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How to use clocks for tournaments
Clocks are nothing to be afraid of. They are a way of ensuring that games can be finished on time. Every time you complete a move you press the button on your side of the clock. If you have to call the arbiter the clock should be stopped. There will always be players around who will happily show you how to use a clock. Most opponents will remind you to press your clock should they spot it. There are two types of clocks used the digital clock. These can be a little difficult to set, if you do not know the trick of hitting the OK button about 8 times, so it is best to get help setting them the first time. These clocks have a little start stop button in the middle and an on/off button on the bottom. The older more environmentally friendly clocks are wound. To stop the clock you have to balance the two buttons. You will know if the clocks have stopped because they stop ticking. There will always be a penalty if your time runs out. Most games if you run out of time your opponent wins the game if it is possible with both players help to do so, otherwise the game becomes a draw. With the digital clocks once time is out the clock will flash with a minus sign. On the traditional clocks there is a flag at 12 o'clock if this falls a players time is up (unless the game time was more than an hour). When time is up it is up to the playing player to claim a win only the arbiter my intercede to speed up a round. No player not in the game should point out that time has run out! If both players run out of time without a checkmate then the game is drawn. If the flag drops after a player has released their last move (i.e cannot change their move) and it was checkmate this game may get ruled a draw. To offer a draw at any point in match a player must complete their move say do you want a draw then hit the clock. This offer cannot be withdrawn until his opponent touches a piece.
Player ettiquetteIf a player has a big advantage in both material and position but suddenly realises that they are low on time, it is normal for the player in the lead to offer a draw. If they have more than 2 minutes left on their clock it is polite to accept the draw. If a player refuses a draw in a position where a win could never occur from continued play, the player may stop the clocks and call the referee for a ruling. Taking this action might lead to time penalties if the referee feels the request was unjust and stalling for time.
Multiplayer games do not use individual clocks but if a player is stalling or playing very slowly any player at the table can call a clock. This means that the arbiter will give the player a limit to make their decision by else a the arbiter will force an action upon them. The arbiter can refuse certain players the right to complain about how long their opponent is taking if he feels that it is bad sportsmanships. Breaches can lead to disciplinary action.