The Popcorn Stand: A sport where you literally dive into a chess match

In the latest “it’s amazing the stuff the human mind comes up with” installment, here comes the World Dive Chess Championships.

This also sounds like something right up ESPN’s alley. Actually it does sound like a pretty cool idea, although not in a million years would I think of playing chess underwater.

The underwater chess tournament held Saturday in London requires players to dive into the pool to make their move where the chess board is located underwater. And then when the player leaves the pool, the opponent is required to dive into the pool to make their move.

Organizers stated the obvious that underwater chess is more challenging and faster-paced.

If ESPN was to broadcast underwater chess, though, the announcers would have a problem of what cliche to come up with. ESPN announcers, really any announcers, love to use sayings like “this is a real chess match” when it comes to describing the strategy of a particular event.

Well in underwater chess you can’t exactly say “this is a real chess match” — because it is.

Also gone from the announcers’ lexicon who would like to use this saying when describing underwater chess would be “these players are really diving into the competition.”

Although I can’t help but think people who allow themselves to be talked into playing underwater chess are just pawns.

— Charles Whisnand


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