Estonia's Checkers Championship Requires Superior Diving Skills


What has diving got to do with a board game like Checkers? A lot, if you are thinking of competing in the national Checkers championship in Janeda, Estonia. That's because, the entire tournament takes place underwater!

Now in its 3rd year, the 'watered' down Checkers competition is the brainchild of a local diving company that was trying to keep divers interested in practicing the sport in a swimming pool, during Estonia's freezing winter months, when the outdoor temperatures often drop below zero.

This year's event, which took place on January 15th, attracted 42 contestants. While impressive it was not as good as last year, when 55 hopefuls set the Guinness World record for the largest number of people playing underwater Checkers simultaneously.

Since the main objective is to practice diving skills, anybody regardless of gender, age or Checkers expertise can enter the competition. The rules of the championship are simple - Every competitor plays seven games, with each lasting six minutes. The person who wins the most, is declared champion.

While it may sound easy, most divers say it is grueling to stay underwater in one position for six minutes and focus - Some even resort to wearing belts filled with heavy lead to stay still. And, incase you are wondering how the board and game pieces manage to stay put - The former is strapped to the floor of the swimming pool, while the latter are made of lead! Wonder if they will think about introducing Chess next!


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  • Dabbing Dude 11Monday, April 29, 2019 at 1:32 pm
    • josh kirkaldieThursday, March 1, 2018 at 10:27 am
      • caleb nickThursday, August 17, 2017 at 11:39 am
        cool how it is under very neat
        • JasonWednesday, May 10, 2017 at 9:05 am
          how did the checkers not float around under water? but it sounds fun anyways!
          • dogbearmoo
            dogbearmooFriday, May 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm
            the winter does not make much of a difference when you are in a pool. It sounds fun
            • Beat ProzThursday, February 5, 2015 at 10:10 am
              how did they do that in the winter
              • meme245
                meme245Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 9:19 am
                they make them heavy
              • ?!!,!!?'bb nvhyFriday, December 5, 2014 at 10:55 am
                How do the pieces not float?!!??!??!??
                • cheetahluver
                  cheetahluverTuesday, November 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm
                  Whaaaaat..... how can they think if their minds like, getting all fogged up. :/
                  • kell-bell
                    kell-bellThursday, April 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm
                    • cheyenne10Monday, April 14, 2014 at 6:23 am
                      i like this because i never have played checkers under water only. I usually play @ a desk or the ground.