Online Chess Olympiad 2020: Vidit S Gujrathi, D Harika and Nihal Sarin win as India reach semis after Armenia lose appeal
India had won the first round of matches 3.5-2.5 with captain Vidit S Gujrathi, D Harika and Nihal Sarin posting victories
India on Friday advanced to the semi-finals of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad after their opponent Armenia's withdrawal, following the rejection of their appeal over one of their players losing a game due to internet disconnection.
India will take on the winner of the Azerbaijan versus Poland match in the semi-finals on Saturday.
India had won the first round of matches 3.5-2.5 with captain Vidit S Gujrathi, D Harika and Nihal Sarin posting victories. While former world champion Viswanathan Anand drew his game against the Armenian No 1 Lev Aronian, Koneru Humpy and Vantika Agrawal suffered defeats.
The Armenians protested for a long time delaying the start of the second round of matches before withdrawing following the rejection of their appeal.
"Following the disconnection of Haik Martirosyan in Match 1 of the Quarter-final against India, Armenia filed an official appeal that was rejected by the Appeals Committee. Armenia defaulted Match 2. As a result, India is through to the semi-finals," the world chess body FIDE tweeted.
1/2 As a leader of a 3 times Olympic champion I feel very dissatisfied with FIDE's desision to reject our just https://t.co/VuPR4Q04YQ our match against India Haik Martirosyan lost on time due to disconnection from https://t.co/Q2outGb8jx We proved that our connection was stable
— Levon Aronian (@LevAronian) August 28, 2020
Haik Martirosyan was lost against the young Sarin on the fifth board, which led to Armenia lodging the protest, contending that their connection was stable.
Anand and the higher-rated Aronian were locked in a 54-move battle before they signed peace. Gujrathi recorded an impressive win over Gabriel Sargissian while world rapid champ Humpy went down to Elina Danielian.
Harika pulled off a win over Lilit Mkrtchian as did Sarin against Martirosyan in rather contentious circumstances.
Vantika Agrawal could not hold her own against higher rated Anna Sargsyan and lost.
Later, Armenia's top player Aronian slammed FIDE's decision to reject the team's appeal and that there was no problem on their side.
"As a leader of a 3-time Olympic champion, I feel very dissatisfied with FIDE's decision to reject our just appeal in our match against India Haik Martirosyan lost on time due to disconnection from chess.com. We proved that our connection was stable," he tweeted.
"And it was a problem of access to chess.com, not on our side. All we asked for was to continue that game from the same position and same time. Is it too much to ask?" he further said.
Meanwhile, Indian star Harika tweeted: "Good to qualify for the semi-finals of the FIDE online Olympiad. It is very unfortunate the circumstances under which it happened and not the way we would have liked to qualify. Armenia is a tough opponent and it would have been good to have another tough fight."
Chess World Cup: Vidit Gujrathi tames Azerbaijan's Vasif Durarbayli with impressive display to enter quarter-finals
The 26-year old Grandmaster came up with an impressive display to tame his lower-rated Azerbaijan opponent, winning in 38 moves in his fifth round encounter.
Vidit Gujrathi registered a 2-0 win over Jeffrey Xiong on Friday to advance to the fifth round.
Grandmaster Gujrathi, ranked 22 in the world, and enjoying a higher FIDE rating than his rival, settled for a draw in 56 moves in a Slav variation game which stretched for over four hours.