The Chess Olympiad is a biennial tournament organized by the International Chess Federation (FIDE). The tournament is open for each of the 190 FIDE-recognized Chess Federations in the world. Generally, FIDE chooses the host nation and organizes the tournament. However, the 2020 event was held online because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The preliminary rounds began on 25th July, while the final was played out earlier today. Each time consisted of six members, with at least two women, and an Under-20 player from both the genders. The Indian team was led by Vidit Gujrathi and boasted of former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand along with Women World Rapid Champion Koneru Humpy.
The Indians were dominant throughout the tournament, until the Semifinal stage, when they were given a run for their money by Poland. However, Humpy held her nerve in the Armageddon game as India won 2-1.
The final was even more closely-contested, as Russia seemed set to round up the tournament easily. However, two Indian players lost their matches on time due to a failure of internet connection.
After the final, the Indian contingent filed an appeal, following which the title was jointly awarded to both the countries after due investigation. Needless to say, Indians throughout the world celebrated the achievement on Twitter.
Twitter goes crazy as India jointly wins International Chess Olympiad
In the final, both Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh had lost their matches on time, due to failure in internet connections. People were quick to speculate on the cause of the internet failure.
Others lamented the way things appeared to end for the Indian team, and demanded a rematch.
Even FIDE acknowledged the strong position in which Divya had found herself in throughout the match.
However, as it turned out, the tournament appeared to be over, although India was quick to file an appeal regarding the situation.
Thousands of Indians around the world waited with bated breaths and crossed fingers, as investigation on the matter was conducted by FIDE.
Others thought it was a great travesty, and demanded justice!
However, it was soon announced that both the countries have won the tournament.
The official statement soon followed:
Needless to say, the decision was met with great happiness, as you can see below.
Viswanathan Anand announced the news and congratulated the Russian contingent.
The victory is undoubtedly a landmark moment for Indian chess, as it is the first time India has won the International Chess Olympiad.
Others congratulated the Russian team as well.