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 thoughts on “Friday Night

  1. Actually, glass chess pieces with LEDs and button cell batteries would look awesome underwater at night. I’d do red and blue. Some plastic cover could be used to waterproof the circuits.

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  2. I hate to double post, but I just remembered my experience with underwater tug of war, and it was awesome. Had 8 people wearing rocks on ropes around their necks to hold them down on the floor.

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  3. get a board that floats and get a big piece of plywood to hold it underwater…UPSIDE DOWN!!!

    then you could have upside down midnight underwater speed chess.

    way more fun!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Midnight underwater anything would probably be fun. Still, this really makes me wish I was any good at chess.

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  5. i might try this with the swim team. or the chess team.

    NO SKREW THAT: make a new team

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  6. This would be excellent with some kind of waterproof light up board, and perhaps light up pieces as well. For getting the pieces to stay without being weighed down, I would want snap on pieces or something.

    This is interesting. Now all I need is a modified chess set and a friend that likes chess!

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  7. So, assuming that picture is to scale, the extra pressure is at least like 15 psi, since I remember from scuba diving that one atmosphere is about equal to 33 feet deep of water, and they look like they’re at least 40 feet deep. Also, one atmosphere is about 14 psi.

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  8. Underwater yahtzee with lead dice?

    Rules:

    You must roll from above the surface.
    You must dive to read the dice and make your move in one breath.
    You must surface first to yell yahtzee first!

    oh hell, i don’t really remember the rules for dry yahzee…

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  9. @Pascal: Skip the lead dice. I’d rather see a dice that was heavy enough to float towards the bottom of the sea, but light enough to be taken away by currents and what not. That’d make for an entertaining game of Yatzy.

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  10. Regarding appropriate chess sets for underwater chess, my industrial themed set would probably be pretty stable.

    The kings alone weigh a pound or two.

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  11. @annyoingfactcorrectorguy:

    If it’s to scale like you said, and you think they’re 40 feet down, that’d make those people 12-15 feet tall.

    It looks more like they’re at the bottom of a pool.

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  12. as both a free-diver and a (very poor) chess player, i feel this would be awesome, if only i could find an opponent. 😦

    why does it have to be at midnight though? and what stops someone from spending 5 mins on the surface recovering before every move?

    also who won the game you played?

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  13. An expansion on the chess boxing idea….Everybody likes watching people in rigid unaccommodating papier mache suits right? Why not watch them FIGHT in said suits!
    My moneys on the pawn because its small enough the boxers in the pawns will have a mobility advantage 😉

    Why do i do this to myself.

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  14. A magnetic chess set makes this a little easier, plus if you’re finding it a little too easy you can invert it, stick the board to the bottom of a small boat.

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  15. Pingback: I challenge you to a duel. For serious. « Angel

  16. Midnight?
    That makes it hard, unless you own a pool. It could still be acomplished during the day in a public pool.

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  17. There’s something more fun than chess boxing: electric chess. The stronger player gets a tazer-like (but not as harmful) device at the upper arm, with which he must make his moves. Every time a piece is put off the game, the amperage increases.
    Youtube “Stromschach”.

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  18. >>Will Says:>>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)

    For us Americans, we prefer the equation:

    3.5m ? 11.5′

    Furlongs are only really used in racing (horses).

    Cheers. =P

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  19. This is so my sport. I was never excellent at chess, and never spectacular at apnea, but I’m reasonable at both.

    And your average pool is about 11.5′ or 12′ deep in the deep end, based on personal experience. So that makes perfect sense.

    And Dauthi, I have a friend that gives all speeds in furlongs per fortnight.

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  20. “You have as much time per move as you have air in your lungs.”

    No, you have as much time per move as you have oxygen in your bloodstream. Hyperventilation for 5 minute turns!

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  21. I COMPLETELY AGREE with David!! hopefully when I get back home (in a couple weeks, in Missouri) I’ll be able to get to some of the geohashing spots..

    also, I’m kinda seeing a couple issues with this.. underwater, unless you really took your time, it would be very difficult to move a piece without knocking 3-4 other pieces over when you grab it, just because you’d be a little off balance while underwater… the obvious fix to this kinda takes away from the free-diving aspect of it.. let me explain what I would think the perfect way to play would be..

