FIDE Chess Olympiad announced India and Russia as joint winners

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New Delhi: FIDE Chess Olympiad announced on Sunday India and Russia as joint winners of the FIDE Chess Olympiad. Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh lost connection to their games in the second round and had to forfeit. This was the first time that India reached the finals of the FIDE Chess Olympiad.

The Olympiad was conducted online for first time. Originally, Russia was declared as the winners, but India filed an appeal and after investigation, both India and Russia were announced as joint winners. India’s best finish at the Olympiad had come in 2014 when the contingent returned with a bronze medal.

The first round of the final between India and Russia finished as 3-3 draw after all six games finished in six draws. Russia started the match against India as favourites after having their average rating of 12 players (2519) higher than India (2419). The second round witnessed high drama as two Indian players — Sarin and Deshmukh — lost connection to their games and had to forfeit, following which India filed an official appeal for a consequent investigation. FIDE President A. Dvorkovich sat out the appeal, as he represented Russia.

IO M.Khodarkovsky (USA) and IA Sava Stoisavljevic (Serbia) were tasked with issuing a verdict. It was declared that both India and Russia will be joint winners of the competition. On Saturday, Koneru Humpy was the shining light for India as she defeated Monika Socko of Poland in the semi-finals.

India and Poland had won one round each in normal play and as a result, Humpy had to battle against Socko for the Armageddon (tie-break clash).

In this clash, Humpy managed to defeat Socko to clinch the summit clash spot for India. India had lost the first round of the match, but the side managed to make a stunning comeback in the second to stage a remarkable comeback.

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