Aronian and Caoili tie the knot

by Sagar Shah
10/16/2017 – World number two Levon Aronian and Arianne Caoili were married on September 30th, 2017, in Yerevan, Armenia. It was a Christian wedding ceremony held in one of the most ancient churches of the country. The most important guest at the wedding was Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan along with first lady Rita Sargsyan. We have official pictures of the wedding exclusively sent to ChessBase and also a few videos to give you a feel of the celebrations, including Levon singing! | Photo: Alisa Studios, Los Angeles

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Happily ever after

Levon Aronian and Arianne Caoili wedding

Photos courtesy Alisa Studios, Los Angeles

Levon Aronian moved his knight to f5. His opponent Ding Liren was surprised. The Chinese player had missed this move. It became clear to everyone that the Armenian was going to become the World Cup winner for the second time! When Ding Liren resigned, the entire hall erupted into applause. Levon had done it! Three days before his wedding with Arianne Caoili, he had managed to create history. When ChessBase asked Aronian how he was planning to celebrate this victory, he replied, "I will leave the celebration for two days. Don't want to get too drunk. I got to be ready!"

Levon's caution and trying to be in his best possible self for the wedding on September 30th was completely justified. He is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, sports celebrities in Armenia. The President of Armenia himself was going to be present at the wedding as the Godfather. Although only 300 people attended the ceremony in person, people from all over Armenia and the world followed this event closely on social media and elsewhere online.

If Levon is a big name in Armenia and the chess world, his wife Arianne is brilliant in her own right. Arianne is an economist with a PhD, who is now into consulting. She founded and is managing one of the biggest newspapers in Armenia — Champord Weekly — which is distributed on public transport for free. She is also a Woman International Master (WIM) with a peak rating of 2309. She was born in the Philippines but has represented Australia since 2004, and has competed in the Chess Olympiad seven times.

(Click or tap to expand all pictures)

Arianne Caoili

Arianne, with her bridesmaids, wearing a beautiful gown and... | Photo: elegant veil | Photo:

There comes the man of the moment — Levon Aronian | Photo:

Armenia is considered to be the earliest adopter of Christianity in the world. Levon and Arianne decided to get married on September 30th in the Traditional Armenian Christian style. The location that was chosen for the marriage was Saghmosavank Monastery, a 13th-century Armenian monastic complex located in the village of Saghmosavan. It is situated atop the precipitous gorge carved by the Kasagh river.

Saghmosavank Monastery

Perfect setting: The wedding took place at the Saghmosavank Monastery | Photo:

At the ceremony was Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and his wife Rita Sargsyan. Mr. Sargsyan is President not just of the country, but also of the Armenian Chess Federation. | Photo:

The setting of the ceremony inside the church | Photo:

The ring ceremony | Photo:

The Godfather of the wedding blesses the married couple! | Photo:

Hopelessly in love! | Photo:

Happiest day in Ponchik's life! | Photo:

It is like travelling on a smooth highway when you are with the right person! | Photo:

Getting ready for the reception in the evening | Photo:

The reception was held at the Radisson Hotel in Yerevan | Photo:

Levon is quite a singer! | Video: Hrant Akopian on Facebook

Here is Aronian singing the famous song My Yerevan with the first lady. People living in Yerevan are proud of their city and Aronian is no exception. My Yerevan is composed by the talented musician Arno Babajanian. He was an Armenian Soviet composer, very famous in the 70s and his connection to chess lies in the fact that he was a very good friend of World Champion Tigran Petrosian! Both Petrosian and Babajanian were born in Tbilisi!

The Qavor dance| Video: Facebook of Hrant Akopian

ChessBase wishes Levon and Arianne a very long, happy and fulfilling married life! | Photo:

Special thanks to Hrant Akopian, Aronian's manager, and the best man at the wedding, for his contribution to this report. And also to Alisa Photo Studio, Los Angeles and for sending ChessBase exclusive official pictures for the report.

Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India website, the biggest chess news outlet in the country.


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Pieces in Motion Pieces in Motion 10/25/2017 09:50
(lol) They've certainly come a long way. I remember reading about them for the first time over a decade ago and there was some scandal in a tournament they were in where they first met, there was some sort of "love triangle" and Aronian won out :-). I wish them well.
Philippe Dubost Philippe Dubost 10/23/2017 06:02
Toute mes félicitations de France, soyez heureux et merci pour votre magnifique victoire à Tbilissi....
Mark S Mark S 10/18/2017 05:03
Wow!! Superb reporting and nice photos too. Very happy for both GM Levon Aronian and WIM Arianne Caoili. Congratulations to both of you!
Aighearach Aighearach 10/18/2017 06:13
How can there possibly be no flashback to Gormallygate?!

