Grandmaster Levon Aronian

Super Grandmaster Levon Aronian to Move to Saint Louis, Represent the US

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SAINT LOUIS, Mo.  — The Saint Louis Chess Club announced this week that Armenian Grandmaster (GM) Levon Aronian will relocate to Saint Louis, MO and represent the USA in future competitions. “I am sincerely proud to have had the honor of making a significant contribution to the greatest achievements of Armenian chess․ Clearly, it is impossible to reach world heights in chess without the huge amount of work done at home and through the support of my fellow countrymen. I truly appreciate the personal attention and support that I received from the third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan for many years.”

The 38-year-old grandmaster first made a name for himself by winning the 1994 World Youth Chess Championship. Aronian went on to lead the Armenian national team to three Olympiad gold medals (2006, 2008, 2012) and one World Team Championship gold (2011). Throughout his career Aronian has amassed many individual victories as well, including the World Cup (2005, 2017), Linares (2006), Corus/Tata Steel (2008, 2011), Norway Chess (2017), Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz (2017, 2019) and the Sinquefield Cup (2015, 2018).

Aronian is also a world champion in three formats; he is a former Chess960 World Champion (2006, 2007), World Rapid Champion (2009), and World Blitz World Champion (2010).

“Levon played in our first-ever Sinquefield Cup in 2013. I’ve come to know him over the years to be a fierce competitor and true gentleman. He represents the best of our sport,” said Rex Sinquefield, co-founder of the Saint Louis Chess Club. “When he came to us with interest in moving to Saint Louis and representing the U.S., I could think of no one better. We welcome him with open arms.”

The Saint Louis Chess Club has become a second home to Aronian. After winning the 2019 Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, he spoke fondly of his many visits to the Central West End. At the closing ceremony he remarked, “I love playing in the city of Saint Louis, where chess players are proud to be chess players and we’re loved, and that is mainly thanks to the Sinquefield family.”

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Aronian joins dozens of other chess players who have decided to make Saint Louis, the nation’s chess capital, their home. The “Sinquefield Effect” is largely credited with the resurgence of American chess over the last decade.

Aronian is currently ranked number five in the world, and he will join fellow world top-20 players Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Leinier Dominguez and Hikaru Nakamura to represent the United States.

Aronian informed the Armenian Chess Federation and his followers on Thursday, February 25, 2021 by stating, “I am very grateful to my family, relatives, friends, all the people who know my principles and understand my decision to change federations. I want to assure once again that I am connected to my homeland. By all means, I will continue to do the possible and the impossible for my country even from afar.”

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