India’s first: Joint champions in chess Olympiad

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India made chess historical past on Sunday through profitable their first gold medal in the Olympiad, once they have been declared joint champions with ambitious Russia in an anti-climactic finish to the development performed on-line because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

India’s Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh misplaced connection to their video games in the second one spherical of the best-of-three last because of the net glitch, and Koneru Humpy additionally confronted connectivity problems. India and Russia had performed out attracts on all six board in the primary spherical of the ‘best of three mini-matches’ last. While two rounds comprised six video games each and every, a tie would have resulted in a unmarried Armageddon sport to select the winner.

Having warmed up for the overall through defeating Poland in the semi-final—Russia beat United States—India had top hopes just for the net glitch to wreck the display for hundreds of lovers following the motion.

In the second one spherical, Viswanathan Anand, Vidit Gujrathi and Dronavalli Harika drew their video games in opposition to Ian Nepomniachtchi, Daniil Dubov and Alexandra Kosteniuk respectively. Divya was once in a profitable place in opposition to Polina Shuvalova whilst the video games of Humpy in opposition to Aleksandra Goryachkina and Sarin with Andrey Esipenko have been in the stability.

The server crash resulted in Sarin and Divya forfeiting their video games on time whilst Humpy misplaced the most important time on her clock resulting in her defeat. Russia have been 4.5-1.5, however India lodged an enchantment. The appeals committee investigated the problem prior to FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich made up our minds to award gold medals to each groups.

India had carried out brilliantly to succeed in the overall, having crushed favourites China in the initial level of the development performed in 5 divisions and involving 163 nations.

Five-time global champion Anand, rested for the primary spherical, drew with most sensible Russian GM Nepomniachtchi and India captain Gujrathi additionally cut up the purpose with Dubov. Humpy, whose victory in the Armageddon decider of the semi-final in opposition to Poland had put India in the overall, misplaced to Goryachkina whilst Harika, the India No.2 drew with former ladies’s global champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. Sarin misplaced on time from an fine place whilst Divya too was once in a place to attract till bother in the chess.com server.

“The appeals committee has examined all the evidence provided by chess.com as well as information gathered from other sources about this internet outage. After being informed of their considerations and in absence of a unanimous decision, and taking into account these unprecedented circumstances, as FIDE President I made the decision to award gold medals to both teams,” Dvorkovich mentioned in a unlock.

Though the overall ended in anti-climax, the Indian gamers have been ecstatic as it’s their first name in the Olympiad. It was once particularly memorable for Anand. “I am thrilled with this result. Today was quite eventful and one of the features of the new format. In the whole Olympiad the Indian team showed lot of spirit, especially I can say that in this medal, the biggest contribution came from the youngsters, which shows the great future we have in chess in India. I am just very, very happy to get this gold medal which has eluded us all this time,” he mentioned.

Each six-member crew should come with a minimum of one U-20 female and male participant each and every, and a minimum of two ladies gamers.

The crew triumph caps the secure upward push of India in the sport.

For a rustic the place chess is alleged to have originated, it produced its first grandmaster best in 1987—Anand. It has made a giant jump and now has 65 GMs. Besides Anand, 5 global junior champions (3 males, two ladies) and plenty of global beaters in age-group chess have emerged. India, ranked fourth in the arena on ranking, had its preferrred Olympiad efficiency in 2014, when it received bronze in Norway.

Though purists can have some reservation about this victory because it got here in a web based pageant by way of speedy chess with combined males, ladies and early life gamers as in opposition to the classical video games in a typical Olympiad, which was once postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s nonetheless a large success. Indian gamers submit a combat in maximum video games in the knockout rounds, beating sturdy groups.

“Winning gold medal for the country is always a proud moment and I am happy as captain. It was gracious of the FIDE president to declare India and Russia joint winners. Each and every member of the team has done exceptionally well and delivered when it was needed the most,” Gujrathi mentioned.

India’s Olympiad victory got here an afternoon after the National Sports Day, in which no chess participant featured a number of the awards. Former global junior champion Abhijeet Gupta is the ultimate chess participant to get the Arjuna, in 2013.

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