Chess Clocks and Game Records

 

Clocks

 

Sometimes we will use chess clocks for our games. These chess clocks are precision instruments. They are also expensive (more than $40 per clock). It is very important to take good care of them. They are not to be removed from the library for any informal games outside regular supervised Chess Club sessions. Members may be dismissed from the Club if they abuse these clock rules. The clocks have been pre-set for fifteen minutes per side for each game, and each member should learn to reset a clock to 15'00" >|| 15'00" or to the actual time remaining for a resumed game. With the clock, each player has to play at a reasonable pace to finish a game before her timer runs down, e.g. fifteen minutes. With that setting, each player has only 15 minutes during the game when it is his turn. Thus, the game cannot last more than 30 minutes. If either player's timer runs down to zero, a black flag flashes next to her 0.00 'time left' indicator. She loses the game (even if she has almost won).

 

To turn the clock on and prepare it for play:

 

Setting the clock to 15:00 >|| 15:00

 

First, press the on/off button on the bottom of the clock. It will display '02' with a blinking '2'. If it does not and you are not able to set it to '02' take the clock to the Chess Instructor or to a member who can teach you to reset it.

 

Next, hold the right-hand button on the front of the clock (the one with the check mark) for five seconds or so. The clock will show '15.00 >|| 15.00', confirming that each side has 15 minutes to play. If not, take the clock to a Chess Instructor or to a Chess Club member who can show you how to reset it.

 

Next, set the clock on the side of the chessboard that Black chooses (Black always gets to decide which side of the board to put the clock on). The clock needs to be centered between ranks 4 and 5 so that each player has equal access. Depress Black's paddle to make sure that White's paddle is up and that the white and black king icons show correctly. Then, to start the game, Black presses the center button and quietly announces, "Start". During the game, if play has to be suspended, e.g., because the Instructor interrupts play, etc., whoever has the move can stop the clock by pressing the center red button. When play resumes, whoever does not have the move presses the center button and announces, "Continue play".

 

Setting the clock to times remaining.

 

If you are resuming a game, or if the clock is not set for 15:00 >|| 15:00 - we will probably need to devote a few Chess Club sessions to learning how to set the clock for various situations.

 

The game officially begins when Black starts White's clock by pressing the middle red button on the front of the clock. If White's timer doesn't start running down, White should take the clock to a Chess Instructor to reset it.

 

The official USCF rule regarding the documentation of games is that a player may stop recording moves for the rest of the time control if the opponent has less than five minutes remaining. If the time control has an increment of at least 30 seconds per move, both players are required to record moves at all times. However, in Chess Club, all moves shall be announced and recorded by both players until the game ends. For Chess Club games, move 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 and record those moves before starting White's timer.

 

Game Records

 

For learning purposes, all players need to remind each other to record all moves for both sides. It is appropriate to announce each move quietly in AN to help each other. This is difficult to remember at first, but it will become almost as easy as breathing after a few games. Here's a suggested sequence to practice:

 

   1. Record your opponent's move as soon as she makes it.

 

   2. Analyze her move. Then make your move and announce it in AN.

 

   3. Finally, press your paddle, and record your move.

 

At first, you will feel that all of this 'extra work' slows you down, but remember that your opponent also has to write down her moves (and yours), so it's fair for both sides. In fact, it helps you discipline yourself. You will begin to think more clearly about each move instead of moving before you analyze. That will help you win more games in fewer moves. So writing your moves probably makes games go faster. An additional advantage is that you can now replay any game and analyze your mistakes (and your opponent's mistakes).

 

If you have not completed the game by end of a Chess Club session, stop the clock and write the game's FEN string on your AN Form, along with the remaining clock times, so that you can continue with the game at the next session.

 

At the end of the game, each player is required to turn in his AN Form (if there are no empty games remainig on the form), and White should fill out a DB Form before starting another game (preferably with a new opponent). Always turn the clock off for storage before putting it back into the storage box at the end of each session.