India beat Armenia, enter semis of FIDE Online Olympiad

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BY VENKATACHARI JAGANNATHAN
Chennai, Aug 28 (IANS)
The Indian chess team entered the semi-finals of the FIDE Online Olympiad defeating a strong Armenian side on Friday. The Indian team won their first match against Armenia 3.5-2.5.
Armenia forfeited their second match as their appeal against the victory of India’s rising star Nihal Sarin was dismissed.
Sarin was pitted against Haik M. Martirosyan. When the Armenian was to make his 69th move it seems he lost net connectivity and thus lost out on time.
The Armenian team had appealed saying that the net connectivity was good and it was the problem with the Chess.com server.
“As a leader of a 3 times Olympic champion I feel very dissatisfied with FIDE’s desision 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.),” Armenian player Levon Aronian tweeted.
“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?”
“Indian player Divya Deshmukh too faced a similar problem in the earlier stages of the tournament and had lost a game,” recalled an Indian chess Grandmaster not wanting to be quoted.
It will be interesting to note how the global chess body FIDE will look at Armenian team forfeiting their second match against India. Whether any disciplinary action would be taken against Armenia by FIDE has to be seen.
It may be noted that the FIDE had laid down strong rules for players including ban from the tournament even if their net connectivity is lost for two minutes or less.
Apart from Deshmukh, two Indian players lost their games against Mongolia owing to disruption in power supply and internet connectivity earlier. Be that as it may, the first match India’s Viswanathan Anand drew with Aronian in 54 moves.
India gained an upper hand with Dronavalli Harika defeating Lilit Mkrtchian in 61 moves and team Captain Vidit Santosh Gujrathi outplaying Gabriel Sargissian in 53 moves.
There were some tense moments as Koneru Humpy and Vantika Agrawal lost against Elina Danielian and Anna M Sargsyan respectively. However, Sarin’s win sealed the match in India’s favor.

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