FIDE announces Online Chess Olympiad schedule

Seeded seventh, India ended as joint champions with Russia last year under controversial circumstances.

Koneru Humpy

Koneru Humpy is looking forward to the second edition of the online Olympiad.   -  Giri KVS

After the resounding success of the first online Olympiad, world chess governing body FIDE has announced the schedule of its second edition. It will be held from August 13 to September 15.

Last year, more than 1,500 players had competed, representing 163 countries. India and Russia were declared the joint champions, though under controversial circumstances.

India had lost the final, but it lodged an appeal to FIDE, pointing out that it was due to an internet outage that India lost two games. FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich decided that the gold should be shared. Some of the Russian players were not happy with that decision and even went public with their displeasure.

Nobody could have had any dispute about India’s fine show in the tournament, though. A star-studded team featuring Viswanathan Anand, Vidit Gujrathi, Pendyala Harikrishna, Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, R. Vaishali, Bhakti Kulkarni, Nihal Sarin, R. Praggnanandhaa, Aravindh Chithambaram, Bhakti Kulkarni, Divya Deshmukh and Vantika Agrawal, had put up a great display right through after beginning its campaign as the seventh seed.

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“I am looking forward to the second edition of the online Olympiad,” Humpy told Sportstar on Wednesday. “I hope we will be able to field all the strong players that we could last year.”

She said the format – a team is required to field men, women and juniors – suited India well. “We have some of the world’s best young players in Nihal, Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali, and they had made a big difference last year,” said the World No. 3. “It felt great to be the joint champion in such a strong event in which most of the world’s best players took part. I think we should be able to do well in this year’s tournament, too.”

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