Chess Olympiad ends in stalemate after internet outage sees India and Russia crowned joint champions

john rambo

© Provided by Evening Standard A major international chess tournament has ended in stalemate after two players lost internet connection during the final match. India and Russia were declared joint winners of the Chess Olympiad, which was held online for the first time owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The two […]





© Provided by Evening Standard


A major international chess tournament has ended in stalemate after two players lost internet connection during the final match.

India and Russia were declared joint winners of the Chess Olympiad, which was held online for the first time owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The two teams were both awarded gold medals after India launched an appeal following the outage.

The country’s two star players forfeited after losing connection to their games during a pivotal moment.

Officials described the circumstances as “unprecedented.”



Viswanathan Anand, Humpy Koneru, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexander Grischuk posing for the camera: India and Russia received joint gold medals (International Chess Federation)


© Provided by Evening Standard
India and Russia received joint gold medals (International Chess Federation)

Announcing the decision on Sunday, International Chess Federation president Arkady Dvorkovich, said in a statement: “The Online Chess Olympiad has been impacted by a global internet outage, that severely affected several countries, including India.

“Two of the Indian players have been affected and lost connection, when the outcome of the match was still unclear.

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 an unanimous decision, and taken into account these unprecedented circumstances, as FIDE President I made the decision to award Gold Medals to both teams.”

Teams from more than 160 countries participated in this year’s online event, which began in July.

The final was not the first time technical issues disrupted play, however.

On Friday, Armenia said one of its players was disconnected from the server during its quarter-final match against India, the BBC reported.

Its appeal was rejected and in protest the country withdrew from the competition.

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