Ultimate battle of minds and lungs at Diving Chess World Championships
As the UK basks in the latest heatwave, many have flocked to local swimming pools to cool off and, if one of your favourite past times happens to be playing chess, what better way to combine the two than to enter The World Dive Chess Championships. Dive Chess is like normal chess but is performed in a swimming pool with a submerged chessboard. Each player can only think, submerged, as long as they are able to hold their breath. Once you have made a move and come up for air, your opponent must dive and cannot come back up again until they have played a move, and then it is your turn to dive again. Standard tournament chess pieces with weights inside them were used and all pieces included a very strong magnet to cope with being submerged. The main difficulty proved to be the controlling of breathing, while players wore goggles but they fogged up or often had water inside. The tournament took place over four rounds with each match lasting up to an hour. While the water was lukewarm, players started to get cold after prolonged periods of play which added to the stress of the competition. Match scoring was as follows - 1 point for a win, 0.5 points for a draw, 0 points for a loss. Poland's Michal Mazurkiewicz won the world championship title after his opponent - Alain Dekker of South Africa - made one poor move that sealed his fate in the final. The championships serve as the ultimate battle of quick-thinking mental strength and strong lung capacity.