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Chess Olympiad gold similar to 1983 Cricket World Cup win – Vidit Gujrathi

India created history on Sunday when they won the gold medal and shared it with Russia in the Chess Olympiad for the first time in their history in a final that was marred with controversy. Two players had their matches declared lost on time after a global internet outage cut their links to the match servers. The Indian team appealed to FIDE and the decision was made to share the gold. This was the first time India had won the gold medal in the 96-year history of the tournament. The Indian chess team overcame power and internet issues to secure the top prize albeit it was shared.

Vidit Gujrathi, the captain of the Indian team said the Olympiad gold was similar to how Indian cricket was put on the world map following the 1983 World Cup win against the West Indies. He also revealed that the massive interest of the fans led to extra motivation for India winning this prize.

“For chess, 2020 has been the highlight. When the cricket team won the 1983 World Cup, the nation was going through an economic crisis. The sport brought it together. Fans had something to look forward to this. I have gotten so many messages from fans. That would never have happened before. People are following chess. Whenever I went down for the Ganesh Aarthi, they would be saying why you did not play that move or why did you not try anything different? 69,000 people watching the live broadcast of the Olympiad is something surreal,” said Vidit.