Endgame – 2011 – Russian Chess Grandmaster


A couple of weeks ago I watched this series – Endgame. It’s about a Russian grandmaster in chess that is trapped in a hotel. At least in his own mind, as he suffered from agoraphobia. Of course, he lives in the presidential suite or whatever you call it and it cost him dearly. Money that he doesn’t have. So, since he cannot leave and he only plays chess with worthy opponents. He needs to do something that brings him income sp that he can pay for the hotel. What to do? Well, he turns to crime-solving. Takes impossible cases and examines them from every possible angle just like a chess player would do.


As the series goes on we get to know some other regular cast that helps him in different ways. And some that really hates his guts! It’s really easy to understand why some people hate him though because he’s more than a little arrogant and sometimes his cynicism is really heavy. But for the viewer, it is a lot of fun seeing his inappropriate behavior. If I were to compare this character to anything else I think that Dr. House in the medical series is kinda the same. Neither gives up when they know that they are right and they don’t really care about their own behavior towards other people. They kinda think that they have the right because they’re superior.

Aside from taking on a new case in every episode, there is also a thread connecting the episodes to each other. The case for him not being able to leave the hotel is that his fiancee was murdered right outside and he thinks that it was actually him they were after. He’s convinced that it was the KGB. This investigation goes on parallel to the other cases and we seem to get a little bit closer to the truth for each episode.


What I didn’t realize when I saw the series was that it was over ten years old. I actually thought it was something fairly new and I was so looking forward to the next season when I realized there were only ever made one season. The ending is a little abrupt but it works as a closure I guess. It could have spawned another season I think but I guess it was canceled. Anyway, I really like the first season, it took some time to “get into” but the cuýnisism and that arrogance are really funny. The criminal cases are really secondary.

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