A renowned chess champion from Ukraine, Stanislav Bogdanovich and his girlfriend Alexandra Vernigora – another top chess player – were found dead yesterday in their flat in eastern Moscow after trying to get high with laughing gas.
The police in Russia exclude a crime and assume a fatal accident. The bodies showed no signs of violence. For the time being, everything indicates that they died from suffocation and/or a heart attack. The police are still investigating and still taking various scenarios into account, according to the Russian news agency Tass that confirms it.
According to the police, various patterns of nitrous oxide were found in the bodies. Users inhale laughing gas via a balloon. Intake provides a brief euphoric feeling. The mind-expanding drug is on the list of the Opium Act in some countries.
Whipped cream spray
Laughing gas is actually intended for whipped cream spraying in the hospitality industry, but is nowadays widely used for other purposes all over the world, both in the nightlife and at home parties. The use is also increasing exponentially in the developed world: in 2018, 6.9 percent of adults had used laughing gas. Last year, 14.6 percent of the 20-24 age group used a balloon. Young people and users with a low vitamin B12 content, such as vegetarians, are particularly sensitive to the adverse effects of laughing gas use. Excessive use can even result in death.
Medical research shows that ammonia can accumulate in the body through the use of laughing gas because vitamin B12 becomes inactive. This causes too much ammonia in the body, and a laughing gas user can ‘poison’ himself, and probably this happened to the two chess players.
Stanislav Bogdanovich from Odessa, Ukraine, was named the best chess player in the country in 2013 and was among the top 10 most prodigious talents in the field of fast chess.
Earlier this week, he became discredited for representing Russia in a match against Ukraine, which he concluded winning. After his victory, he defended his decision and said it helped “improve mutual relations between the two countries.”
According to some Russian newspapers, Bogdanovich was blacklisted just before his death. That list would contain ‘enemies of Ukraine’.