India and Russia declared joint Chess Olympiad champions after technical glitch – what exactly happened?

The final of the Chess Olympiad between India and Russia appeared to have been hit by a technical issue because of Cloudflare, the American web-infrastructure and website-security company. Indian and Russia were later declared joint winners.

Two Indian players lost their connection while playing.

What happened at the Chess Olympiad?

A dramatic finish saw India lose out after two its players timed out. The Indian team had Captain Vidit Gujrathi, Viswanathan Anand, Koneru Humpy, D Harika, R Paggnanandhaa, Pentala Harikrishna, Nihal Sarin and Divya Desmukh.

However, later Chess.com announced that India and Russia would be declared joint-winners.

India’s appeal

GM Srinath Narayanan who made the appeal explained: “The match was going intensely. Nihal and Divya's time were running out and they lost on time. We had made all these efforts. We had made sure there were no issues with internet and electricity. It became clear, it was a global outage. Which also led Cloudflare to crash. I asked Alex (India's arbitrator) if we should lodge an appeal. He told me to wait. I was initially anxious since there was a 15 minute window. We had a brief one para appeal ready. It went down to the FIDE president who decided that it was the most fair decision to declare India-Russia joint champions.”

India and Russia declared joint Chess Olympiad champions after technical glitch – what exactly happened?

Updates from Cloudfare (UTC is 5:30 hours ahead of IST)

Update - We are continuing to work on a fix for this issue.
Aug 30, 12:59 UTC

Update - We have identified an issue with a transit provider which is causing 5xx class HTTP errors, such as HTTP 522, 502, 503.

This is affecting all data centers that make use of this transit provider and we are working on implementing mitigations to alleviate this issue.
Aug 30, 11:57 UTC

Identified - The issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented.
Aug 30, 11:39 UTC

Update - We are continuing to investigate this issue.
Aug 30, 11:08 UTC

Update - Cloudflare is investigating an increased level of HTTP 5xx class errors.

We are working to understand the full impact and mitigate this problem. More updates to follow shortly.
Aug 30, 10:45 UTC

Investigating - Cloudflare is aware of, and investigating an issue which potentially impacts multiple customers. Further detail will be provided as more information becomes available.
Aug 30, 10:21 UTC

What happened at the Chess Olympiad?

A dramatic finish saw India lose out after two its players timed out. The Indian team had Captain Vidit Gujrathi, Viswanathan Anand, Koneru Humpy, D Harika, R Paggnanandhaa, Pentala Harikrishna, Nihal Sarin and Divya Desmukh.

However, later Chess.com announced that India and Russia would be declared joint-winners.

Incidentally, it was the only major honour missing from Vishwanathan Anand’s kitty.

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