India and Russia were declared joint winners of the inaugural Online Chess Olympiad ©Getty Images

India and Russia were declared joint winners of the inaugural Online Chess Olympiad after two Indian players lost their internet connection.

The first round of the final had ended in a 3-3 deadlock, with the second round also level before Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh lost connection with their server. 

Russia were given the victory initially but India lodged an appeal with the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

After an hour of deliberation, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich decided to give both India and Russia the title in the "absence of a unanimous decision" from the organisation's appeals committee.

"The Online Chess Olympiad has been impacted by a global internet outage, that severely affected several countries, including India," Dvorkovich said.

"Two of the Indian players have been affected and lost connection, when the outcome of the match was still unclear."

India’s quarter-final victory against Armenia had also been affected by internet problems. 

Armenian players lodged an appeal claiming they had lost connection, but this was rejected.

India then beat Poland 2-1 in the semi-final to reach the gold medal clash.

Russia had overcome Hungary 1.5-0.5 in the quarter-finals and beaten the United States by the same score in the semis. 

FIDE described the competition as its biggest online tournament yet, with 163 countries competing. 

The event was scheduled in response to the postponement of FIDE's traditional Chess Olympiad, which had been due to take place in Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk in August.

FIDE took the decision to reschedule the event to 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Each team in the online chess event featured six players in a mixed team format, with a minimum of three female players and two junior players.