India and Russia, the two finalists of FIDE online Chess Olympiad have been announced as the joint winners of the tournament, following a server failure that caused many players to lose connections.
At first, Russia was initially declared the winner, when two Indian players, Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh, lost their games at in the finals on a time basis while their time was lost due to loss of internet connection.
India had lodged the official appeal after the controversial result and said that players’ internet connection had gone down due to server failure. The two countries were declared joint winners after India’s appeal. The International Chess Federation Fide issued a statement saying that it’s chairman Arkadi Dborkovich decided to award gold medals to both teams. This was the first time that FIDE conducted the Olympiad in an online format.
The first round was a 3-3 draw between the two teams in the final. The second round was also on par with Nihal and Divya being declared defeated on time. India was represented in the tournament by Vidit Gujarati, former world champions Viswanathan Anand, Koneru Hampi, D Harika, R Pragananda, P. Harikrishna, and Divya Deshmukh.
India rested Anand in the first round and were drawing six bets in the first round. In the second round, Anand, Vidit and Harika played with the likes of lan Nepomaniacchi , Danil Dubov and Aleksandra Kosteniuk respectively, while Divya was leading her side to victory against Polina Shuvalova. Hampi and Aleksandra were on a par with Goryachkina and Nihal and Andrei Espenko.
A sudden server failure caused both Nihal and Divya to lose their internet connection with their games and lost them on time. In the final the score went 4.5-1.5 in favor of Russia. But India appealed to the appeals committee, favouring this technical aspect and FIDE changed the decision and declared the two countries joint winners.