India Today had purposely edited out the Vibhuti (sacred ash markings on the forehead) from the image of chess grandmaster and prodigy Ramesh Praggnanandhaa.
Upon conducting a reverse search image, Newschecker found a tweet by the Official account of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) posted on 23rd August, 2020.
The tweet has been shared along with the caption ‘India does it! 4:2 win against China, four draws & two wins on U20 boards. 15-year old Praggnanandhaa R was on the ropes, but managed to turn the tables on Liu Yan & finish with a perfect 6/6 score. India takes first place in Pool A & is the first team to qualify to quarterfinals.’
Newschecker found that it is the same image used by India Today in their article and does not have the Vibhuti mark on his forehead.
Upon performing a keyword search, Newschecker found an article by the Free Press Journal uploaded on 23rd August, 2020 which carried the same image.
According to the article “Chess player R Praggnanandhaa helped India secure a spot in the quarter-finals with a 4:2 win over China in the ninth and final round.
India secured the first place in Top Division Pool A of the U20 FIDE Online Chess Olympiad with four draws and two wins to its name.”
Newschecker reached out to International Chess Federation (FIDE) for a comment about the controversy the image has caused to which they responded by saying “Yes, we are aware of the stir this image has caused. The photo does not belong to our own archives, so we are unable to provide any exact info about the place or date where it was taken. Being a post from two years ago, it is difficult for us to track down with certainties what was the source we used, but we think it has been taken from Praggnanandhaa’s Facebook page.
One thing I would like to stress is that FIDE hasn’t manipulated the image in any way.”
FIDE – Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, David Llada further stated “It could simply be a combination of the ash on his forehand being very faint, the photo being poorly exposed, and the photo being so compressed that has lost all detail in some overexposed areas.”
Result: False Context/False
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