Chess Olympiad historic win 'magical moment' for Team India: Vishwanathan Anand, Koneru Humpy

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 01, 2020, 01:11 PM(IST)

Viswanathan Anand, Koneru Humpy and R Praggnanandhaa were part of the Indian team in the final. (Twitter/FIDE) Photograph:( Twitter )

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Vishwanathan Anand and ace women’s player Koneru Humpy on Monday termed India’s maiden gold medal in the Chess Olympiad as “magical moment” which has the ability to turn the fortunes for chess in India. 

Indian on Sunday scripted history as they were declared joint winners of the 2020 Online Chess Olympiad. After a server malfunction, Russia were initially declared the joint winners but the decision was overturned after a review from Team India. Legendary

Vishwanathan Anand and ace women’s player Koneru Humpy on Monday termed India’s maiden gold medal in the Chess Olympiad as “magical moment” which has the ability to turn the fortunes for chess in India. 

The entire Indian contingent met together for the first time since the Online Chess Olympiad win, in virtual press conference, as everyone expressed their delight on scripting history and bringing the gold home for India.

"The tournament went like a dream for me. A special gold for me. A special moment for youngsters. Winning the gold is simply a magical moment," Anad told reporters during an online media interaction, along with all the other 11 members of the Indian team.

ALSO READ: India and Russia declared joint winners of FIDE Chess Olympiad after a dramatic final

"I hope this will be the start of many things for India," Anand said of the country's first gold medal in the Chess Olympiad.

India had previously won a bronze in the men’s event of the 2014 edition, which was country’s best finish before the achievement in 2020 Online Chess Olympiad. Anand continued as he said this gold will be special to his collection. 

"The Olympiad win is very special...A very special medal I will add to my collection," he added.

Anand, who has been an inspiration for millions, lauded the young players in the team as he said that it proved the depth of Indian chess while adding that this win might push government to look at chess as they did a years ago. 

"I hope this result will have a positive impact and they (government) will look at chess they did years ago.

"Several years ago, they had recognised that this is one of the sports where we do incredibly well. I hope we will once again start coming in for Arjuna and Dronacharya awards," he added.

Whereas, the world rapid champion, Humpy described the win as golden moment for Indian chess while saying that teamwork was key to the historic win. 

"Really a special and golden moment for Indian chess. Talented youngsters like Nihal Sarin, R Praggnanandhaa, Vantika..did well. Great teamwork did it for us. We had an advantage of having a mixed team," she said.

On playing online, she said, "I never had an idea of playing online chess. I am comfortable playing over the board. The pandemic has forced us to play online. It is a different experience. Slowly, getting used to it," she added.

Team captain Vidit Gujrathi said the victory was possible due to the great work by all players.

"All the players did a great job which brought us the gold medal. It was a great experience to work with Anand," he said.

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