The chess clock is one of the key pieces of equipment all serious chess players must own. This is the device that tracks how much time is remaining for both sides. Just like chess pieces and chess boards, the chess clock is not a device that we use and ignore. Chess players must be proud of the clock they have bought!
There are so many chess clocks to choose from! This article is not biased, so we will not tell you which one to buy, but we will point you to features that make or break someone’s decision to buy one, at the end of the day, we make our own decisions!
What is a chess clock?
Let’s make sure to clarify the important question, what actually is a chess clock? Chess clocks were made so that games don’t last forever. A clock is a tool that limits the amount of time each side can have. The “time control” can vary depending on the player’s preference or the tournament regulations. A tournament might require two hours per side. While a casual game between friends might last two minutes per side!
The chess clock is the pride of many chess players. They can come in all sorts of fancy designs, looks, etc. In this article, we will be analyzing questions you should be asking yourself when considering whether to buy the chess clock or not. Again, this is not biased for or against any type of clock, we’re trying to help you make the best decision for yourself!
How intuitive is the set-up?
How many of you would love to sit for hours looking at an instruction manual, and bang your head on the wall not knowing how to set up the clock? It’s important that the clock set-up is relatively intuitive. How do I know how intuitive the clock set-up is before I buy it? There are Youtube videos, search the type of clock, and how to set it up.
One thing to note, if I am to play devil’s advocate is that the chess clock is generally nicer the more complicated the set up is. A simple chess clock may not be of the quality you like. It’s life, so if you want to learn about the complexities of the setup, then go for it!
How does the chess clock look?
This may sound old and cliche, but the looks of the clock matters to chess players! Do you want an elaborate clock with bright color(s) that really stands out? Would you rather have something simple? Most chess players want to have something that will stand out. Or more informally, something that “looks cool”.
Some factors to deciding “how cool” the chess clock looks include the color, the shape, the size (do you prefer a larger clock or a smaller clock?), and the design of the numbers (which indicate the time). There are many more factors that should be taken into consideration.
The mechanics of the chess clock
This might sound a little bit boring. However, hear me out… the mechanics are important! How durable is the clock? Will it last you a long time of traveling to tournaments? The buttons are very important! Do they make a noise when you click them? Is the noise potentially disturbing? Is it pleasant to hit the clock? Yes, maybe we’re talking a little bit of overkill, but those details matter!
Some players may prefer a touch sensor over a button. The difference is you actually hit the button (some players take pleasure in that), while with a touch sensor, you simply touch the clock rather than hit it.
Where can I find good chess clocks?
This is a great question. You can always go to Amazon to find a good chess clock. Some other chess stores that are recommended are House of Staunton and Wholesale Chess. Both chess stores have a good selection of chess clocks and equipment in general!