Diving Chess is like normal chess but played in a swimming pool with a submerged, weighted and magnetised chessboard and pieces. Each player can only think as long as they are able to hold their breath. Once they’ve made a move they can come up for air, then their opponent must dive and cannot come back up until they’ve played a move.

  1. The match starts once the player playing white goes underwater and makes the first move.
  2. If someone comes up for air without making a move, they get a warning provided that they have a legitimate excuse. The next time it’s an automatic forfeit.
  3. The player who is waiting for their opponent’s move can’t dive in until their opponent has come up for air
  4. The pool depth for tournament play is between 1.1m to 1.6m, and the chess set must be on the floor of the pool.
  5. Players must wear a swimsuit. Goggles are allowed and encouraged.
  6. Wetsuits, weight, snorkels and other accessories are not allowed.
  7. Sportsmanship is paramount and deliberate splashing or kicking during an opponent’s move is not allowed.
  8. The player who is waiting is allowed to put their head into the water to observe the board, but they are not allowed to dive down with their whole body until their opponent has resurfaced.
  9. There is no requirement to say check when putting the opponent in check, but it is allowed.
  10. There are no timeouts unless there are extreme circumstances, such as a goggle malfunction in which case it is up to the arbiter to decide whether to allow a timeout or not.