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Chess Timer Help

General Timing Controls Display Settings Match Data Penalties

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Chess Pieces

Our Chess Timer / Chess Clock lets Chess Players use a tablet through desktop computer as a full-featured professional Chess Clock / Chess Timer, when playing chess face-to-face.  It's available FREE online, or as a download for a fee (details).  Features include...   

Chess Timer Features

The Chess Timer default settings makes it easy for beginning chess players to use the timer right away.  Expert chess players can invoke World Chess Federation FIDE timing features including sudden death, overtime, Bronstein delays, and Fischer delays.  Settings can be optimized for 'blitz' or 'long' chess matches, by adjusting time limits, and hiding or showing the seconds.  Learn about its accuracy.

Use mouse or keyboard keys to run Chess Timer.  Copy paste match move time data into Excel or Word.

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General Operations

The Chess Timer is designed to time a chess match when playing chess face-to-face, exactly like a mechanical or digital chess clock would.  It records the time of each player's moves, but does not record what piece is moved.  The timer shows the player's name, current time, and optionally the move count and average move time.  While the timer is running you can show and adjust the Display Settings and view the Match Data below the time display.  You can view and adjust the Timing Controls when the Chess Timer is stopped.  The main display looks like...

The current player's time is shown in color (user selectable), the other player's time in gray.  The current player's time can be displayed larger, as shown above.


The three buttons are the heart of the Chess Timer.  Each button can be selected by mouse, touch screen, or keyboard key.  The keyboard key for a button is shown below the button.  The Spacebar makes a good Switch key as it is the largest key and is easily accessible by both players.

Start / Pause / Resume -- Controls the flow of the timer.

Switch -- Switches timing from one player to the other.

End / Reset -- Ends match, and Resets timer for next match.

Under the buttons are links to panels for Timing Controls, Display Settings, Match Data and applying Penalties.  Click the link to display show or hide the panel. 

White vs Black

The Chess Timer makes no reference to white or back pieces.  Instead the sides are labeled Player 1 and Player 2, or the player names you have entered.  Traditionally the player with the white pieces starts.  You can use the Switch button to select whether player 1 or 2 starts, thus insuring the white side is the starting player.

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Timing Controls

The timing controls set the timing aspects of the chess match.  Click 'Timing Controls' link to show or hide them.  These controls are automatically saved in Cookies for you.  Panel looks like...

The timing controls are independent and can be used in combinations.  The 'Moves' and 'Give Odds' timing controls are ignored if there is no 'Time Limit' set for the game.  To disable a timing control, leave its field blank or zero.  Leaving the 'Time Limit' field blank, will cause the timer to count up from zero, thus allowing for a match with no time limit (up to 100 hours).

With the Time Delay you can not gain time.  For example, if you have a 5 second Time Delay, and you move in 3 seconds, your move time will be recorded as 0 seconds.  If you move in 7 seconds, your move time will be recorded as 2 seconds.

With the Time Increment you can gain time.  For example, if you have a 10 second Time Increment, and you move in 6 seconds, your move time will be recorded as -4 seconds (6 - 10), thus effectively giving you an extra 4 seconds in match time.  If you move in 12 seconds, your move time will be recorded as 2 seconds, and not the 12 seconds you spent during your move.

The 'Default' link resets the Timing Controls and Display Settings for the timer.

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Display Settings

The display settings adjust how the Chess Timer looks.  These settings can be changed while the timer is running or not.  Click 'Display Settings' link to show or hide the settings.  These settings are saved in Cookies for you.  Panel looks like...


Lets you enter the names of the players.  If blank, these will default to 'Player 1' and 'Player 2' throughout the game.  The 'Swap' link swaps these names quickly.


Let's you set timer title, for example to the name of the chess tournament.  If blank, title reverts to the default title.

The 'No Tag' option lets you turn off the tag line under the title.


Shows or hides the following...

Keys - Key associated with button under each button.
Move Count - Player's move count under player's name.
Move Ave - Player's average move time under player's name.


Sets the sound for a button click and the sound for when a player's time limit is reached and the game ends (review all sounds).


Sets keys, or none (blank), associated with the three buttons.  Enter ASCII number for key desired (see ASCII Chart).

Time Display

Sets the following time display text formats...

Time Format - (hh:mm:ss  hh:mm:ss.s  mmm:ss  mmm:ss.s)
Bold - Text bold
Shadow - Text drop shadow.  Does not work in IE browser.

Time Text

Sets the following time text settings...

Color - Text color
Size - Text size (50pt - 750pt)
Font - Text font


Hides seconds display when time is over n minutes.  Allows user to select whether to reduce size of inactive player's time.

The 'Default' link resets the Display Settings  and Timing Controls for the timer.

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Match Data

The match data panel shows the chess match move times.  This panel can be viewed while the timer is running or not.  Click 'Match Data' link to show and hide the data.  Panel looks like...

Player move times are recorded while the timer is timing.  At any time you can view the move time history.  When you start a new match, or refresh the Chess Timer window, the move time history is cleared out.

Under the Match Data you can select to show the time remaining after each move, the time accumulated, or the move time itself.  The Time Format field lets you select different time formats.  The time values are rounded.

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The penalty section lets the Chief Arbiter inflict penalties on players, by adding to a player's used or unused time.  Click 'Penalty' link to show and hide penalty panel.  A penalty can only be inflicted on a player during a match, not before or after a match.  If you click 'Penalty' when a match is running, the match will be automatically paused for the players.  Click the 'Resume' button to continue the match.  The panel looks like...

Since you can affect both the used and unused time of each player, you can inflict a penalty two ways.  First, by giving a time bonus to the opposing side (i.e. increasing their unused time), or by taking playing time away from the faulty player (i.e. by increasing the time of their most recent move, their used time).

If you are playing a match with no time limit, (i.e. a match that counts up from 0), then penalties can only be inflicted on the used time, since there is no unused time in that type of match.

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Our Chess Timer has our highest level of accuracy (Level 3).  With each tick, the timer checks itself and makes adjustments as needed.  But with that said, the accuracy and limitations of each computer will affect the accuracy of the Chess Timer.

In our tests, we found the Mac / Safari browser timing to be the most accurate, up to 1/100th of a second, and Windows PC's at 1/10th of a second.  Since the chess timer only shows time to the second, or 1/10th of a second, both were fast enough for accurate timing.

Most computer's internal clocks are relatively accurate, but they can drift a few seconds a day, and we have no control over this.  It is up to you ascertain the accuracy and precision of your computer's parts and our Chess Timer on your PC.  In the event your computer is accurate to your satisfaction, we still do not guarantee that our timer will be accurate, or that our code is bug free or virus free.

Additional Help / Suggestions

Our Chess Timers are provided as a free online service.  If you have a question or suggestion, email us at .

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