GM Stanislav Bogdanovich And Girlfriend Found Dead In Moscow Apartment
Bogdanovich and Vernigora. Photo: Facebook.

GM Stanislav Bogdanovich And Girlfriend Found Dead In Moscow Apartment

| 174 | Chess Players

GM Stanislav Bogdanovich (27) and his girlfriend Alexandra Vernigora (18), also a chess player, were found dead in a Moscow apartment on Thursday evening. This was reported by the Russian Telegram channel 112 and SportExpress.

It seems that the use of laughing gas was the cause of death. The couple was discovered by Vernigora's mother at an apartment in Kastanaevskaya Street. Balloons filled with nitrous oxide were found next to the bodies. No signs of violent death were found during the inspection according to Russian media.

Bogdanovich was the U18 champion of Ukraine and Ukrainian blitz champion. His last FIDE blitz rating was 2715. He had graduated at the Odessa Law Academy of the National University. Vernigora had a FIDE rating of 1861 and was studying at Moscow State University.

According to the Ukrainian sports website 24 Sport, Bogdanovich drew a game with GM Viktor Korchnoi at the 2005 Geller Memorial in Odessa, where he defeated GMs Mikhail Golubev and Nikolai Legky. Golubev called Bogdanovich "perhaps the most talented player in the entire history of Odessa."

Bogdanovich and Vernigora
Stanislav Bogdanovich with his girlfriend last week after he had just won the B group of the Aeroflot Open. Photo: Vitaly Kochetkov/Facebook.  

Bogdanovich had recently participated in a Russia-Ukraine bullet match on in which he played for Team Russia. He supported his choice on Facebook, but still faced heavy criticism. After that, he removed his post which has nonetheless been quoted in the media. Here it is, in English:

"At first, I've got a donation [from his Twitch stream - PD]. I do whatever is better for business. Without donations, I could not play for any team. Secondly, I'm now in Russia. As a guest, it would be ugly to play against those, who warmly welcome me. It is a tribute of respect. And thirdly, I believe that this way I've made a modest contribution towards the peace between our countries. It is high time for us to come to senses and stop the fighting. Possibly, if every one of us had played for Russia just once, this conflict would have been exhausted. I suggest that any Ukrainian and Russian who reads it should send me hugs emoji as a sign of our eternal friendship and brotherhood. Only this will be right. Only this will be good."

Vadim Rakhaev, an admin for Team Russia, commented on the match situation: "We never pay anyone to participate. To play for your flag (even if it is not an official FIDE competition) is a matter of personal prestige, not money. He applied to enter our team several hours before the match. Our Ukrainian colleagues were shocked and asked to remove him, but his participation did not break any rules, and I was too busy with other pressing matters before the start."

Matches between Russian and Ukraine have been played on our live server since 2009 and have never been interrupted, not even at the height of the Crimea crisis in 2014. In 2017, when it became technically possible on, they were among the pioneers of team live blitz matches.

Starting in April 2017, the first Russia-Ukraine match was played over 22 boards. Meanwhile, it has evolved into matches played over 329 boards (the record in October 2019) with the participation of 50+ titled players on both sides.

Stanislav Bogdanovich
Bogdanovich. Photo: Wikipedia/CC 3.0

Last year Bogdanovich qualified to play in the FIDE Grand Swiss but eventually didn't go. On Facebook, he explained:

"I would not have had any chance to win a prize. A heavy minus would be much more likely. To play for the fun of it? My interest in chess is not as high as it used to be... My invitation will go to a young, ambitious professional, for whom the tournament is important... The strongest Swiss tournament in history is not for obvious tourists and streamers."

Although he had switched his focus from playing to streaming, Bogdanovich had enjoyed two successes in over-the-board play in early 2020: He won the Bhopal international GM tournament with 9/9 and the Aeroflot Open B group with 7/9.

Yury Solomatin (@marignon) contributed to this story.

Correction: an earlier version of this article erroneously stated that the couple was discovered by Vernigora's father; it was her mother who found them.

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