Timing Your Chess Games With A Chess Clock

by John Skelly

A chess clock is made up of two clocks that sit right next to each other and a button that stops one of the clocks which then triggers the other clock to start. The chess clock is rigged so that neither clock ever runs at the same time as the other. These chess clocks are used in games with two players where each player takes his own turn to move his chess pieces. The reason that a chess clock is used is to keep track of how much total time each of the players is taking to make a chess move. This makes it so that neither of the players takes too long or stalls the game.

The first time that chess clocks were widely used was in chess tournaments. The year was 1883 and the place was London. In these chess tournaments, the player with the black chess pieces was allowed to decide which side of the chess board he wants the clock to be put on.

Even though the chess clock started out in chess tournaments, its popularity quickly spread to other tournament games like Scrabble and Go, or really any two-player game of competition. The simplest control of time in chess is the "sudden death" style where the two players decide beforehand on how many chess moves each player will get in a specific amount of time or they must immediately forfeit.



Each player is allowed to take either more or less time on any given move. Some chess moves, like the ones in the beginning, are usually played more quickly because they are routine and familiar. This is a good opening strategy because it allows you more time later in the chess game to think about more difficult and complicated chess moves.



There are different types of chess clocks and the first chess clocks were analog clocks that had a flag that would fall when a player's time expired. These chess clocks used mechanical buttons which mean that when a player pressed a button on their side, the movement of the clock is physically stopped and the movement of your opponent's clock is released.

One of the downfalls to analog clocks is that they are not as accurate as digital clocks and they don't match the two clocks' time as well either. Also, a digital clock allows you to add additional time, whereas an analog does not. However, some people think that analog clocks are nicer than digital ones, and they are easier to fix if they malfunction.