Cheating, Walkout and Sportiveness marked 1st chess Online Olympiad

By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Aug 30 : Cheating, non-sportive and sportive behaviour marked the FIDE’s first online chess Olympiad in which 163 countries competed.

Even as FIDE — the global chess body — had laid out elaborate guidelines to prevent cheating by the players, during the initial stages of the tournament, the Online Olympiad Fair Play Panel had identified four cases where the fair play regulations might have been violated.

According to FIDE, all the results of these players in the Online Olympiad have been turned into losses.

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“These cases affect four players from Mali (Base Division, Pool B), Brunei Darussalam (Division 4, pool A), Hong Kong (Division 4, pool A), and Nicaragua (Division 4, pool E),” FIDE had said in a statement.

“FIDE will not disclose any more information or respond to any inquiries on this matter until a full investigation has been conducted,” the global chess body had said.

The non-sportive behaviour in this game of Kings and Queens was exhibited by one of the top-ranking teams in the world-Armenia.

In the quarterfinal match India’s Nihal Sarin was pitted against Armenia’s Haik M. Martirosyan.

When the Armenian was to make his 69th move, he lost Internet connectivity and thus lost out on time.

The Armenian team appealed against the game result, saying that the net connectivity was good and it was the problem with the Chess.com server. The appeal was dismissed.

Protesting against the dismissal of its appeal, the Armenian team walked out of the Olympiad.

“As a leader of a 3-time Olympic champion I feel very dissatisfied with FIDE’s decision to reject our just appeal. In our match against India, Haik Martirosyan lost on time due to disconnection from http://chess.com. We proved that our connection was stable (sic),” tweeted world number seven in the classical format Levon Aronian.

“It was a problem with access to http://chess.com, not on our side. All we asked for was to continue that game from the same position and same time. Is it too much to ask?” he wondered.

Chess players had said continuing the game from the same position and same time could not be allowed as the players would have analysed the position in depth with the help of computers.

FIDE had laid down strong rules for players, including a ban from playing in the next round even if their internet connectivity is lost for two minutes or less.

However, FIDE will not be taking any action against the Armenian team for the walkout.

“I can confirm that no further disciplinary actions are being considered at this point,” FIDE’s Chief Communications Officer David Llada had told IANS.

He said the quarter-finals is a knockout event, so the withdrawal does not impact other teams.

The quarter-finals consist of a knockout duel of two matches and an Armageddon game.

As the decision on Armenian team’s appeal took a long time, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich also spoke to Indian team’s non-playing Captain 26-year-old Srinath Narayanan.

“The FIDE President was professional in his approach and explained the delay in taking a decision on the appeal. I listened to him, explained our position and stressed that our players shouldn’t be kept waiting,” Narayanan told IANS.

Narayanan said he was sure FIDE’s decision would not go in favour of the appeal as the tournament rules were clear.

On the other hand, India’s sportive attitude came to fore when it faced a worse situation against Mongolia.

Owing to the disruption in power and Internet connectivity Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and K. Humpy lost their games against Mongolia.

Though India is one the top chess playing nations in the world, it did not flex its muscle or walked out but continued to play.

Earlier to this episode against Mongolia, India’s Diva Deshmukh had lost a game owing to connectivity with the Chess.com server.

In all India had lost three games due to disruption in the Internet connectivity.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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