Levon Aronian is an Armenian chess grandmaster who won the World Cup in 2005 and 2017.
He was born on October 6, 1982, in Yerevan, as Levon Grigori Aronian.
His parents are Grigory Leontievich Aronov, a physicist, and Seda Avagyan, a mining engineer.
Levon learned to play chess at age 9 from his sister.
”In my childhood, I studied both the piano and chess, but then I had to choose one of them,” he said.
His first coach was GM Melikset Khachiyan.
In 1994, Aronian won the World Youth Chess Championship U12.
In 2002, he won the Armenian Chess Championship.
In 2003, he won the FiNet Chess960 open at Mainz.
In 2004, Levon lost to Pavel Smirnov in the third round of the FIDE World Chess Championship.
In 2005, Aronian won the Karabakh International “A” Tournament.
In 2006, he became a world champion in Chess960. In the same year, Levon won the Linares chess tournament.
In 2007, Levon qualified for the Candidates tournament. He defeated GM Magnus Carlsen in the first round and Alexei Shirov in round 2. Ultimately, the 2007 Candidates tournament was won by Viswanathan Anand in Mexico City.
In March 2008, Aronian won the Melody Amber Blindfold/Rapid tournament in Nice.
In November 2008, he was part of the Armenian national chess team that won the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden.
In 2009, Levon won the rapid chess championship. Also in 2009, he received the title of Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia.
In April 2009, he won the Fourth FIDE Grand Prix.
In 2010, Levon won the World Blitz Championship in Moscow.
In 2011, Aronian won the final Melody Amber Blindfold/Rapid tournament.
In 2012, he co-founded a chess school in Yerevan.
In 2013, he finished 4th in the Candidates Tournament.
In March 2014, Aronian reached his highest FIDE rating — 2830.
In 2017, he won the GRENKE Chess Classic. In June 2017, Levon won the fifth edition of the Norway Chess Tournament.
In January 2018, he won the Annual Gibraltar Chess Festival.
In 2019, he won the Superbet Rapid & Blitz in Romania. In August 2019, Levon won the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz tournament.
In February 2021, it was reported that Aronian decided to move to St. Louis and play for the United States. He cited a decline in government support for the sport as his motivation.
”When he came to us with interest in moving to Saint Louis and representing the U.S., I could think of no one better,” Rex Sinquefield, co-founder of the Saint Louis Chess Club, said in a press release. ”We welcome him with open arms.”
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On September 30, 2017, Levon Aronian married Arianne Caoili, a Filipino-Australian chess player who won the Oceania women’s chess championship in 2009.
Levon and Arianne first met in 1996 at the World Youth Chess Championships in Las Palmas. They became officially engaged in 2015.
On March 30, 2020, Caoili passed away from the injuries she sustained during a car accident on March 15 in Yerevan. She was 33.
”I have no words to express my grief over my wife Arianne’s death,” he wrote on Twitter. ”She was an intelligent, hard-working, and joyous person that lived a beautiful life.”
”None of us know how much time we have on this earth,” Hikaru Nakamura said. ”This news is extremely tragic and sad.”
”My deep condolences Levon, and to the many others whose lives were made brighter by Arianne.” — Garry Kasparov
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”You can never be satisfied if you play terribly.”
”It’s about being more friendly in everyday life and less friendly over the chessboard.”
”As a chess player, one has to be able to control one’s feelings, one has to be as cold as a machine.”
”I learned my favorite quote two weeks ago. It goes: ‘assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.’”
Levon Aronian – Net Worth
Aronian earned most of his wealth from the prize money he won from participating in chess tournaments.
For example, for winning the 2017 FIDE World Cup, Aronian received $120,000. Therefore, Armenian chess grandmaster Levon Aronian has an estimated net worth of $1 million.
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