Shortly before the final of the Chess Olympiad between India and Russia kicked off on Sunday, former World champion Vladimir Kramnik expressed an unusual wish.
“I hope both the teams win,” he said, smiling, during his stint as a commentator on an Indian YouTube channel streaming the match live.
A couple of hours later, that statement turned out to be one of the strangest prediction-come-true moments imaginable in sport. Mind you, there had to be a winner, and if India and Russia had tied at the end of their two matches, the nerve-racking tiebreaker named Armageddon was to be employed.
Kramnik got his wish. FIDE decided to make India and Russia the joint champions after an internet outage disrupted the final.
Kramnik, who had ended the long reign of fellow-Russian Garry Kasparov 20 years ago, has been training India’s young chess players. So he had first-hand knowledge of the…