1861: It's About Time
Chess games in the early 1800s sometimes lasted more than 14 hours! There were no time limits and losing players would try to tire out their opponents. In 1861 the first chess timers were introduced using sand hourglasses with 3 hours of sand each. Those evolved later into "tumbling" chess clocks (patented in 1884), where one clock would start when the other stopped (as pictured). The first electronic clocks weren't introduced until 1964. More accurate clocks lead to faster time controls, including the now popular lightning chess where each player has only ONE minute to make all of their moves! You can get a chess clock on your mobile phone for free here: iOS / Android!