India’s big chess moment when they shared the online Olympiad’s title with Russia has come into criticism for the way the teams were tied for the top position.
Russian team member and 2018 world rapid champion Daniil Dubov criticised the decision to jointly award both the sides with gold medals and was unhappy that none of the playing members of his side were consulted before the decision was taken.
Dubov was quoted by the Guardian as saying, “Any important sport event is a failure without a winner. We thought there can be only one gold,” he said. “The players were OK with restarting the two last games from move one, but no one has even asked us. We are not a random team and this is not the way we want to win.”
Meanwhile, global chess body FIDE defended their decision to award first place to both the teams after an internet outage disrupted the final of the 163-nation event.
A scheduled maintenance power cut from 9 am to 5 pm in Viswanathan Anand’s locality in Chennai almost derailed India’s hopes of progressing past their quarter-final tie against Armenia in the first-ever Online Chess Olympiad.
At the end of the tournament, the Indian chess team were basking in the glory of their joint victory with Russia at the Olympiad, but the absence of electricity at a crucial juncture emerged as a big concern, considering the online trend to be the future of chess in Covid times.
The Indian chess team started to keep multiple backups. All of their homes were already equipped with power generators but the problem came down to the 10-15 second delays when power sources were switched, which saw them getting logged out of the host website.
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