Online Chess Olympiad: India-Russia declared joint winners after internet outage, Cloudflare crash mars final

Former World Champion Viswanathan Anand, India's top-ranked player, sat out for the first round as captain Vidit Gujarati occupied Board One.

FP Sports August 30, 2020 17:44:31 IST
Online Chess Olympiad: India-Russia declared joint winners after internet outage, Cloudflare crash mars final

India and Russia were declared as the joint winners of the 2020 Online Chess Olympiad after internet disconnection and server malfunction marred the final leading to India provisionally losing 1.5-4.5 to Russia in the second round and subsequently the entire match on Sunday.

On board five and six both Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh's games saw disconnection which saw India drop points, while on board 3 Koneru Humpy also faced some internet issues as she lost vital seconds due to internet malfunction.

Humpy completed her game but lost her advantageous position and eventually dropped a point.

The Indian team formally appealed against the internet issue and after FIDE's review committee investigated the problem for over an hour decided to award the gold medals to both the teams. Russia won the Chess Olympiad for the first time since 2002, while this was India's maiden title. It was the first time the Olympiad was held online.

In the completed games of the second round, Viswanathan Anand, who had come in for P Harikrishna, took the board one, and shared the spoils with Ian Nepomniachtchi while captain Vidit Gujrathi drew with Daniil Dubov. Koneru Humpy, the world rapid champion, was beaten by Alexandra Goryachkina and D Harika drew with Alexandra Kosteniuk.

The internet issues have stirred a controversy in earlier rounds as well. In the quarter-final match between India and Armenia saw the Armenians staging a walkout from the second round after a Haik Martirosyan's move against Sarin wasn't registered by the system.

"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.

Armenia’s top-tanked GM Levon Aronian also tweeted, taking a dig at the controversy.

"I guess like always some of are less disconnected that the others #1984," Aronian wrote in a post on his Twitter account.

Earlier in the first round, both India and Russia had remained on equal footing after all the games ended in draws.

The overall result of the first round ended in a 3-3 deadlock. Russia, who started as slight favourites over India, in Sunday's clash with their average rating of 12 players of 2519 superior to Indian team's average rating of 2419.

However, if the opening round of the final is anything to go by then the match seems to be an evenly-matched contest.

Russia’s board 1 and world No 4 Ian Nepomniachtchi expressed his displeasure with the result.

World No 15 and former World Champion Viswanathan Anand, India's top-ranked player, sat out for the first round as captain Vidit occupied the board one and was up against Nepomniachtchi.

Vidit out-prepared Nepomniachtchi and had a clear advantage in the middle game, but the Russian managed to hold his fort to force the game into a draw.

Among the women, Humpy also squandered her pawn advantage against Kateryna Lagno and had to eventually settle for a draw.

Results:

Match 1: India 3-3 Russia

(W) Vidit Gujrathi 0.5-0.5 Ian Nepomniachtchi

(B) P Harikrishna 0.5-0.5 Vladislav Artemiev

(W) Koneru Humpy 0.5-0.5 Kateryna Lagno

(B) Harika Dronavalli 0.5-0.5 Alexandra Kosteniuk

(W) R Praggnanandhaa 0.5- 0.5 Alexey Sarana

(B) Divya Deshmukh 0.5-0.5 Polina Shuvalova

Updated Date:

also read

IPL 2021: Defending champions Mumbai Indians add Roosh Kalaria to squad in place of injured Mohsin Khan
First Cricket News

IPL 2021: Defending champions Mumbai Indians add Roosh Kalaria to squad in place of injured Mohsin Khan

The 28-year-old Kalaria had travelled to Abu Dhabi with the Mumbai Indians squad as a backup player, and now has earned his first IPL contract

Anthony Joshua says heavyweight clash against compatriot Tyson Fury 'will happen'
Sports

Anthony Joshua says heavyweight clash against compatriot Tyson Fury 'will happen'

Talks of a unification 'superfight', which went on for months, appeared to be on the brink of ending in an agreement earlier this year only for a United States arbitrator to rule Fury had to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time.

IPL 2021: South African pacer Anrich Nortje hoping to replicate previous season's performance for Delhi Capitals
First Cricket News

IPL 2021: South African pacer Anrich Nortje hoping to replicate previous season's performance for Delhi Capitals

Nortje, who picked 22 wickets in 16 matches in his first-ever IPL season in 2020, played an instrumental role in helping DC reach their maiden IPL final, where it came second-best against Mumbai Indians last year.