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Saturday, March 12, 2011

World Chess Champ as Detective - Watch Canadian crime thriller Endgame trailer

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

Remember our post at about this crime show being filmed in Vancouver?

World Chess Champion a detective?

Well, the show is premiering this Monday and there are previews aplenty on the Internet. So, how could we miss a little info too! We found a nice one here.

Endgame, which premieres Monday at midnight on Showcase TV, follows the adventures of a chess grandmaster who uses his superior analytical skills to solve crimes that leave average-brained cops befuddled. His seemingly infallible genius is offset by the fact he's deeply agoraphobic - afraid of public places, and as a consequence unable to leave the downtown Vancouver hotel he calls home - and therefore must count on others to do his investigative legwork.

Watch the preview video:

Shawn Doyle (The Eleventh Hour, Big Love) stars as Arkady Balagan, a Russian-born former world chess champion who developed his debilitating agoraphobia after witnessing the murder of his fiancée outside the hotel that is now both his residence and his prison.

He fills his days drinking and playing exhibition chess matches, but his inability to travel has put a serious crimp in his finances and he's on the verge of being evicted from his luxury suite. After overhearing his favourite bartender talking to a distraught friend about a missing child, Balagan offers a theory that the cops haven't considered, which turns out to be correct and leads to the rescue of the young boy.

But in order to prove that his hunch is well founded, Balagan must enlist the help of an aspiring chess master, Sam (Torrance Coombs), bartender Danni (Katharine Isabelle) and a hotel housekeeper named Alcina (Carmen Aguirre) who's the only one he trusts to clean his suite. Along with hotel security chief Hugo (Patrick Gallagher), who loathes the Russian for his arrogance but has a grudging respect for his intelligence, Balagan's loose-knit team of at-first-unwilling amateur detectives demonstrates a surprising knack for finding the people and clues that validate the chess master's moves.

The show gets a bit too gimmicky at times -- Balagan's imagined crime-related scenarios are acted out in soft-focused sequences that include talking chess pieces and conversations with victims and villains. But there's something sufficiently compelling about Endgame's central character that makes this show worth tuning in at least a time or two. The producers have opened with a genuinely original notion. The next move is yours.

Let us know what you think if you watch it.

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  • At March 12, 2011 at 12:01 PM , Anonymous Kate, London said...

    Finally chess world's own detective. I wish I were in Canada. But hopefully the show will cross the Atlantic. Huh.


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