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How to Set Your Chess Clock for Increment

(For several popular models of chess clocks)

by Mike Williams, Senior TD


This page shows instructions on how to set your digital chess clock for an increment time control.
Specifically this will be shown for a G/60 + inc/30 time control.
Choose your clock model from the list below:



Excalibur Game Time II

Chronos

Chronos GX & FX

Saitek Competition Pro

DGT North American

Excalibur GameTime II:

  • Level the plungers, then slide the PAUSE/PLAY button to PAUSE.
  • If the GameTime is on, reset the GameTime by holding the ON/OFF button on the underside of the clock for a few seconds. Now release the button and press it again to turn the GameTime on.
  • Press the SELECT button. "PRESET 05" will probably appear on the display.
  • Change the Preset number by using the + button or the - button. The desired Preset number for G/60 is Number 20.
  • Press the SELECT button 6 more times until ACCUM OFF appears in the display.
  • Press + to turn ACCUM (the increment feature) ON. It is preset at 30 seconds.
  • Slide the PAUSE/PLAY button to PLAY.
  • Congratulations. You are done! The letter "F" will appear in the center of the display to indicate the Inc/ACCUM feature is activated. The display will show 100 for the minutes in large digits and the seconds (initially 00) in small digits.
  • For the Excalibur Game Time II's complete list of preset values, click here.

Credit: Space Coast Chess Foundation, Cocoa Beach, FL

Chronos:

  • Turn the Chronos clock on while both play buttons are pressed. The display will show CH - F1 and CH - F2.
  • The closest setting to the time control we want is CH - P5. Short press the red center button 12 times. The left display will show CH - P5.
  • Press the left play switch to select the CH - P5 mode. The display will now read 0:20:00 (twenty minutes) on both sides. We need to change this to 1:00:00 (1 hour).
  • Long press the red center button. The clock will beep and the 0 in the HOURS position will start to flash.
  • Press each play switch one time to change the hour setting to 1 for both sides.
  • Short press the center button, and then press each play switch four times to change the minutes setting to 00 for both sides.
  • Short press the center button 4 more times to get to the next display, which will read 0:06 (six seconds). This is the increment amount. We need to change this to 0:30.
  • Short press the center button one time and change the 2nd 0 to 3 by pressing each play switch 3 times.
  • Short press the center button again time and change the 6 to 0 by pressing each play switch 4 times. The display will now read 0:30 (the last 0 will be flashing at this point). Press the center button to accept.
  • Press the center button several more times to advance through the remaining settings until the display reads "COPY to 0". Press the right play button between 1 and 4 times to choose your desired preset user slot (you can use slot 1 unless you already have another preset user mode saved there that you don't want to overwrite). Then long press the red center button. The clock will beep and it will store your setting.
  • Congratulations. You are done! Turn off the clock. To get back to this setting, turn the clock on by pressing the center button the number of times corresponding to your preset user mode (If you selected "COPY to 1" in the previous step, you will simply turn the clock on.)
  • Note: it is generally considered good tournament etiquette for Chronos owners to turn the beep off (BEEP 0) and LED on (LED 1).
  • You can view a copy of the Chronos user manual at this link.

Credit: Space Coast Chess Foundation, Cocoa Beach, FL

Chronos GX and FX:

  • Turn the Chronos clock on while both play buttons are pressed. The display will show F1 / F2.
  • Short press the red center button 4 times. The display will show tn - 1 / tn - 2.
  • Press the left play button to select tn - 1 (1 time control plus increment). The clock will display 0.30 on both sides (30 minutes). We need to change this to 1.00 (one hour).
  • Long press the red center button. The clock will beep and the 0 in the HOURS position will start to flash.
  • Press each play button one time to change the hour setting to 1 for both sides.
  • Short press the center button and the "3" will begin flashing. Now press each play switch 3 times to advance the minutes setting to show 00 for both sides.
  • Short press the red center button 4 more times until "00 in" appears with the first zero flashing on both sides. This is where we will set the increment. We need to change this from 00 to 30.
  • Press each play button 3 times to change the display to "30 in".
  • Short press the center button several more times (I believe it's 10 presses) until the display reads "COPY to 0". Press the right play button between 1 and 4 times to store this setting in your desired preset user slot (you can use slot 1 unless you already have another preset user mode saved there that you don't want to overwrite). Then long press the red center button. The clock will beep and it will store your setting.
  • Congratulations. You are done! Turn off the clock. To get back to this setting, turn the clock on by pressing the center button the number of times corresponding to your preset user mode (If you selected "COPY to 1" in the previous step, you will simply turn the clock on.)
  • Note: it is generally considered good tournament etiquette for Chronos owners to turn the beep off (BEEP 0) and LED on (LED 1).
  • You can view a copy of the Chronos Blitz (FX/GX) user manual at this link.

Credit: Mike Williams, Cherry Chess Club, Traverse City MI. (I own one of these clocks.)

Saitek Competition Pro

  • Turn on the clock and set the switch on the bottom to "Modify".
  • Reset the clock by holding down the Pause/Reset button.
  • Use the directional pad to choose Mode 4D (Fischer - Add After Move).
  • The clock will display 01.00 on both sides. Press "Edit" and it will change to "00:01" on both sides with the first zero blinking on the left-hand player's clock.
  • Use the directional pad to change the digits on the left side to show 01:00 (1 hr 00 min). Up/down will increase or decrease the blinking digit. Right/left moves forward/back across the digits.
  • Continue moving to the right and it will scroll to show the seconds "00.00" with the zero blinking. Leave the seconds as .00 and continue moving to the right.
  • The next screen will show "01.00" and the words TIME ADDED will display on the far right screen. This is the increment amount, currently set to 1 min 00 sec. Use the directional pad to change this to 00.30 (0 min 30 sec).
  • Continue moving to the right and repeat all of these steps for the right-hand player's clock. (01:00:00 and 00.30)
  • When you're done, press STORE and use the directional pad to choose which preset user slot (7A, 7B, or 7C) you want to store this setting in. Then press STORE again to save the settings.
  • Your clock is now ready and it should now display "1:00" on the left and "00.30 TIME ADDED" on the right.
  • Congratulations. You are done! Flip the switch on the bottom back to "Lock".
  • Note: it is generally considered good tournament etiquette for Saitek Competition Pro owners to play with the beep turned off. Choose the "SOUND OFF" position on the bottom switch when playing.

Credit: Mike Williams, Cherry Chess Club, Traverse City MI. (I own one of these clocks.)

DGT North American:

  • Turn on the clock.
  • The setting you need is #14 - Bonus Fischer. Press the "+" button to 14 and then press the "check" button to select
  • Enter 1:00 on both sides by pressing the + or - button for each digit and pressing the "check" button to advance to the next digit. Note that after the minutes digits you will see two other 0's which indicate seconds. Press the "check" button to move past these.
  • You'll now see a "0.00" with "min/sec" in both windows indicating the increment. Set this to "0.30" for the increment.
  • After pressing the last "check" button you'll see "1:00" on both sides.
  • Congratulations. You are done! To use the clock, turn off/on. You'll now see 18. Hit "check" to select and then the "play" button. Make sure the lever is up on the side of the player who has the white pieces. Then press the "play" button when ready to start the clock.
  • You can view a copy of the DGT North American user manual at this link.

Credit: Chris Y Kim, Maryland Chess Association