, durable, and reliable. The clock should be made with quality construction so it won’t break if it drops on the ground. It should work perfectly every time you turn it on. And it should last a long time so you don’t have to buy another one every month or so.

Cheapest Chess Clocks

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, there are plenty of options available.

Best Chess Clocks For Tournament Play

When it comes to tournament play, the clock should be easy to use, accurate, and reliable. It should have a clear display, easy-to-use buttons, and a durable construction.

What Are Chess Clocks?

A chess clock is a pair of clocks, one for each player. When a player makes a move, they press a button on their side of the clock, which stops their timer and starts the opponent’s timer. This ensures that each player has an equal amount of time to make their moves. 

Chess clocks can be either digital or analog, with digital clocks being the preferred option in major chess tournaments due to their accuracy.

Digital clocks are easier to operate and offer more functions than analog clocks. They can add extra time to the timer for each move that you make, and they act as a countdown timer. When either timer hits 0, there will be an audible or visual alert, indicating that the game is over.

Analog clocks, on the other hand, consist of two independently operating clocks with a 12-hour clock face. They are wind-up clocks, meaning that they do not need a battery to operate, but you will need to wind up each clock before you start your game. 

Before you start playing, you will have to set the required amount of time on each clock. Traditionally, the time should expire when the clock hits 6:00. So if you want to play a game with a time limit of one hour, then the clocks will need to be set to 5:30. If you want a two-hour game, then the clocks will need to be set to 5:00.

Whether you’re a casual player, a tournament enthusiast, or someone looking for an affordable option, there are many chess clocks available to suit your needs.

What to Look Out For in a Chess Clock

Here are some features that you should consider when choosing a chess clock.


Easy-to-read and clear display

A chess clock should have a display that is easy to read and understand, allowing both players to easily monitor the remaining time. Digital clocks are generally easier to read than analog clocks.


Different time control modes

A good chess clock should have capabilities for different time control modes, such as classical, blitz, and increment time controls. This allows players to choose the time control that best suits their playing style.


Bonus features

Some chess clocks come with bonus features like delay settings, move counters, and the ability to pause or adjust time during the game. These features can be useful for players who want more control over their games.


Compatibility with chess software or board

If you plan on using your chess clock with chess software or a DGT board, make sure that it is compatible with the software or board you plan to use.


Sound options

Some players prefer to have sound options on their chess clocks, which can help them keep track of time without having to constantly look at the clock.

Why Do You Need a Chess Clock?

Here are some reasons why you need a chess clock.

1. Enforce Time Control

Chess clocks add an exciting dimension to the game by enforcing time control. They promote strategic decision-making by ensuring that players have to make their moves within a set amount of time.

2. Ensure Fairness

Chess clocks allocate equal time to both players, preventing one player from taking an excessive amount of time. This ensures that the game is fair and that neither player has an unfair advantage.

3. Enhance Time Management Skills

Chess clocks can enhance your time management skills by teaching you to allocate time wisely and make decisions under pressure. This is an important skill that can be applied to other areas of life as well.

4. Improve Playing Speed

Using a chess clock in practice games or training sessions can help you improve your overall playing speed. By forcing you to make decisions quickly, you can learn to think more efficiently and effectively.

What to Consider When Buying a Chess Clock

When buying a chess clock, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure that you get the right one for your needs. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision

Types of Chess Clocks
There are two main types of chess clocks: analog and digital. Analog clocks are mechanical and require manual winding, while digital clocks are electronic and run on batteries. Consider which type of clock suits your preferences.
Purpose of the Chess Clock
Consider the purpose of the chess clock, whether it’s for casual play, tournament use, or personal training. Different types of clocks may be better suited for different purposes.
Ease of Use
Look for clocks that are easy to set up and operate, with intuitive controls and clear displays. This will help you avoid confusion and frustration during gameplay.
Durability and Quality
Consider the durability and quality of the clock. A well-made clock will last longer and provide more accurate timing.

Where to Buy Chess Clocks

There are different ways to get your hands on recent and new chess clocks. You can visit local stores to buy a suitable digital or analog timer.

The popular option favored by millions around the world is to buy from online retailers and chess online stores such as Amazon, Chess House, House of Staunton, New In Chess, ChessUSA, Wholesale Chess, and many others.

The good thing about most of these stores is that they offer a wide range of chess sets, boards, pieces, electronics, tables, books, and more for any occasion. They also have a unique selection of vetted products, safe packaging, worldwide shipping, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and easy returns. Getting chess materials has never been this easy!

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