1000 Ways To Die Wiki

"Chess Pain", Way to Die #169, is the fifth death to be featured in "Dying to Tell the Story", which aired on December 29, 2010.


In the 1970s, the ages-old board game of chess was considered a big deal in the Soviet Union, and being a grandmaster at the game makes one a bit of a celebrity. Nikolai was an undefeated chess grandmaster, wanting to stay on top, knowing that one loss could send him to a Siberian labor camp.

One day, he was challenged by a chess-playing computer, the Comrade 5000. Its inventor had boasted that his machine could outplay any human, even the unbeatable Nikolai. The Comrade could move its pieces on a highly-charged electromagnetic chess board. Nikolai realized he was involved in the game of his life, or better yet, for it. Each move brought the computer closer to defeating Nikolai's strategy, causing him to sweat profusely. A few minutes later, he had the Comrade in check and went in for the kill, but it was checkmate for Nikolai.

The chess pieces were made of a highly conductive alloy, and the Comrade's inventor had failed to ground the chessboard properly. This design flaw killed the ill-fated Nikolai. As he touched his opponent's chess piece with a sweaty finger, he was electrocuted and suffered cardiac arrest from the extreme electrical shock, killing him instantly.


  • Also called "End Game" on the Spike TV website.
  • If you look closely, there is the Soviet communist flag in the eyes in the x-ray.
  • This death is based on an urban legend about a Russian chess grandmaster named Nikolai Gudkov, who died the same way in 1989.
  • Nikolai's death is similar to that of Lifty's death in Happy Tree Friends episodes, "As You Wish".

Segment Nicknames

  • End Game (Spike TV)
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