Aronian at the 2011 European Team Chess Championships in Athens
6 October 1982 |
Yerevan, Soviet Armenia
|FIDE rating||2813 (June 2013)|
|Peak rating||2825 (May 2012)|
|Ranking||No. 2 (June 2013)|
|Peak ranking||No. 2 (January 2012)|
Levon Aronian (Armenian: Լևոն Արոնյան; born 6 October 1982) is an Armenian chess Grandmaster. On the May 2012 FIDE list, he had an Elo rating of 2825, making him number two in the world and third highest of all time.
Aronian won the Chess World Cup 2005. He led the Armenian national team to the Gold medals in the 2006 (Turin), 2008 (Dresden) and 2012 (Istanbul) Chess Olympics 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 Chess960 Champion in 2006 and 2007, World Rapid Chess Champion in 2009, and World Blitz Chess Champion in 2010.
Aronian was declared the best sportsman of Armenia in 2005 and was awarded the title of "Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia" in 2009.
Aronian was born on 6 October 1982 in Yerevan, Armenia, to Seda Sarkisovna, an Armenian mining engineer, and Grigory Leontievich, a Jewish physicist. 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.
In 2001 Aronian scored seven out of nine in the Cappelle-la-Grande Open, half a point behind the joint winners Einar Gausel and Vladimir Chuchelov. A few months later, he won the Young Masters tournament at Lausanne.
In 2002 he won the Armenian Chess Championship. In the same year he became World Junior Champion, scoring 10/13 and finishing ahead of Surya Ganguly, Artyom Timofeev, Luke McShane, Bu Xiangzhi, Pendyala Harikrishna, and others.
Levon Aronian became part of the international elite in 2005, shooting up to fifth place in the world. In 2005 he was part of a five-way tie for first place at the Gibtele.com Masters in Gibraltar with Zahar Efimenko, Kiril Georgiev, Alexei Shirov, and Emil Sutovsky. He was the sole winner of the Karabakh 2005 International "A" Tournament. In the Russian Team Championship, he scored +5 −0 =3 with an Elo performance rating of around 2850. In December he beat Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine in the final round to win the World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. After a draw in two regular games, Aronian won both Rapid games to win the event and emerge undefeated in seven rounds.
In March 2006 he took sole first place at the annual Linares chess tournament, half a point ahead of Teimour Radjabov and FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov. In 2006 he also tied for first in the Tal Memorial. The April–July 2006 FIDE rating list ranked Aronian the number three player in the world.
In January 2007 Aronian shared first place at the category 19 Corus chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee along with Veselin Topalov and Radjabov. In May 2007 he defeated World Champion Vladimir Kramnik 4–2 in a Rapid chess match.
His 2005 World Cup victory qualified him for the Candidates Tournament of the World Chess Championship 2007, scheduled for May–June 2007. In this tournament he played GM Magnus Carlsen, and they tied 3–3 in the initial six games, then 2–2 in Rapid chess, and finally Aronian won 2–0 at Blitz chess. In the finals, he defeated Shirov 3½–2½. This qualified him for the final stage of the championship, which was played in Mexico. There, he scored only six points out of 14, finishing seventh out of eight players.
In January 2008 he won the prestigious Corus chess tournament jointly with Magnus Carlsen, scoring 8/13. In March 2008 he won the Melody Amber Blindfold/Rapid tournament held in Nice, France, 2½ points ahead of the nearest competitors. Apart from his first place win in the overall tournament, he also took sole first place in the Rapid section of the tournament (winning by a margin of 1½ points) and shared first place in the Blindfold section with three other chess grandmasters: Kramnik, Morozevich, and Topalov. In June 2008, Aronian won the Karen Asrian Memorial Rapid chess tournament in Yerevan. He finished 8½/14 ahead of Peter Leko.
In March 2009 he won the 18th Melody Amber Blindfold/Rapid tournament held in Nice, France for the second time, scoring a combined 14 points in 22 games. In the same year he took clear first place with four wins, one draw, and one loss in the second Bilbao Masters. On 2 August 2009 Aronian won the World Rapid Chess Championship. In November 2009 he competed in the Mikhail Tal Memorial, at the time the strongest tournament in history (in terms of average Elo, 2763). He finished fourth with 5/9, and in the final round memorably demolished World Champion Viswanathan Anand with the black pieces in just 25 moves. In December 2009, he was awarded the title of "Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia".
In August 2010, he attempted to defend the World Rapid Chess title, but lost to eventual champion American Gata Kamsky. In September 2010, Aronian played in the preliminary stage of the Bilbao Grand Slam in Shanghai against Vladimir Kramnik, Alexei Shirov, and Wang Hao, but could not qualify for the final tournament after losing to Kramnik in an Armageddon game after they drew the tiebreaker match. His next tournament was the Chess Olympiad, where he was Armenia's first board, leading them to a seventh place finish, winning the silver medal on board one, and raising his rating to a career-high 2794.
