Chess Clock, How We Use One In A The Modern G...

Chess Clock, How We Use One In A The Modern Game Of Chess
by Clive Jenkins

An increasingly popular variation on the standard 'International' chess is known as speed chess. The game involves the use of a chess clock to measure a set period of time in which each player has to make their move, and if the chess clock runs out on a player, they automatically forfeit the match. Not for the feint hearted, speed chess is only recommended for advanced players with an in-depth knowledge of the game, etiquette and strategy of chess.

Speed Chess takes its origins in standard chess, and is a more convenient way of squeezing in a game in your coffee break, or whenever you have spare moment. All you need is a standard chess board and set, a chess clock (which will have two independent clocks and the ability to singularly stop each clock as they count down) and a willing opponent. All the normal rules of chess apply, except in a few specific instances when they are overridden by new rules to regulate such speedy play.

An interesting twist on the rules of speed chess as opposed to standard International Chess rules, is that it is the players obligation to watch both his and his opponents chess clock. If the either clock runs out, the player with the active clock automatically wins, although it is up to him to call his victory, and if he fails to take notice, the game may continue until he does take notice. Having said that, the status of the clocks outweighs any positioning on the board, so even if a player would have won a standard game, if his clock runs out he forfeits. Additionally, in speed chess, if a player makes an illegal move at any stage in the game, regardless of the chess clock, he again forfeits to his opponent.

In speed chess, the chess clock may be set to either 3 or 5 minutes, although rarely other timings can be used. It is a fast-paced, entertaining game, which is both riveting and inspiring to watch, and arguably would draw more attention than an ordinary standard match. Before learning or playing speed chess as a separate entity, it is vital to master the fundamentals of standard International chess, as many of the same foundational rules apply, as well as allowing you to get a grip on the various pieces and their uses. Speed chess is only really recommended for the more accomplished player, as it demands lightening fast reactions to avoid the chess clock, although for the beginner to intermediate, it is also great fun. It is also advisable to get a full run down on the rules which can easily be located online, to avoid the potential for any disputes which may arise from this great variation on the standard game of chess.

So if you have the time, why not give speed chess a go? There's a fair chance if you go to your local chess club, someone will be game for a match, or why not try teaching a friend how to play? The best idea for improving at speed chess is practice, and in no time at all, you'll realize a startling improvement to both your speed chess and your understanding of the game as a whole.

About the Author

Clive Jenkins recommends the Chess Clock website which provides comprehensive information on all aspects of the game of Chess. To find articles,
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