Digital Clocks


FAQ Brochures

  The following are brochures prepared by the club's TD's to program clock's for specific time controls.
  Link Programming Digital Clocks for MCC Time Controls 2015-01-30

Introduction by Harvey Reed, Editor and Marketing Director, 2003 -

  This page on digital clocks ties together excellent resources from:
    Michael Atkins National TD
    Carol Jarecki National TD, and International Arbiter with FIDE
    Mark Kaprielian Local TD, also President MetroWest Chess Club, 1995 -
    James Krycka, Program Director for Monthly Tournaments, MetroWest Chess Club, 2003-
  Link The material from Atkins and Jarecki originally appeared in the Arlington CC website. Michael Atkins gave permission for MCC to copy with attribution in an email to Harvey Reed dated April 1, 2003.

Overview by Michael Atkins

Digital Chess Clocks have been around for at least 15 years. The original models, like any new product, were an interesting blend of exciting innovation and buggy & featureless technology. They have been getting better and for the past few years, a digital clock with time delay mode has been the preferred clock in USCF tournament play. It is the delay feature which is useful in that it allows claims of insufficient losing chances to be proven on the board.
  Tournament Directors are not always masters of the game and asking them to adjudicate many endgame positions is like asking them to hit as many home runs as Mark Maguire. One option available to a director in an insufficient losing chances claim is to place a time delay clock on the board, with the claimant having 1/2 his/her remaining time up to 1 minute (read maximum - 1 minute) with a 5 second delay and the opponent having all his/her time plus the delay. Assuming the game is really a draw, with a 5 second delay, it can be proven on the board.
  Recently, there has been some controversy about the nature of the insufficient losing chances claim - is it good for only one move or is it a standing offer of a draw where a draw is the best result the claimant can get, even if the opponent hangs pieces or gets mated. The USCF website and digital clock pamphlet had this interpretation and it was confusing to both player and TD. Here is an example of the confusion - player A makes an insufficient losing chances claim and during the continuation of the game, player B either gets mated or loses material (when A would normally win) or Player A's flag falls - the recent interpretation of standing draw offer meant that Player A could not win the game, that a draw was the best result because of the claim and that the TD could still call the game a draw after the flags had fallen.There is a brand new USCF Rules Committee decision has been made and this is the decision: (4/99) 
     " Claiming ILC is also considered a draw offer. The TD should so advise the opponent. It is the same as any other draw offer--good for that move only. If the opponent chooses to play on he may win, lose or draw, but cannot say a few moves later, "I'll take that draw now". He may offer a draw, of course, but the draw "offer" that automatically came with the original claim is no longer valid. Especially since this now contradicts the USCF's leaflet, "Clock Rules", it is strongly advised that the TD explain this to both players"
 All TDs and players must be aware of the fact that the "delay" or "incremental" time allotment that can be set into the Bronstein or Fischer time controls when in the manual mode can be set differently for each of the two players. It is possible, for instance, to have white getting 5 seconds and black only 3 seconds if programming is done carelessly.
  One of the problems with digital clocks is how to set them! Few TDs know how to set every brand of digital clock and more than a few players do not know how to set their own clock!! Know your own equipment - why buy new equipment and then ask a TD to set it for you? Below are some explanations for each clock, recently sent to me by NTD Carol Jarecki, chair of the USCF Rules Committee....
The following guidelines and remarks are not meant as recommendations or criticisms of any of the clocks described. They are being presented as assistance for TDs who are faced with the challenge of having to adjust various digital clocks during tournaments, and as a few helpful tips on some possible idiosyncrasies.

Clocks which do not have a USCF-type time delay

Those clocks that do not have a USCF-type of time delay offer the Bronstein mode as an alternative method. In both cases, additional time is allowed per move, without time accumulating. The only difference is that the USCF method prevents loss of a specific, pre-set, amount of time at the beginning of each move while the Bronstein gives it back at the end of the move. In neither case can a player end a game with more time than at the beginning, no matter how fast the moves are played.

The Fischer mode and the DGT Tournament mode are not substitutions and may not be used in games under USCF time-delay rules. They are not compatible with the delay or Bronstein since, in both cases, a pre-set amount of time is added for each move, regardless of how much thinking time has been used, and time can accumulate and possibly exceed the original time control.


USCF-type time delay clocks


USCF GameTime


Duel Timer


Precision (no info)