CHENNAI, August 30: Russia and India were declared as joint winners in the FIDE online Olympiad on Sunday evening. The Vidit Gujrathi-led side had initially lost their second leg of the final but they lodged an appeal against the FIDE appeals committee saying that their players — Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh — lost their matches due to a server failure.
FIDE, the game’s governing body, then took the decision of awarding the title to both India and Russia. While Nihal was in a drawing position, Divya was in a strong position when the server failure put paid to their plans.
Earlier, the opening leg of the final started off with both teams drawing all their clashes and ended on 3-3. Vidit Gujrathi had his chances against Ian Nepomniachtchi but the game ended in a draw. The clash between Koneru Humpy and Kateryna Lagno too ended in a draw and same was the result in the D Harika-Alexandra Kosteniuk game as well. The other three matches – Pragg-Alexey Sarana, Divya Deshmukh-Polina Shuvalova and Harikrishna-Artemiev Vladislav — too saw players split points.
The second leg of the final saw Vidit start off with a draw with Daniil Dubov while Viswanathan drew with Nepo. Harika scored her second draw in the match — this time against Alexandra Kosteniuk. However, Humpy lost her game while server failures sealed the fate of Divya and Nihal. But FIDE’s decision made sure that the clash concluded on a happy note. (TNN)