Instruction Manual for Chess Timer I - Digital

BUTTONS (front and top):
L./R. TIME ADJ.: to set the clock and to move to next “blinking” digit.
UP: blinking digit goes up.

DOWN: blinking digit goes down.  

SET: confirms setting shown on that LCD (clock). LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), but in this case means clock.

PAUSE: Stops/Starts clock during game.

Player's buttons on top: to start opponent's clock and to stop own clock.                              

SWITCHES (bottom):
ON/OFF-switch with Sound-option.

LED-switch with Light-option. (Mode l LED off, Mode 2 LED on) LED (Light Emitting Diode), but in this case means red light.
RESET-switch to turn off both LCDs back to zero. Use a ballpoint pen, pencil, or paper clip to press switch in RESET hole.

Instructions on how to use the Chess Timer I - Digital:

  1. Insert three AA (penlight) alkaline batteries in battery compartment (bottom) for 1,200 hours of operation. Clock can now be set (see 3) after switching clock on. Clocks should have new batteries installed before a tournament starts, and a supply of new or fully charged batteries on hand. Always remove batteries after a tournament.
  2. Turn the clock on using ON/OFF-switch on the bottom. Also select sound on/off with the same switch. There is a separate switch for options: without (mode 1) / with (mode 2) LED-indicator, i.e. to show who is “at move” during the game, although this is obvious by the decrementing clock.  Important: LED-indicator “ON” consumes much more battery power, and “sound” just a bit more. To save batteries, play WITHOUT LED or “Sound” option. Personally, you should always play with LED on because you can see who's turn to move if you get up to look at another game or sometimes you press your move button and it fails to start opponent's clock. You should see his red light come on. If this doesn't happen then tap it again, if that doesn't do it, try tapping opponents side and then your side again. It is your responsibility to stop your time and start his time! (For more details about the function of the ON/OFF-switch, please consult (6) “memory”.)
  3. Set the “default” playing time with the “SET” buttons. The two clocks are set in turn. For right LCD (= clock), press right “R.TIME ADJ.” button, then change blinking digit with either UP or DOWN until (in sequence) desired seconds, tens of seconds, minute, tens of minutes and hours have been set. To switch to next digit, press “R.TIME ADJ” once more. When the desired time is set for this LCD, complete setting by pressing “SET”.

Proceed with left LCD in the same manner. After confirming time of left clock with “SET”, you are ready to play the game. If a mistake was made, you can correct it by pressing the respective “L./R. TIME ADJ.” button once more and reset the time (see above). (For more details about recalling and changing the “default” playing time, please consult (6) “memory”.)

  1. Start the clock by pushing one of the player's buttons on the top. The other clock will start. Once the player made his move, he uses the same hand to press his player's button in order to stop his clock and start his opponent's clock.
  2. To interrupt the game, press the “Pause” button. To restart the game, press the “Pause” button once more.
  3. Special features:

a. Memory:

The programmed playing time (time-control) is stored in the memory. It is activated the first time the clock is set and it is called the “default” time.  It will be reloaded every time the clock is switched on.

There are two ways that the “default” time can be recalled:

(i)   By switching the ON/OFF - button on the bottom (a minimum of 3 seconds) to OFF and then ON again: or

(ii)  By pressing the “RESET” button 4-5 seconds. (use a pencil point, pen, or paperclip)

A new “default” time can be set by pressing the “RESET” switch firmly or (alternatively) by removing one of the batteries for 3 seconds.

This feature is ideal during school, and weekend competitions where setting of clock often is an issue due to lack of arbiters and man-power. It lets the opponents play their standard time-control “default” setting and when they finish that game they can reset the clock by simply switching the ON/OFF button without re-entering their time. If the default is a 1 hour game then it resets as (0:30:00), thirty minutes per side J.

b. In longer games, a Second (and even a Third) time-control  can be set after stopping the clock. This is done by pressing the “Pause” button.  The arbiter / referee is to be called, who will then set the new time-control, just like with traditional chess clocks (newer digitals have this program function for multiple time intervals). Write down the time left for each player, and then add the additional time for the new time-control by using the “R./L.TIME ADJ.” buttons – see above under (3).

c. The arbiter may have to give a warning or penalty during the game for various reasons.  To avoid disputes and to settle differences of opinion, please stop the clocks first by using the “Pause” button.  Then call one of the arbiters / referees without fail during the game to settle the issues. It is their job. 