    a small boat/canoe/anything that could work (wouldn’t be hard to make), with enough buoyancy to hold at least 1 10 lb rock, that the player would grab when they were ready for their turn, allowing them a quick decent to the bottom, and the extra stability when they got there to allow for easy movements (any swimmer knows, that to stay steady underwater, you either have to blow out all your air, or grab onto something), the thing at the surface that holds the rock would also be used as something for the player at the surface to hold onto, so they didn’t have to swim to shore with each move.. the only real problem to this, would be the painstaking task of lugging the rock back up to the surface… but then again, that would REALLY make you want to win as quickly as possible, cuz I really doubt your legs would last very long :

    well… wait… if it was a boat, it wouldn’t be hard to attach a line to the rock, so that the player could just leave it there, and the other player (in the boat) could pull it back up when the player came to the surface…. but again, this kinda takes away from the whole free-diving thing…

    any ideas?? I think we should come up with a “set” way to play… well.. crap… if the “meeting” is going to be IN a lake.. it’d be practically impossible… after you set up the board even, the dirt would be completely mixed in with the water… you’d have to wait a couple hours between moves to let the sediment settle before you could even SEE the pieces again 😦 such a waste… guess this is a ‘pool’ thing then…

    sorry for the huge post…

    -Mason

    CAPTCHA: Advanced Penalties

    😀 I’m imagining (can’t think of the name of them) one of those wayyyyyy over-complicated machines, that at the end, executes the prisoner : fun fun…

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  22. Another underwater game that my friend and I invented was Underwater Rock Paper Scissors. You play RPS underwater, and the winner gets to go up for air. Then the winner goes back down and plays another round. The game is over when someone has to come up for air.

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  23. For anyone who’s interested in making their own set, I just made one out of a cheap plastic set I had, using hotglue, sand, a nail, 16 nuts, and 16 screws. The plastic pieces were hollow, so for the pawns I filled them with hot glue and dropped a screw into the center for extra weight, then plunked the finished pawn into a bucket of water (both to test if it sank and to cool down the hotglue) I packed sand into the other pieces, capped the tamped down sand off with hotglue, then dropped a nut into the hotglue, and plunked that into the bucket as well.

    I’m still working on the board (unfortunately, the one that came with the set was cardboard, which isn’t to conducive to underwater play). I’m thinking aluminum with spray painted squares.

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  24. I don’t think this has been addressed yet, but what is the penalty for not going before you run out of breath? Losing your turn? Because that’s sometimes beneficial in chess to not have to move.

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  25. I have recently tried this using my old marble set and the pool at my university. While it worked well at first, I quickly noticed a slight problem in moving the water to stay down there and how it moved the pieces. I am currently building a plastic (weighted by a metalloid) version that snaps into place, which should fix this problem.
    Also, debating the introduction of LEDs into it to see in the dark

    Will post picture when I have some.

    Thanks
    Robert Barga
    http://whalertly.blogspot.com/

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  26. I wouldn’t call it speed chess personally given that speed chess is normally less than 5 minutes per game. Even lasting 30 seconds underwater puts you above that,

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  27. I am going to add this onto the list of things to do the next time I’m swimming in a lake at midnight.

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  28. @annoyingfactcorrectorguy, OP
    that’s 14.7 psi.
    ex.
    1-33’=29.4psi
    34-66’=44.1psi
    etc.
    you can do the math and come up with an exact amount, but for decompression/lung squeeze purposes, it’s all the same. to make it better for people who suck at apnea, you can use a SpareAir tank(google).

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  29. This reminds me of something we used to play at my old chess club: Chess bowling. I’m not going to give the exact rules here, but basically the objective is to knock down the opponent’s king. I’m not sure that would work very well underwater, tho.

    Some friends of mine used to play “blindfold” chess, i.e. keeping all the moves in their heads. They also used this technique to play five-in-a-row (or something; I don’t remember what is the standard number, so let’s say n-in-a-row, where n is an integer constant), sometimes in 3D. I suggested that they extend it to 4D or more. Apparently that was too much for them to keep in their heads. Sissies.
    Come to think of it, I would love to have a formula for the most suitable n as a function of the number of dimensions…

    Also, for the real enthusiasts: Midnight underwater D&D.

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  30. Sounds awesome, but no one pass out because you’re hyperventilating to get more oxygen in your blood 😉 It temporarily botches your body’s ability to recognize how much is really in there, and you can faint before the compulsion to breathe drives you to the surface. Two heavy breaths, maximum, is what the swim team always told me.

    I suck at chess, but I’d totally do this.

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  31. “David Blaine would own at this (recently held his breath for 17 minutes or something)”
    Doesn’t he use a transparent tube out the corner of his mouth though?

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  32. Combining it with boxing would be easy! Just bring a pair of pool noodles and beat the crap out of each other every few minutes!

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  33. @binaryb: the word you’re looking for here is aquadynamic.

    captcha: hackman power
    yes please?

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  34. Years ago, me and my friends came up with funny skit that involved sports announcers for “Underwater Basket Weaving” and “Full-Contact Chess”. It’s nice to see you’ve taken it one step further.

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  35. Chess Teacher pieces filled with quickcrete sink just fine.
    My friend and I used a mat made of some sort of vinyl floaty material as our chess board, using sharpie to line and grid. It had some waves in it when we weighed it down with the bricks, but the chess pieces stayed on anyways. We only played 3 1/2 feet under, and at 4:00 PM, but maybe next time we’ll move to the deep end (only 6 ft).
    If you’re really struggling to stay under, only then might you move a piece enough for it to matter. Then you can just put it back.
    Success!

    timberland is
    is what? Damn you captcha!

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