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Online Chess Olympiad: India and Russia joint winners | India News

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NAGPUR: After a lost connection and two lost games, an appeal to the World Chess Federation was successful as India and Russia were declared joint winners of the Fide Online Chess Olympiad on Sunday.
The long-awaited grand finale, followed by an audience of more than 64,000 people, ended on a meek note when a technical error forced the Fide president to pass a fair judgment as India recorded its first triumph at the Olympic level.
In 2014, India won bronze in the open section, and the best result for women was fourth in 2012.
The final started cautiously, as the Indian team with a rating of 2419 kept Russia in the highest ranking, with an average rating of 2599, with a 3-3 draw, that also without the presence of the experienced Viswanathan Anand.
The five-time world champion returned for the crucial second round, where Anand, skipper Vidit Gujrathi and Harika Dronavalli split the points with their best Russian GMs Ian Nepomniachtchi, Dubov Daniil and Alexandra Kosteniuk, respectively.
With the fate of India in the hands of Rapid World Champion Koneru Humpy and the U-20 boards, where youngsters Divya Deshmukh and Nihal Sarin had the upper hand, an unprecedented connection error event occurred.
Within seconds, both Divya and Nihal were declared defeated because they “lost connection with their games and wasted time.” Both Divya and Nihal had no time to make their moves, while opponents Polina Shuvalova and Andrey Esipenko had 1.22 and 1.31 minutes left on the clock. Both games were played for 25 moves.
On the third board, Humpy was two pawns down in a double rook ending and lost with his black pieces to Aleksandra Goryachkina in 88 moves.
Thereafter, the Indian team filed an official appeal over the two games that they “lost in time”.
In an official statement, Fide President Arkady Dvorkovich said: “The Online Chess Olympiad has been affected by a global internet disruption that severely affected several countries, including India. The appeals committee has reviewed all the evidence. As president of Fide, I made the decision to award gold medals to both teams ”.
After five world titles and a historic gold at the Olympiad, he has won everything there is to win in chess, and Anand was ecstatic. Giving most of the credit to the youth, an excited Anand said, “You can’t make this up. You can’t write a script for this. ”
In a chat with TOI, Humpy said: “Well, it’s a strange feeling to be declared joint winners due to the server crash. Our team has given its best performance in the history of the Olympiad and I am happy that we are rewarded for our hard work. ”
Relieved with the end result, Divya said, “I couldn’t be happier. This tournament has taught me lessons that I will keep with me for life. Honor playing with legendary teammates and incredible opponents. Congratulations to Russia and the India team. ”
Previously, in the first round, India beat Russia 3-3. Vidit was the first to have the highest ranked Nepomniachtchi with his white pieces in 37 moves. In a tying thriller played between Rapid and Blitz world champion Koneru Humpy and Lagno Kateryna, the latter managed to save the game. The master champions’ game ended in a 48-move tie.
Harika followed Humpy and forced 2517 Elo Kosteniuk to split the points over 48 moves. Harikrishna Pentala, who played the first round in Anand’s place, also played a thrilling 54-move draw against 2769 Elo GM Vladislav Artemiev.
Both U-20 boards followed the example of their elders. After Praggnanandhaa R tied Russia’s super GM and 2618-rated Alexey Sarana in 56 moves, Divya fought back well with Black and forced WGM Polina Shuvalova to split the points into 51 moves.
RESULTS
ROUND 2: Vidit Gujrathi tied with Dubov Daniil, GM WHITE 2517 Alexandra Kosteniuk tied with Harika Dronavalli, Ian Nepomniachtchi tied with V Anand, Andrey Esipenko bt Nihal Sarin, Divya Deshmukh lost to Polina Shuvalova, Aleksandra Boryachina boryva.
ROUND 1: Vidit tied with Nepomniachtchi, Humpy tied with Kateryna, Kosteniuk tied with Harika, Vladislav Artemiev tied with Harikrishna Pentala, Praggnanandhaa R tied with Alexey Sarana, Polina tied with Divya.
VISHY ANAND’S REACTION ON THE TECHNICAL FAULT
For a moment, I had given up. Initially I thought the failure was ours and wrote to Divya and Nihal saying that these things happen and that you can’t do anything. Later, I wrote to Srinath and he informed me that it was a case of chess.com server failure and that it was a global problem. Both Nihal and Divya have been working hard and I thought about patting them on the back and then realized it was unnecessary. That was a nice change.
You have to see the course of the match and then decide when the interruption occurs and what the situation was. One of the strongest cards was that Nihal’s position had improved substantially and Divya was almost winning or at least much better and Fide took that into account before making the decision that was fair for both teams.
In the end it was fair. If Nihal had held on and Divya won and we would have tied the game and this kind of failure was not the fault of either team. Something more complicated would have been to play another game that could be exhausting for everyone and drag things for quite some time.

Times of India

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