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India, Russia announced as joint winners at FIDE Chess Olympiad

Russia was originally announced as the winner of the Chess Olympiad but India filed an official appeal for the consequent investigation, as both the Indian players had lost the connection.

Aug 31, 2020 13:53 IST
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India and Russia were announced on August 30, 2020, as the joint winners of FIDE (International Chess Federation) Chess Olympiad as Divya Deshmukh and Nihal Sarin lost connection to their games in the 2nd round and had to forfeit.

For the first time, the Olympiad was conducted online and originally Russia was declared as the winner. However, India filed an appeal and after investigation, both India and Russia were announced as the joint winners by the Federation.

This was the first time that India had reached the finals of the FIDE Chess Olympiad. India’s best finish to date at the Olympiad had come in 2014 when the contingent had returned with a bronze medal.

Key Highlights:

The first round of the final between Russia and India finished as 3-3 draw after all the 6 games were finished in 6 draws.

Russia had started the match against India as favourites after having its average rating of 12 players (2519) higher than India (2419).

The second round of the final witnessed high drama as the two India players- Deshmukh and Sarin- had lost connection to their games and had to forfeit.

India’s appeal for investigation:

Russia was originally announced as the winner of the Chess Olympiad but India filed an official appeal for the consequent investigation, as both the Indian players had lost their connections.

A. Dvorkovich, FIDE President decided to sit out of the appeal as he represented Russia. Following this, IA Sava Stoisavljevic (Serbia) and IO M. Khodarkovsky (USA) were tasked with issuing a verdict. They both later declared that both India and Russia will be the joint winners of the competition.

India enters Chess Olympiad Finals:

On August 29, 2020, Koneru Humpy became the shining light for India as she successfully defeated Monika Socko of Poland in the semi-finals. Poland and India had won one round each in normal play. As a result, Humpy had to battle against Socko for the Armageddon (tie-break clash).

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

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