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India and Russia both get gold medals at chess championship

India and Russia both get gold medals at chess championship after two Indian players lose their internet connection in final

  • Nihal Sarin, 16, and Divya Deshmukh, 14, fell victim to ‘global internet outage’ 
  • They were one of 160 countries competing in  the Chess Olympiad held online
  • They were forced to forfeit after loosing connection, but India appealed 

Both India and Russia were awarded gold medals in a prestigious chess competition after two Indian players – aged just 14 and 16 – lost their internet connection in the final.

Nihal Sarin, 16, and Divya Deshmukh, 14, lost connection due to ‘a global internet outage’ in the last round of the Chess Olympiad.

The competition – in which contestants from 160 countries competed against each other – was held online this year due to coronavirus restrictions. 

Divya (pictured) was soaring ahead of Russian Polina Shuvalova when her connection dropped

Both India and Russia were awarded gold medals in a prestigious chess competition after Nihal Sarin, 16, (left) and Divya Deshmukh, 14, (right) lost connection due to ‘a global internet outage’ in the last round of the Chess Olympiad

Divya was soaring ahead of Russian Polina Shuvalova, while it was a closer call between Nihal and his competition Andrey Esipenko when their internet connection dropped.

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They were forced to forfeit after loosing connection to their online games, but India appealed, BBC News reports.

President of the International Chess Federation said in a statement: ‘The Online Chess Olympiad has been impacted by a global internet outage, that severely affected several countries, including India. 

The Chess Olympiad - in which contestants from 160 countries competed against each other - was held online this year due to coronavirus restrictions (file image)

The Chess Olympiad – in which contestants from 160 countries competed against each other – was held online this year due to coronavirus restrictions (file image)

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

The International Chess Federation’s appeals committee  could not make a ‘unanimous decision’ so he gave the win to both countries.

On Friday, Armenia said it too fell victim to internet outages after its players were disconnected in the quarter final and appealed.

But it was rejected, leading the country withdraw in protest. 

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