I started playing tournament chess in 1989, and I still recall that getting a chess clock was a really big deal.
Bear in mind that a “cheap” clock would set you back $40 or so (not including shipping) — and this was in late 80’s, pre-Reagan recession dollars (figure around $50-$60 in today’s money). Sure, I could have gone all-out and bought an electronic model for $90 or one of the fancy Euro-made mechanical models for $100+, but at that point I wasn’t sure I was going to be sticking around in the tournament chess scene. I did know that I was already pretty danged sick and tired of asking around to borrow a clock when neither I nor my opponent had one.
Yep. I remember all of that. I also remember having to convince my wife that I really needed that $40 back when we needed two incomes to run our rather modest mode of living.
Looking back, I really really wish this little gem had been available at the time:
It’s not the most fancy clock you’ve ever seen, I’ll grant you, but it does the job — and the price is right. ChessCentral is presently offering this clock for just $19.99 (!) — that’s a full $10 off of the list price and $5 less than ChessCentral’s regular price.
This mechanical chess and game clock features a rugged wood casing to protect the mechanical workings of the twin timepieces. The low price makes it a perfect “stocking stuffer” for that chessplayer in your life who is tired of mooching a clock from other players at tournaments.
Chess clubs (especially scholastic clubs which are traditionally [and notoriously] underbudgeted) can easily pick up a couple of these clocks for use at club events without breaking the bank. Heck, even if you just have a couple of young children at home who are taking their first steps in chess, this is an ideal “starter” clock. Kids love to play blitz chess, and this clock is designed to withstand the pounding — it’s going to be tough to break this clock short of picking it up and throwing it against a brick wall.
Personally, I think this clock makes a really cool little Christmas gift; I really wish one had been available at this price twenty years ago when I was desperate to obtain my first chess clock.
Have fun! — Steve