Chronos Chess Timers - A state of the matter report

The Chronos Digital Touch chess timers are best money can buy. Price is high featuring unmatched utility and quality. (The European retro exquisite Garde Digital is almost half the price.) Slanted aluminum body, high readability, no moving parts, maximum durability. Extremely easy to use and easy to set up once one understands the process. One touch pause with one touch reset, a feature absent from European digital chess clocks. (Compare to the DGT XL that has to be picked up and switched off on the bottom to reset the timer and start a new game. The Garde Digital Chess Clock has a similar problem feature.)

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Pictured are (from top to bottom) the touch button versions of the Chronos Digital Game Clock II, Chronos FX and Chronos GX. As of this writing, these clocks are in short supply and extremely hard to find even online. Most of the major dealers list them out of stock or renege on the deal by the time of shipping. You will be pushed a cheaper plastic (albeit nice and cuddly) ZmartFun replacement. Not. The. Same.

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Curious, I started digging. Information is scarce. The news is bad. There is a legend about a nutty scrabble player who started a scrabble timer business and expanded it to chess by demand … but his heart was never in it. Scrabble, yes, chess, no. The scrabble side of business is booming, the other not so much. The official website is virtually dead, last updated years ago. There are reports of repair delays and the shop not answering the phone. Some say the shop is suffering from chip supply shortage. I dunno.

From the forums in August 2012:
"The Chronos is a Sam Timer w/ the Scrabble function removed and marketed to chess players. It was developed by a Scrabble player named Sam Kantimathi, to market the clock to chess players he removed the Scrabble function (up counting overtime) from the clock and gave it a mythical name Chronos."

“It kind of leads one to the impression that indeed he (Sam Kantimathi) has lost interest in "chess/chess clocks", if he ever had interest i the first place.”

A slimmer of hope from November 2012:
"They have not gone out of business. The had serious problem with their chip sets and are waiting for new chips in order to keep making clocks."

Pictured are three models I somehow happened to get hold of via friends in the States. These were never sold in Europe. The FX I snatched off an American kid playing at WYCC2012 in Maribor, Slovenia. The mother robbed me, but I forked over gladly.

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From top to bottom:
1. Chronos Chess Clock II: Touch Switch, introduced in 2003, still sold today.
2. Chronos FX Touch, introduced in 2004, discontinued in 2008. Good luck finding this one.
3. Chronos GX Touch, introduced in 2008. Listed at major dealers, but apparently sold out.

Before the FX there was a DX. There's a brief mention of the DX somewhere on the Net, but no info or pic whatsoever. BX, CX? I have no idea …

The Chronos Chess Clock (the long one) is a full featured tourney & blitz modes with the kitchen sink. A bunch of Go and byo-yomi modes. Lots of overhead. Good for serious all around tournament players. All the FIDE modes and whatnot.

The FX is the best of the lot for a blitz player. Simple timer modes with a handful of tourney settings. One pane LCD display with unmatched readability. Best chess clock ever. Discontinued. Oddly, there are no videos of the FX on YouTube.

The GX is a newer blitz model, functionally same as FX but with a couple of additional byo-yomi timer modes. Same size as GX, but with two LCD panes and a bit different increment/delay/move display. Out of stock at most dealers, but can be found at some web corners for a heavily inflated price.

-Izmet

Garry Kasparov presented with BCE

By presidential order, world champion Garry Kasparov was presented with a unique set of Best Chessmen Ever at recent World Youth Chess Championship 2012 in Maribor Slovenia. A special limited BCE 38 piece Stage 1 set in pitch black with triple weighted stainless steel based chessmen in a traditional Slovenian gift casket was chosen. Beautifulest chess set ever, best ever.

Kasparov’s first comment? “Heavy!”

Heavy indeed! Garry, you are The Man!

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Presented in a traditional Slovene gift casket, this ultimate BCE set comes with additional (Eastern/Western) kings , extra promotionable queens and extra bishop pairs (Eastern/Western) for a total of 40 pieces. Eastern or Western, this set fits all the needs of an international grandmaster. Featuring highly polished stainless steel bases tor added durability and unprecedented stability. These chessmen are indestructible and best ever for the best player ever. Nothing and nobody even comes close. Only two sets made.

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More photos of the BCE S1EWB+007 set for Garry Kasparov on flickr.

-Izmet

AngeBot the Tiltbot Chess Robot Video

See the machine in awesome action.



Talk about unprecedented. 74 degrees, nothing even comes close. These are the Best Chessmen Ever.

(It sayz so right there on the box.)

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-Izmet

Pieces Blessed

A firend thought I was kidding. I was not. I had all the Western pieces blessed and then some.



Many thanks to reverend Janez Furman for his excellent and swift service. Godspeed!

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-Izmet

Unprecedented Stability

A video of a very special set (only two in existence). Stainless steel bottom, Stage 2 intricate knights, gift casket and other goodies. A gift for a very special GM.

Impossible to knock over. Indestructible. Perfect blitz chessmen. Best Chessmen Ever.



The thing is, it’s all about the position of the 20 g weight and the shape of the foot. I studied and tested all kinds of sets with a homemade robot, the ones from Jaques of London usually came on top. So I borrowed the idea of sloped bottom edges, works great. These cannot be accidentaly knocked over. Also, creates a fine illusion of chessmen floating above the chessboard.

-Izmet

Slide Top Box Revisited

Smaller, tighter, magnet lock.
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-Izmet

Leather and King's Mark

Frictionless blue leather foot, standard on all BCE sets. Hand painted king’s mark in bloody red, standard on Stage 2, optional on Stage 1 knights and rooks.
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-Izmet

Stage 1 King Eastern

Branded GNovak trademark is standard on all white BCE kings. The kings are serially numbered under genuine blue leather.
Stage 1 King Eastern White
-Izmet

Stage 2 Intricate Knight

Handcarved teeth, nostrils & mane. Mark on king’s knight.
Stage 2 White Knight
-Izmet

Stage 2 Sleek Rook

Traditionally slim. Five turrets is the BCE standard.
Stage 2 White Rook
-Izmet