International Chess Day was recently celebrated in a unique fashion as Deep Dive Dubai – the record-breaking deepest dive pool in the world – held an underwater chess tournament in collaboration with the UAE Chess Federation.
The Federation nominated four of its top players – Mohammed Saeed, Khalifa Alhafti, Mana Saeed, and Omran Alhosani, each of whom has previously represented the UAE at local, regional, and international tournaments – to battle it out for the top prize.
The quartet was trained by Deep Dive Dubai’s instructors before being kitted out with wetsuits and shallow dive gear. Deep Dive Dubai’s experienced staff and dive safety teams were present in the water during each round to ensure the players’ safety.
‘We are thrilled to partner with the UAE Chess Federation and bring together these two passions in an innovative manner,’ said Deep Dive Dubai’s director, Jarrod Jablonski. ‘Deep Dive Dubai is deeply invested in sharing a deep passion for the underwater realm, and hosting this underwater chess tournament perfectly aligns with our vision.’
Divers of all skill levels can participate in chess competitions at Deep Dive Dubai, which has a specialised set of stone chess pieces as a regular part of its attractions.
Located in Nad Al Sheba, Deep Dive Dubai has been built in the shape of a giant oyster – a nod to the UAE’s pearl-diving heritage – and is home to a dive shop, gift shop, and an 80-seat restaurant, plus a variety of meeting, event, and conference spaces with on-site catering and capacity for up to 100 people.
Deep Dive Dubai’s pool features an array of underwater attractions, including a sunken city with an abandoned streetscape, apartment, garage, and games arcade.
The pool also contains two underwater habitats with dry chambers at six and 21 metres, advanced sound and mood lighting systems, and 56 underwater cameras covering the pool. It is also home to the region’s largest underwater film studio.
Deep Dive Dubai opened in November 2021 and, with a maximum depth of 60.02m, is 15m deeper than the previous record-holder, Deep Spot, located in Mszczonow, Poland.