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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Online petition to save the world chess champion's television show!

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

Hi everybody,

Okay, okay, don't be mad at us if you find the headline misleading. Nevertheless we just wonder aren't there enough people watching a detective show with a world chess champion?

Fans of the TV show, Endgame, which stars Patrick Gallagher, have gone online to petition to save the television show Endgame which Endgame started its 13-episode run in the spring but earlier this month its network, Showcase, announced it was not renewing the show.

A couple of fans immediately set up an online petition, as well as a page on Facebook, to get Showcase to change its mind.

Within two days they had more than 700 signatures and shortly after hit the 1,000 mark for the petition, which is at They have also set up an official site at

"I would have to encourage people who are on Facebook to not only sign the petition, but to also come to the page and become active," says Nikhi Cormier, who helped start the campaign. "Saving Endgame is completely doable, but we, the fans all have to stand together and speak up."

Endgame is set in a ritzy Vancouver hotel where something always goes wrong: murder, burglaries from the safe, hostage-taking. World chess champion Arkady Balagan (played by veteran actor Shawn Doyle) is a hotel resident who turns each mystery into a game. He is the only one capable of cracking the code, and he's always several moves ahead of the hotel's slow-on-the-draw security chief Hugo Lum, played by Gallagher.

"A chess player turned gumshoe? It's hard not to approach Endgame without a dollop of scepticism. The good news is that the series does not dwell on the chess bit," Scott Stinson wrote in The National Post. "Balagan doesn't apply chess gambits to his cases, but he does apply smarts."

The fans say ratings within Canada do not tell the whole story. In the case of Endgame, it has attracted viewers from far away, even though the show is not broadcast on regular TV channels and fans have to find other means to watch, such as streaming online video.

"The viewership of the show is worldwide. Some viewers go through extreme trouble to find a way to watch an episode outside of Canada," says Sabrina Thomas, Cormier's partner in the campaign.

For his part, Gallagher is gratified by the fans' support. "What amazes me is how many people from Europe, the U.S., South America and all over the world are writing in. We didn't even air outside Canada. We were very proud of it," he said.

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