Sure, you can play chess online all day long with random avatars from around the world—and sit there seething when your opponent leaves the clock running instead of resigning like a good sport. Why not play more games in person? To achieve precision gaming and chase your dream of reaching Grandmaster level “over the board,” all you need is a proper chess clock. Here are three great options for time-stopping moves that may lead you to a checkmate.
No do-overs. Amazon
You can customize the time allotted for moves with this clock, as well set incremental time increases such as the Fischer bonus. Common game controls are preset for easy activation, and the display contrast can be adjusted for maximum visibility in bright light or dim club rooms. This clock is great for dedicated U.S. players but is more limited for international play styles: For example, you can’t use it for Japanese Byo-yomi time control or the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) Bronstein delay. Make your move, press down the white lever, and hope your opponent doesn’t notice the trap you’ve set with your queen.
Wind up your opponent. Amazon
For serious tournament players, a mechanical chess clock is not going to be your only clock, as you can’t use it for bonus increments or delays. You can, however, work it into Blitz chess games, and appreciate its unique aesthetic even if you only play a few times a year. Wind each clock up by hand before your game, set them to the maximum minutes for each player, and begin. Every time you make a move and press the button, your clock will stop and your opponent’s will start running. A special red flag indicator on this model helps you manage your last minute of play before dropping to signal game over.
For people who want to be the next Judit Polgár or Bobby Fischer. Amazon
If you’re a regular at your local chess club or playing tournaments, this digital chess clock is one of the best on the market. With eight tournament presets, four presets for Blitz games, and the ability to program any time delay or bonus increment, you can explore the full range of what game play means in the chess world. It’s also made out of sturdy metal to withstand years of frustrations and triumphs.