For the members of the Indian chess team, sitting in front of their computers at homes spread across the country, the evening of August 30 proved unforgettable. It was the day they made history, by jointly winning the online Chess Olympiad, but they had to go through an emotional roller-coaster.

Take the case of Koneru Humpy, for instance. The evening had begun rather well for her, after she logged in from her Vijayawada residence. She got an excellent position against Kateryna Lagno in the first match of the final against Russia. She looked certain to win, and the full point would have given India the victory in that first match.

The format of the knockout stage of the online Olympiad required a team to win at least one of the two matches. If both are drawn, there would be a tie-breaker, called Armageddon — something like sudden death in football.

India’s growing depth on…

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