ACF Tournaments are usually setup on the digital clock as 0:00:00 as (hours: minutes: seconds) 30 minutes for each side on a 1 hour game limit. 45 minutes for each side on a 1½ hour game; or 90 minutes for a 3 hour game, etc.  It looks like this on the 5 digit digital clock: (1:30:00) on each side.  If you want or require (24 moves in the 1st 45 minutes) it has to be programmed, and when the second interval (45 minutes for the rest of the 90) is added to any remainder time left on the clock.  It works like this… 22:30 minutes/seconds on both clocks when it runs out, a player's 24 moves should have been made, if not he forfeits the game. When each meets this criterion of the game then the clock is “paused” their remaining time is added to their second interval and the clock is started again. You can also “pause” the clock when 45 minutes has elapse (with 22:30 remaining on your opponent's clock) and you verify his required moves. For example, in our 11-Man WTM we require 24 moves per hour, with 24 moves required per each additional hour in addition to any unused time for the allotted 4 hour game match, as 4 games per day. This requires the referee to reset the time after each 24 move session. In the past ACF 3-Move National Master’s group have always used time clocks and time controls which require both players to make 30 moves in the 1st hour recorded by the clock and 15 moves each successive ½ hour. This time restraint is used in both GAYP and 3-Move and all Master players are required to record their games.  When each play meets their required 30 moves for the 1st hour, then (referee resets clocks) 15 minutes to each player to the end. This gives us a 3 hour round in this example without any uncertainty when all games finish on time. 

NWDF (NW Ireland) or Ireland in general plays by what’s called Swiss Time. That’s 90 minutes each for the two games (you play red 1st and white next). You have 90 minutes on your side of the clock (there are actually two clocks in one casing) and your opponent has 90 minutes on his side.  You make your move and hit your clock (this stops your side and starts his/hers... say your clock is set @10:30 when you start then you must be finished by 12:00 or you would be out of time (both clocks set the same) They are using the analogue, wind up clocks with hour and minutes hands.

Some players set clock with both games on the clock.  Say a 2 game 3 hour round.  Each has 90 minutes apiece. You should manage your time as using up, say 66% or 60 minutes for the 1st game leaving you 30 for the 2nd or you may use like… 40 minutes for 1st and 50 minutes for 2nd game just depends on however difficult the position is. Obviously, if you have a winning position but realize you can’t convert the win in your allotted time then agree to draw or call for referee to judge the draw with time on the clock, because if you zero out or run out of time you lose regardless of your position. The digital clock blinks all zeros when time runs out, and will beep if you have the sound turned on.

Whatever way it is when the FLAG falls on the mechanical (wind up) clock or a digital clock's blinking zeros or sound set to beep after your 90 minutes, then that clock is dead and you would be out of time and lose if you have not finished or you have not agreed on a result (which you can do at any time) with your opponent which is his choice either to accept or deny. If you have a winning position but realize you cannot complete the win in time, then agree or get the referee to declare a draw. This is essentially what we do without a clock when we follow TN Tournament Rules and properly use the referee.  The clock helps regulate time control by constantly reminding opponents to start and stop the time after each move. A Time Clock requires both opponents to move as efficiently as possible so no one can purposely waste time because it runs down his time when he moves slowly. The clock rewards quick decisions and penalizes slow play.   

My clocks Chess Timer I are the simple, basic digital time clock that decrements from a set time-control. We use these clocks for kids so they may see the likeness to chess as a sister game and of course, these clock can take a beating. This clock can only count down from a set default time-control. For example our 3 hour Master round at the 2015 GAYP National in Lebanon, TN would be set as a default time – control as: (0:45:00) for each side for the 1st game of the round. Assuming opponents must meet the criterion of 30 moves in the 1st hour recorded by the clock and 15 moves each successive ½ hour. You make sure 30 moves were made in his 30 minutes and you did also. You do this by observing his clock when it reads (0:15:00) there should be 30 moves recorded and your time should be a little more that this (assuming you are moving faster). It's probably good practice to pause” the clock while you make this observation. A player who doesn’t meet the move limit forfeits the game like Sudden Death. A player has 15 more minutes on his clock to make 15 more moves which is the second interval move requirement, but we are more concerned about using the remainder of time on the clock to win or ask for a draw, with time on your clock you may pause the clock and ask the referee to adjudicate the draw; however, if your time runs out first without concluding the game as a win or draw you loses, referred to as Sudden Death.” I should add that whoever fails to meet the total of 45 moves (second interval) or runs out of time also loses. Most checker games are over within 60 moves and 99% of them are over at 90 moves. The clock’s ON/OFF switch on the bottom of the clock is switched OFF, wait 4 seconds then switch it back ON. This will reset the default time-control as above for your next game. In the above yellow high light the opponents set clocks as (0:30:00) for each side for the 1st game of the round, requiring 30 moves by each player, then (referee resets clocks) 15 minutes to each player to the end. Most players feel it's better to re-set the clock for each game instead of lumping both games on the clock (45 minutes as oppose to 90 minutes).

