India and Russia have both been awarded gold at the Chess Olympiad after a major internet outage left two Indian players unable to compete in the finals.
The Chess Olympiad takes place once every two years, featuring teams from across the world, and this year’s championship was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The unprecedented decision followed the Indian players losing their connection.
They were forfeited after running out of time – but subsequently lodged a successful appeal.
Teams from 163 countries took part in the event which has been running since 1927 and was this year hosted by Chess.com.
These teams were comprised of six players, three of whom had to be female and two of whom needed to be under 20 years of age.
Arkady Dvorkovich, president of the World Chess Federation, confirmed in a statement that the Olympiad was impacted a “global internet outage”.
The global outage is believed to have been caused by a human error at CenturyLink, a US-based telecommunications networking company, which had knock-on effects for a number of content distribution networks and services around the world.
The disconnection happened during the second games of the finals, with each of the first games being drawn.
As a result, Mr Dvorkovich said both teams were being awarded gold medals in the “absence of a unanimous decision” over the winner from the Olympiad’s appeals committee.