Diving Chess is a chess variant, which is played in a swimming pool. Instead of using chess clocks, each player must submerge themselves underwater during their turn, only to resurface when they are ready to make a move. Players must make a move within 5 seconds of resurfacing (they will receive a warning if not, and three warnings will result in a forfeit). Diving Chess was invented by American Chess Master Etan Ilfeld; the very first exhibition game took place between Ilfeld and former British Chess Champion William Hartston at the Thirdspace gym in Soho on August 2nd, 2011. Hartston won the match which lasted almost two hours such that each player was underwater for an entire hour.
Q: What is this site all about?
A: I think Michael Bierut explained it nicely a few years ago in response to people asking him why he didn't write more about design on Design Observer: "But the great thing about graphic design is that it is almost always about something else. Corporate law. Professional football. Art. Politics. Robert Wilson. And if I can't get excited about whatever that something else is, I really have trouble doing good work as a designer. To me, the conclusion is inescapable: the more things you're interested in, the better your work will be." Replace "graphic design" with "media/marketing/technology" (or whatever you'd like to call my field) and you've got my deal.
Q: Okay, but why do you still have a blog? Aren't they dead?
A: Well no, they're not dead. And I still have one because it's my place to think. I like the way Aaron Swartz described blogging: "So that’s what this blog is. I write here about thoughts I have, things I’m working on, stuff I’ve read, experiences I’ve had, and so on. Whenever a thought crystalizes in my head, I type it up and post it here. I don’t read over it, I don’t show it to anyone, and I don’t edit it — I just post it. ... I don’t consider this writing, I consider this thinking."
Q: Where else do you live?
A: Good question. All over the place as a matter of fact. On Tumblr for more randomness, Twitter for short bursts, Dopplr for places I'm going, Delicious for things I'm reading, last.fm for music I'm listening to, Flickr for photos I'm taking and Facebook because I don't really have a choice. (Oh, and Amazon for stuff I want people to buy me.)
Q: I meant that literally. Where do you live?
A: Oh, sorry, Brooklyn, New York is where I call home at the moment.
Q: Any other side projects you'd like to tell us about?
A: As a matter of fact, yes. There's How Much Does it Buy?, a calculator for the rest of us. Holy Crap! Facts (and accompanying Twitter feed) which is pretty much exactly what you'd expect. Da' Bears Blog is, in my opinion, the best Chicago Bears blog on the web (I don't write it, I just helped it get off the ground) and Tweemail is a little PHP script I wrote for getting Twitter updates by email. I'm also always working on a few other things and will let you know when they're ready for public consumption.
Q: Um okay.
A: Yeah, that's a fake question mostly so I can throw in this one other quote I like that I think sums up some of what I try to do here. This one comes from Albert Einstein (or at least the internet says so) and goes something like, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Words to live by.