Friday Night

So there I was at the stroke of midnight, contemplating the four-knights opening by the dim glow of a flashlight, ears popping under the extra five pounds per square inch of pressure.

MUSC (artist's depiction)

On Friday night, Dan (who you may remember as the Robot9000 bot author), Finn and I invented midnight underwater speed chess.

A nice feature is the naturally-enforced clock.  You have as much time per move as you have air in your lungs. Protip: don’t use a glass set.

Now we just need to combine it with chess boxing.

125 replies on “Friday Night”

  1. Shame the actual photos didn’t come out. We’ll bring more lights when you two go to finish the second game.

    Mostly I’m put out that now we don’t get to show off the floating stuff we rigged for the purpose.

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  2. We were using a glass set I had, so the pieces were heavy enough to stay properly, as long as a stray stream of water didn’t hit the board.

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  3. There’s a version some people I know play that is drunk chess boxing–drink a round (booze or water-equivalent), a round of chess, then a round of boxing. Not sure how well that would mix with underwater speed chess though before turning into speed chess boxing drowning.

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  4. i used to have a heavy-as-hell, hand-carved marble chessboard that i bought at a yard sale for forty bucks. it was smashed to shit by a bunch of idiots at the boarding school i used to go to. it would have been perfect.

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  5. I read it wrong at first, thought you meant midnight underwear speed chess. I thought, hot.

    Oh and what the hell at the CAPTCHA for this comment… how the hell do I write 17 3/4? Seventeen and three quarters? That’s the longest CAPTCHA ever…

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  6. I read it wrong at first, thought you meant midnight underwear speed chess. I thought, hot.

    Oh and what the hell at the CAPTCHA for this comment… how the hell do I write 17 3/4? Seventeen and three quarters? That’s the longest CAPTCHA ever… Going to try it. If this posts twice you’ll know why.

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  7. Protip 2: don?t use a wooden set.

    this would work well with my brother; he doesn’t play chess but does dive whereas I do play chess but can’t hold my breath for very long.

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  8. Hmmm… very eeenteresting. I suppose that this disqualifies chess computers, unless their operators do the diving. Still, even then, not as fun. Now, computers in chess boxing, that’s where the fun is: one of those US Army killbots that went crazy in Iraq, armed with the thinking power of deep blue v. Gary Kasparov, armed with an M16.

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  9. Boxwood (the wood that is most commonly used for chess pieces) is one of the few woods that is denser than water, so that you probably -could- use wooden pieces.

    I, however, would counsel making your own set, designed to withstand at least mild currents (whatever the equivalent of “aerodynamic” would be underwater), and made of steel or something appropriately heavy.

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  10. David Blaine would own at this (recently held his breath for 17 minutes or something)

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  11. Yeah, by the time he finishes his turn the person on the top forgets what the board looks like and all hell breaks loose 😉

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  12. *Sighs* Sadly I can neither play chess or swim so even though this does sound like fun for me i is out of the question…*pouts*

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  13. If this is another case of life copying xkcd, i wonder just how many drownings this comic will cause…

    Underwater-chess responsibly, everyone!

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  14. What exactly is this apnea that people have mentioned (I assume it is a breath control technique)? Any tips other than materials? I’ll bet this would be great training for mental chess as well, considering that you would have to visualize it more often than you would actually see it, considering the trips up, down, and time spent recovering/breathing.

    I wonder if dolphins can learn chess?

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  15. Or you should build an underwater rollercoaster (and I don’t mean one that travels beneath water, but one that actually goes THROUGH water) and combine this sport with your chess photo.

    http://xkcd.com/249/

    CAPTCHA: that Kenney. Indeed.

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  16. maybe they could, but movement would be hard, unless you used pieces that were REALLY heavy, or maybe had a big board. assuming they would move with their noses, wouldn’t the pieces be to close together?

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  17. This is perfect…

    Unlike those automated can openers, which although bring me glee at the potential laziness, bring about my fear of an ever possible robotic rebellion… if the Republicans win this election, I will need to work on a Robot Plan, and likely a Zombie Plan…

    Back to the subject…
    If the chess pieces illuminate, a lot easier to play…

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  18. midnight underwater chess, alternating rounds of one on one waterpolo in between, 1 minute break.

