US & World

Young Ukraine chess couple ‘killed by laughing gas’

Stanislav Bogdanovich, Alexandra Vernigora/FacebookImage copyright Bogdanovich/Vernigora/Facebook
Image caption Stanislav Bogdanovich and Alexandra Vernigora lived in Moscow

A 27-year-old Ukrainian chess champion and his girlfriend, 18, have been found dead in their Moscow flat, apparently poisoned by laughing gas.

Media reports say Stanislav Bogdanovich and Alexandra Vernigora – also a top chess player – were found with balloons containing the gas, nitrous oxide. The gas is inhaled using a balloon.

Russian investigators reported the deaths, without naming the pair, and said there were no signs of foul play.

Bogdanovich was a speed chess champion.

Vernigora was also a professional chess player and was studying at Moscow State University.

The Ukrainian sports website sport.ua says Bogdanovich was a grandmaster from Odessa who won the Ukrainian Under-18 championship and various chess awards at international tournaments.

Russian chess website chess-news.ru says that in 2015 he was rated eighth in the world for speed (blitz) chess.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionExplained: What is nitrous oxide – or ‘nos’?

Reports say Bogdanovich drew much criticism recently for representing Russia in an internet chess match against Ukraine, which he won.

Sport.ua quotes a Facebook post from him (in Russian) about that, in which he argued that playing for Russia was good for business, that he was living as a guest in Russia and being treated well, and this was his small contribution to ending the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Nitrous oxide was first used as an anaesthetic in 1844, but is now being used as a recreational drug and has been linked to a number of deaths. It can also cause breathing difficulties, dangerously increased heart rate and burns.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51767082

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *