Chess Olympiad champions Credit: FIDE

India created history on Sunday by winning gold at the Chess Olympiad after the controversial finish in the finals against Russia.

In the final round, two players from the Indian side were declared to have lost after the internet got disconnected.

Team India lodged an official appeal against the result, FIDE said the issue was under investigation. After about an hour of the result, the world chess body announced that FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich had decided to give gold medals to both teams. This was the first time FIDE organised the Chess Olympiad online.

“It was a dramatic turn of events,” Viswanathan Anand, who drew his second round game against Ian Nepomniatichi, told ESPN. “My initial response was to assume what a moment for this (losing server connection) to happen to us and it was the second time after the Mongolia match. I was quite disappointed that we were only going to get a silver. In fact, I wrote to both Divya and Nihal asking them to not feel bad about the result because as youngsters it can affect them. Then I spoke to Srinath (Narayanan, non-playing captain) and he said the problem is not at our end and it’s being investigated by Fide,” Anand said.

Meanwhile PM Narendra Modi took to twitter to congratulate the winners of Chess Olympaid as he wrote, “Congratulations to our chess players for winning the FIDE Online #ChessOlympiad. Their hard work and dedication are admirable. Their success will surely motivate other chess players. I would like to congratulate the Russian team as well.”

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