In November 2010, he finished shared first at the category XXI Tal Memorial. Following this tournament, he competed in the World Blitz Championship in Moscow, where he scored 24.5/38 to win the title ahead of Teimour Radjabov and defending champion Magnus Carlsen; Aronian clinched the title with a round to spare.
Over his career, Aronian has a 5–1 record against Anand in classical chess. His high ranking and the fact that he was playing in the 2011 world championship Candidates tournament suggested that Aronian was a hot favorite for winning the title from Anand. However, Aronian suffered a setback by losing to Alexander Grischuk 2½–1½ in a quarter final Rapid play tiebreaker following a 2–2 split in their regulation classical matches.
In November 2011 Aronian played in the category 22 Tal Memorial in Moscow in a round robin with ten players. He won two games, against Ivanchuk and Svidler, and drew the rest. He tied for first with Magnus Carlsen, each scoring 5.5/9.
In January 2012, Aronian competed in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee; the field included world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, defending champion Hikaru Nakamura, and former world champion Veselin Topalov, among others. The average rating of the field was 2755, making this thirteen-round event a category 21 tournament. After twelve rounds, Aronian was in clear first place with 8.5 points going into the final round, one point ahead of Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov. In the final round, Aronian drew against Radjabov with the white pieces in the King's Indian Defense. With the draw, Aronian finished with 9/13 (+5), a tournament performance rating of 2891, and took clear first place a point ahead of Carlsen, Radjabov and Fabiano Caruana.
In the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in January, Aronian finished second with +5−1=7, behind Carlsen.
Aronian played for Armenia in the Chess Olympiads of 1996, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. He took team bronze medal in 2004 and team gold medal in 2006, 2008 and 2012. In the 2010 Chess Olympiad he won the silver medal for his individual performance on board one. He was a member of the gold-medal winning Armenian team at the World Team Chess Championship in 2011.
Tabulation number of wins in major recurring chess tournaments
Among the many tournaments organized, some particularly stand out because of history or category. This tabulation gives an overview of the number of wins in the major recurring chess tournaments and world championship matches.
|Linares (1978)||Wijk aan Zee (1938)||Dortmund (1928)||Tal Memorial (2006)||M-Tel Masters (2005)||Nanjing Super-GM (2008)||London Chess Classic (2009)||Biel (1968)||Fide Grand Prix (2009)||Bilbao Masters (2008)||WC match/tournament||Total won|
Aronian broke the 2800 rating barrier in the November 2010 FIDE world ranking with a rating of 2801. He is only the sixth player to cross the 2800 rating mark, after Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Veselin Topalov, and Magnus Carlsen.
Standing on each top 100 FIDE list:
|Rating list||Rating||World ranking|
- bold, new peak rating
In 2003 Aronian won the Finet Chess960 open at Mainz; this qualified him for a match against Chess960 World Champion Peter Svidler at Mainz the following year, a match which he lost 4½–3½. He won the Finet Chess960 open tournament again in 2005 which earned him a rematch with Svidler in 2006, and won the match this time 5–3 to become Chess960 World Champion.
Viswanathan Anand has said of Aronian "I think Aronian's a [highly] tactical player ... He's always looking for various little tricks to solve technical tasks." In 2011, Boris Gelfand described Aronian as "the most striking player around, with the highest creative level, in terms both of openings and original ideas in the middlegame."
Internet Chess Club
|This section uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
Ivan Sokolov vs. Levon Aronian, Turin 2006 Chess Olympiad; Nimzo–Indian Defence (ECO E35)
[Analysis by A. J. Goldsby]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 c5!? 7. dxc5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Bg3 Ne4 10. Bxb8!?
- 10.e3; 10.Be5
- 10...Rxb8?? 11.Qa4+ +−
11. Bg3 Nxc3 12. a3 Bf5! 13. Qd2 Ba5 14. b4? Ne4 15. Qc1 Rc8!! 16. Ra2?! Rxc5 17. Qa1 (see diagram) Qc6!
- The threat of back-rank mate is crushing.
18. Qe5+ Kd8 19. Qxh8+ Kd7 0–1
- If 20.e3, 20...Rc1+ 21.Ke2 Bg4+! and 22...Qc4#
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Levon Aronian|
- Levon Aronian player profile and games at Chessgames.com
- Levon Aronian at 365Chess.com
- Grandmaster Games Database – Levon Aronian
- Biography of Levon Aronian
- Interview with Levon Aronian
|World Rapid Chess Champion
|World Blitz Chess Champion