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  19. Am I being retarded in that I went out of my way to do histogram equalization on the image so I could actually see it?

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  20. Apnea (or apnoea) is the cessation of breathing. Most people know the term from “sleep apnea”, which is when a sleeping person ceases breathing for short periods during the night.

    Apnea diving is an extreme version of “free diving”, or diving without any breathing apparatus. Apneists can hold there breath for extreme lengths of time and can dive to great depths with training.

    My re-CAPTCHA word: oriental $180,162

    The re-CAPTCHA project must be digitizing some accounting ledger or something. For those who don’t know, the second “word” in the re-CAPTCHA comes from a project that is digitizing library books. You are helping to proof an OCR program that is having trouble. http://www.captcha.net/

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  21. Slightly OT, but-

    I’ve never been impressed with the idea of chessboxing. I mean, alternating rounds of boxing and chess? There HAS to be a better way to fuse the two games… so here’s my idea:

    The chess game is played by individual boxers standing in for the pieces, like the “live chess” played at so many lame renaissance fairs (or Battle Chess, for the slightly-less-geeky). The difference would be that captures are not automatically awarded, but are decided by a one-round boxing match between the two “pieces” involved, with the losing boxer removed from the board. The chess players for each side take the role of the king, so they have to be decent boxers as well.

    The possibility of losing a capture would change the strategy of the game substantially. Also, you would need to decide which of your boxers plays which piece, requiring you to match up different skill levels during play, and keep track of each player’s fatigue as the game goes on.

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  22. well the idea about chess boxing is physical stress combined with mental stress right? so why don’t you just make the chess pieces really big, this will serve two purposes the bigger bases will allow them more stability, and the in creased surface area and distances will require you to swim with them pushing against water. You could make moving pieces subject to water polo rules (kings pawn to D4 intercepted by a diving tackle).

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  23. You know those “World’s Strongest Man” competitions?

    I’d like to see those guys play chess, and have to lift 450 lb. chess pieces to move them.

    …underwater?

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  24. i love this concept! when i was a little girl i used to have the classic imaginary tea party with the underwater twist! couldn’t get any of my friends to attend, but that’s cool… that’s where the imaginary came into play, right?
    some things are just that much more fun when you do them underwater!

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  25. This is awesome! But not quite perfect.. Well, as perfect as human beings
    I feel bad that I’m the first person to point this out, but if you don’t trust the person you’re playing with, there isn’t much of a way to tell if they cheated, unless you go down with them each time. Otherwise, perfect. I used to springboard dive, and would lounge on the bottom of the pool all the time. Just like if I were on the beach..

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  26. For the more patient (and those with substantially better lung capacity), there’s always midnight underwater speed Go. Though I guess the “speed” thing defeats the purpose of playing Go.

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  27. I’ll be more properly impressed when someone invents underwater monopoly.

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  28. Eew, pounds per square inch :<

    For anyone who was curious but not quite enough to work it out, the chess board is about 3.5m down (or 1/64 furlongs for you Americans)

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  29. There was a monopoly game put on by the New England Divers Club like this. They somehow got Parker Brothers engineers to create a 42 pound waterproof set. All the pieces had metal in them, and the board itself was very heavy and magnetic. Once news of this had spread other groups of scuba divers set out to break the record they set for longest underwater monopoly marathon. The record holders were a group that played a 100 hour marathon that was briefly interrupted because of a possible thunderstorm. But they had scuba equipment. What would

    Citation:
    Brady, Maxine. The Monopoly Book. 1st. New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1974.

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  30. I knew a lead chess set would come in handy for something other than firing it out of a cannon, now to obtain the pool

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  31. Wow… How about underwater twister? That would be so much fun!

    PS: Captcha was “Strip Golfer”! That is so disturbing…

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  32. Great idea! It reminds me of the time my buddies invented bingochesquerships, the hybrid game on the century!

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  33. Bingochesquerships? Sounds like something I’d play!

    CAPTCHA: souht string. Souht isn’t even a word, is it?

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