Some of the better digital clocks like Chronos, DGT, ZMF, Saitek, or Excalibur have programmed functions which allows you to have several methods of time delay and the Fisher increment which allows you to regain time with each press of the clock or add time for each move. This constant is programmed. A popular Fisher increment function allows you to add time for example, 5 seconds for each move made, and a long-term solution to long endings so you can control the length of rounds while never needing a third-party adjudication of an unfinished position (where one player may not even know how to win it). It also stops a player from trying to run his opponent out of time when he may actually have a losing position. This Fisher increment also makes in unnecessary to count and keep up with 30 moves in the 1st hour and 15 moves each successive ½ hour, because the digital clock does this. This happens by giving more time as an incentive to move quickly and make more moves. Nearly all Master divisions tournament use time clocks to regulate the pace of play and they are being used more and more in Major, Minor, and even casual games.

If you use a DGT timer like: (North American, XL, or 3000 etc.) ACF prefers this method to divide the thinking time for the players. A 1½ hour game has 2 time controls during the game and programmed as a minimal 30 moves in the first hours, then 15 moves in the subsequent ½ hour as 15 minutes per player and end of the game. In the manual the time between two time controls is referred to as a period. When one of the players runs out of time in a period that is not the last one, then the DGT clock will show a non-blinking flag at the side of that player. The time for the next period will then be added to both sides simultaneously. The players themselves or the arbiter have to check whether the required number of moves is played. When a player at the end of the last period, or at the end of the only period, runs out of time, then the DGT clock shows a blinking flag at the side of this player. The player who ran out of time can still finish his turn by pressing the lever at his side. The time of the other player will then continue to count down. This player should claim his victory, but when he does not stop his time before it shows 0.00, the clock may show 0.00 on both sides. The blinking flag will indicate which player ran out of time first. The flag symbol originates from analog clocks. The big hand of these clocks lifts a small flag a short time before it reaches the top and then suddenly this flag will fall, indicating that all time is used up.

The clock is simply counting down until one player reaches 0 is called TIME, “Guillotine” or “Sudden Death”.  If there is only one time control, the player whose time reaches zero first has lost the game on time. In a game with more than one time control a player must have played a required number of moves before each time control. In some games, for example in checkers, it can be imagined that one of the players has an almost certain winning position in the end phase of a game. When this player has only a few seconds left, he will not have sufficient time to play the last winning moves, or to finish the game with a draw. This player is likely to lose the game due to lack of time. An arbiter may declare the game to end in a draw, if it is clear that the player who has run out of time had a winning position. Thanks to Fisher increment bonus time the modern digital clock provides a methods to finish a game with very little time left. The clock can add a certain amount of time after each move. Fischer Bonus Increment Time was named after chess world champion Bobby Fischer: “Fischer Bonus” called FISCH in this manual. In this method a certain amount of time is added after each move. If players use less time per move than the set bonus time, then the time on the clock will be higher after the player has finished the move than at the start of the move. The rules of the American Checker Federation (ACF) stipulate that with this method the clock can no longer be operated after one of the players runs out of time in the last or only period. The clock “freezes” and a blinking flag will be shown. In this method the FREEZE icon * will be shown during the complete game in the upper part of the display. FISCHER, 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes with 10 seconds bonus per move for all periods 10 seconds (bonus time) at the start. Expressed as: 30/60, 15/30 + 15s/move bonus. When a player reaches 0.00 seconds, 15 minutes are added to both sides simultaneously and a non-blinking flag will be shown on the side of this player. The players or the arbiter have to decide whether the required number of moves has been played. The number of required moves cannot be set on the DGT clock, only the count of move made are available. The minimal moves required per period is stated in the playing rules.

Some general information about Time Clocks.


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