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Chess Clocks

chess clock vintage, Chess Timer

Chess - Antique Chess Clocks


Clocks are used to control the amount of time that each player uses during the game of chess. Over a Hundered years ago players used to play without a clock and there was no time limit on each players move. In the mid-1800s, about the same time that Jaques invented the Staunton Chessmen they started using  hourglasses to time each player during a game. Soon after mechanical clocks were introduced that were manually connected so that only one chess clock mechanism can run at a time.

Chess and Time Keeping
The Purpose of a clock is to give each player an amount of time to play there moves.
if the Players agree to play a Quick game the set time limit is normally 30-60 minutes per player per game. Tournament games are much longer and can last many hours. 
There is not a time limit per move in the game of chess that is played - instead players must carefully distribute their time through out the game. Time is counted down when the chess clock button is pressed until eventually the time may run out.
Each player has their own amount of time during the game. This time decreases while it is their turn to move. The game must ends if either player runs out of time, is checkmated, there is a draw, or if a player resigns.


A clock has two separate timers - one for each player of the Game. Only one clock counts down at a time. Each Chess player also has a button on their side of the clock that they press when they are done with their turn. When a player pushes their button it stops their time and starts their playing partners time. At the beginning of the game the player one player sets the time for both players with buttons in the neutral position so no time is running. Then the player with the black pieces presses their button to start the other players timer. Then, once the player with the white pieces has made their move, they press their button and the other players clock starts to run. That happens over and over until the game is finished.