Pandemic Causes Drama at the Chess Olympiad

Joint winners crowned after technical difficulties
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2020 3:22 AM CDT
Pandemic Causes Drama at the Chess Olympiad
   (Getty Images / simpson33)

The Chess Olympiad got a little dramatic amid the coronavirus pandemic, and ended with two gold medals awarded. The international tournament was held online amid what officials called "unprecedented circumstances," and India played Russia in the final round. Two of the players from India lost their internet connection and ended up forfeiting on time. Russia was initially awarded gold, but India appealed, 9 News reports. Ultimately, both countries were given the top prize, the BBC reports.

"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 president of the International Chess Federation explained in a statement. A unanimous decision could not be made by the appeals committee, leading to the double gold. More than 160 countries participated in the tournament, which started in July. Armenia had previously appealed, due to a player being disconnected during the quarterfinals, but that appeal was rejected and the country withdrew to protest. (More chess stories.)

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