About the Clock

I bought the DGT North American Chess Clock from Wholesale Chess. Side note: Wholesale Chess is great.

I saw this clock recommended in a number of places. It can do pretty much all the time controls I’ll ever need. That said, the manual and setup is confusing. I’m writing this just so I don’t forget how to do it.

If there are more than 20 minutes remaining, the clock will show hours and minutes. If it is less than 20 minutes it shows minutes and seconds.

Time + Increment

The big tournament I played in so far had pretty simple time controls. It had a fixed amount of time to start (90 minutes), and then you get an increment for each move (30 seconds).

On my clock this is:

14 One Time Control with Bonus time per move (“Fischer”)

The manual calls it:

5c. Bonus (“Fischer”) Single Time Control

Setting the Clock

Turn on the clock and go to mode 14:

Mode 14

Next set the starting time in hours and minutes. In this case it was 30 minutes.

Start Time Minutes

Here is the tricky part (at least for me). Do not set the bonus time here, even though it says “bonus” on the screen. This step is for setting the seconds for the initial time. If your starting time was something like 2 minutes and 30 seconds, then you would put 2 on that screen above for minutes, and 30 on this screen for the seconds.

Start Time Seconds

After you set the starting time (30 minutes) and initial bonus time (0 seconds) for both players, then you will set the increment. For this case it is 5 seconds:

Second Bonus

Now you should be ready to play.

It is interesting to note that the start time includes the first bonus. So in my case it is really 30 minutes 5 seconds to start. The clock only displays 30 minutes however since if doesn’t show seconds (see my note above). If the increment was 1 minute, then the starting time would show as 31 minutes.

Time + Delay

I’ve also played in some games that have a set time (30 minutes) and a delay (5 seconds). The difference here is that you can never get extra time. The clock just gives you the delay before it starts counting down. If you make your move before the delay is up, you do not get extra time added to your clock like you would with an increment.

Setting the clock is similar to Time+Increment above. I use

20 One Time Control with Delay

On the clock, options 17-20 all say they are “One Time Control with Delay.” However, it seems that some of the options are just preset times:

  • 17: 5 minute + 2 second delay
  • 18: 25 minute + 5 second delay
  • 19: 2 hour + 5 second delay
  • 20: Customizeable

Follow the steps for the Time+Increment above. Remember that you do not set the delay until the end, not right after when you set the hours and minutes. That second screen is for seconds. You have to set both player’s time before you set the delay.

Other Time Controls?

Want me to explain any other time controls? Just ask me on twitter and I’ll add it here.