Levon AronianWednesday, February 5, 2020
Levon Grigori Aronian (6 October 1982) is an Armenian chess player.
He was awarded the title Grandmaster by FIDE in 2000. On the March 2014 FIDE rating list, he was ranked number two in the world and had an Elo rating of 2830, making him the fourth highest rated player in history.
Aronian won the FIDE World Cup in 2005 and 2017. He led the Armenian national team to the gold medals in the Chess Olympiads of 2006 (Turin), 2008 (Dresden) and 2012 (Istanbul) and at the World Team Chess Championship in Ningbo 2011. He won the FIDE Grand Prix 2008–2010, qualifying him for the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2012, where he was knocked out in the first round. He was also world champion in Chess960 in 2006 and 2007, in rapid chess in 2009, and in blitz chess in 2010.
Aronian has been the leading Armenian chess player since the early 2000s. His popularity in Armenia has led to him being called a celebrity and a hero. He was named the best sportsman of Armenia in 2005 and was awarded the title of Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia in 2009. In 2012 he was awarded the Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots.In 2016, CNN called Aronian the "David Beckham of chess".As of November 2019, Levon Aronian is the No. 1 ranked player in Armenia and the No. 7 in the world, with a FIDE rating of 2772.
Aronian was born on 6 October 1982 in Yerevan, Armenia (then part of the Soviet Union), to Seda Avagyan, an Armenian mining engineer, and Grigory Leontievich Aronov, a Russian Jewish physicist. Talking about his background, Aronian stated in an interview, "I feel much more Armenian than Jewish, although there are sides to me which are more Jewish culturally, involving the arts and music." He was taught to play chess by his sister, Lilit, at the age of nine. His first coach was the Grandmaster Melikset Khachiyan. An early sign of his ability came when he won the 1994 World Youth Chess Championship (under-12) in Szeged with 8/9, ahead of future luminaries Étienne Bacrot, Ruslan Ponomariov, Francisco Vallejo Pons, and Alexander Grischuk.
Since 2011, Aronian's permanent trainer has been Ashot Nadanian, whom Aronian calls "absolutely irreplaceable".
Aronian holds a diploma from the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture
Levon started dating Australian Woman International Master Arianne Caoili in 2008. The two announced they were engaged in February 2015. and got married on 30 September 2017 in Yerevan. They first met at the 1996 World Youth Chess Championships in Las Palmas and became friends in 2006 when their mutual friend International Master Alex Wohl introduced them in Berlin.
His mother Seda Aronova published a book about her son on 22 November 2013, recounting her memories of Levon's childhood and accomplishments.
Aronian is a jazz fan. His favorite musician is John Coltrane.