Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

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benedgell
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Re: Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

Postby benedgell » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:58 pm

A few months ago Gareth very kindly lent me one of these clocks to review. Unfortunately due to time constraints on my part and the winding down of the club season, I wasn't able to find an appropriate time to test it.

Downend Chess Club in Bristol run a regular quickplay competition over the course of the summer, and so I passed along the clock to one of their members to test and review during this. Below is the review written by Jerry Humphries, Downend club member and captain of their 4ncl team.

English Chess Company

Digital Chess Timer – from £25


Chessclock.jpg
Chessclock.jpg (262.34 KiB) Viewed 465 times


This is smaller than other chess clocks and at first sight seems unpretentious yet it turns out to be a sturdy and easy to use item that is handy to store in a cupboard or take to and from matches. With a minimum of moving parts it seems destined to last well and has a well-designed box and an easily cleanable surface. The use of just one AA battery is also a convenience and cost saver that we have waited a long time for.

Setting the clock is very easy – just use the + and – keys to select a mode number, or go to Mode 99 and press the centre button. To program Mode 99 hold the centre button down and set each digit as with any other clock. However unlike other clocks, when you have set the left hand side the same timing will come up on the right hand side automatically which makes it a bit easier. The clock will remember the setting if you switch it off and on again.

If you edit one of the pre-programmed modes it will do a similar thing and store the edited setting in Mode 99.

You can add two minutes during play by pausing the clock and holding the centre button down then going through a similar process. In this case it does not copy the setting to the other clock and does not remember the new setting after it has been switched off.

I did find the pre-programmed settings arbitrary and limiting. We use two time limits – 80 mins + 10 sec per move for League chess and 10 mins + 5 sec per move for evening tournaments. Neither of these is in the list of 37 settings so we end up using none of the given settings and having to keep programming mode 99 for two different time limits. Our club’s Saitek clocks have three user modes and this should be a standard on all chess clocks.

The clock would also be more versatile if it had a Scrabble mode, which requires a penalty time counter once the player has overrun the allotted time of 25 minutes.

Overall this seems a very good clock and given the low price I would say it beats the competition hands down for events that are played to a single time limit.

E Michael White
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Re: Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

Postby E Michael White » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:28 pm

I tried out one of these clocks recently for some 5 minute games. We both knocked pieces over while going to press the clocks; probably out of about 10 games we knocked pieces over 12-15 times each. We concluded this was probably due to the button being very low off the table level. I expect players in the Bristol League moving quickly towards the end of the game may have the same trouble. Very few players and even fewer arbiters know the correct action to take when an opponent knocks pieces over and goes on to press the clock. In an English League played without arbiters and with increments the outcome will be interesting until payers get used to the reduced height.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

Postby Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

You could put the clock on top of the box, or any other suitable support. I wonder if there are rules relating to the placement and adjustment of chess clocks? Has anyone had a game where the opponent insists on the clock being right next to the board, or a long way from the board (providing there is room)? What happens when a chess clock is knocked over in a time scramble (more likely with analogue than digital clocks, though some digital clocks switch off if banged hard enough to dislodge battery contacts or otherwise disturb the internal mechanisms)? Do the same penalties apply as to when pieces are knocked over?

Ian Thompson
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Re: Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

Postby Ian Thompson » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:44 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:You could put the clock on top of the box, or any other suitable support. I wonder if there are rules relating to the placement and adjustment of chess clocks?

The arbiter decides where the clock is placed - Law 6.5. The implication of the rule is that the players shouldn't move it without the arbiter's agreement.

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:What happens when a chess clock is knocked over in a time scramble (more likely with analogue than digital clocks, though some digital clocks switch off if banged hard enough to dislodge battery contacts or otherwise disturb the internal mechanisms)? Do the same penalties apply as to when pieces are knocked over?

It's a different rule for the clock - knocking the clock over is coved by Law 6.2.4, with penalties chosen from Law 12.9. Knocking pieces over is covered by Laws 7.4.1 to 7.4.3, with no explicit statement on penalties beyond a comment that there may be one.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

Postby David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:10 pm

E Michael White wrote:Very few players and even fewer arbiters know the correct action to take when an opponent knocks pieces over and goes on to press the clock.

Off topic, but would you like to say what you consider the correct action to be?

Gareth T Ellis
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Re: Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

Postby Gareth T Ellis » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:30 pm

by E Michael White » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:28 pm

I tried out one of these clocks recently for some 5 minute games. We both knocked pieces over while going to press the clocks; probably out of about 10 games we knocked pieces over 12-15 times each. We concluded this was probably due to the button being very low off the table level. I expect players in the Bristol League moving quickly towards the end of the game may have the same trouble. Very few players and even fewer arbiters know the correct action to take when an opponent knocks pieces over and goes on to press the clock. In an English League played without arbiters and with increments the outcome will be interesting until payers get used to the reduced height.


They were used in the last part of both the Merseyside and Warrington leagues, with allegro time scrambles and no problems occurred.

Over the past few months they have been used in various tournaments and are rapidly becoming the most used type of clock in the UK.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

Postby Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:39 pm

Gareth T Ellis wrote:Over the past few months they have been used in various tournaments and are rapidly becoming the most used type of clock in the UK.


I've yet to see one. I must be going to the wrong tournaments.

Apart from the price, the DGT 2010 is very good. Being able to remember obscure league time rates from one week to the next is a desirable feature. There's also a semi-secret feature that it always counts the number of times it has been pressed. That's relevant where there's a long ending with fifty move draw possibilities at an increment of less than 30 seconds.

Gareth T Ellis
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Re: Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

Postby Gareth T Ellis » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:58 pm

Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:39 pm

Gareth T Ellis wrote:
Over the past few months they have been used in various tournaments and are rapidly becoming the most used type of clock in the UK.


I've yet to see one. I must be going to the wrong tournaments.


Tournaments that already used digitals mostly have DGT 2010, the ones with analogues are now switching and junior events which require a lot more equipment now have access to digitals with incremental timing. Schools, clubs and associations are where most of them are going.

Apart from the price, the DGT 2010 is very good. Being able to remember obscure league time rates from one week to the next is a desirable feature. There's also a semi-secret feature that it always counts the number of times it has been pressed. That's relevant where there's a long ending with fifty move draw possibilities at an increment of less than 30 seconds.


Other clocks do this as well, press the "+" or "-" for approx 3 seconds and the count appears.

Brian Towers
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Re: Digital Chess Timer £24.95 plus p&p

Postby Brian Towers » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
E Michael White wrote:Very few players and even fewer arbiters know the correct action to take when an opponent knocks pieces over and goes on to press the clock.

Off topic, but would you like to say what you consider the correct action to be?

A few years ago I was arbiting a 3+2 blitz when this occurred 2 or 3 boards from where I was standing. The opponent just happened to be a level A International Arbiter. He immediately pressed the clock again so that the player could arrange the pieces on his own time. It was 2 or 3 pieces and neither player felt it necessary to stop the clocks and call for my assistance so I didn't intervene. Gratuitously intervening to deduct the 2 seconds each player had gained would have been perverse in the extreme and highly disturbing for the players. Regarding possible penalties: this was one of those clumsy accidents where a player knocks over pieces on his way to pressing the clock and can't stop himself pressing the clock. My snap judgement was that no penalty was called for and, again, stopping the flow of the game would have been disturbing and highly unwelcome.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.


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