Surely by now this is a funny story for the couple! ;)
BeachBum2 BeachBum2 10/18/2017 03:27
vanhelsing vanhelsing 10/18/2017 02:58
Good luck, Aronian!
elmerdsangalang elmerdsangalang 10/18/2017 02:19
Congratulations and best wishes to Levon and Arienne! The Filipino people share in your happiness!
vinov vinov 10/17/2017 09:20
congratulations Levon !!!
virginmind virginmind 10/17/2017 10:06
DaraNee DaraNee 10/17/2017 06:59
Congratulations! I liked their photo together with their dog the best. It reminds me of the struggle we had when my sister was trying to find a wedding venue that would allow pets or offer pet sitting services. We hit the pavement but couldn't find any until we took the search online and finally got lucky with this global wedding marketplace I know pet nannies' a thing now so I hope it becomes more widespread.
AWSoP AWSoP 10/17/2017 05:16
Sometimes ChessBase really looks like Bild Zeitung. A totally unecessary article.
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 10/17/2017 04:45
Your best move ever Mr.Aronian. You're both invited to Wisconsin to smell some sweet dairy air
bolocanolo bolocanolo 10/17/2017 12:00
Interesting that present at Levon's wedding is the president of Armenia. I didn't see any pictures or mention of his parents Gregory Leontivich Aronov or his mother Seda Avagyan Aronova. I know his mother recently celebrated her 70th birthday, but don't know about his father. Perhaps chess base can dig up some pictures with his mother at the wedding?!?!
daftarche daftarche 10/16/2017 11:57
it is quite surprising that president of a country shows up at the wedding of a chess player.
Rudakov123 Rudakov123 10/16/2017 11:54
Congratulations Levon, lovely wife.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 10/16/2017 11:48
Warmest congratulations to you both ! May you share the very best chess and non-chess accomplishments !!
hserusk hserusk 10/16/2017 11:18
@PatrickP, Aye. Especially since yours is the most original post there is now, isn't it? ;-)
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 10/16/2017 10:18
Marrieges - Yes but not without an prenuptial agreement! More than 50% of all marriages in todays world, go to hell. Almost so one could argue best solution is too just live together without marriage. But if you can get both the prenuptial agreement and the marriage to be certificated by the president, I would also voice for an exception!
PatrickP PatrickP 10/16/2017 07:54
hserusk wrote "Lose the glasses A!"

Wow. That is the best you could type?

Congratulations! Beautiful ceremony! Thank you for sharing it.
EatMyShorts EatMyShorts 10/16/2017 07:05
Who was the best man...Danny Gormally?
amishhacker amishhacker 10/16/2017 06:08
Congratulations, Levon! Best wishes from the U.S. of A.!
ChiliBean ChiliBean 10/16/2017 05:47
Probably the best year for Levon in chess and outside of chess. I'm surprised Sagar wasn't able to cleverly throw in a chess game reflecting on the King and Queen. :)
Denix Denix 10/16/2017 04:28
Congratulations Levon and Arianne! Mabuhay! Best wishes from Kuwait!
MBJPM MBJPM 10/16/2017 04:16
Congratulations! May you have many fine years together.
macauley macauley 10/16/2017 03:32
@drcloak - Nothing. Amazingly, we ran a story about the wedding of two prominent chess players including the world number two and multiple time World Championship candidate...absolutely for free! ;) (Next time perhaps we'll add a few diagrams. Thanks for your feedback.)
CostaMaison3 CostaMaison3 10/16/2017 02:54

Will see how the wedding affect his performance in the upcoming Candidates Tournament.

Hope he perform well.
drcloak drcloak 10/16/2017 12:12
So how much did Aronian pay you guys to run this non chess story
mcplayerus mcplayerus 10/16/2017 11:57
Now let's cut the talk and get down to work, you won't get to be the world champ otherwise!
By the way,you have a family to feed now :) so no more fooling around in the next candidates!
morphic6 morphic6 10/16/2017 11:41
Congrats! All the best from Australia.
hserusk hserusk 10/16/2017 11:21
Lose the glasses A!
SULAYI_LANG SULAYI_LANG 10/16/2017 10:51
Chess afficionados are very happy for both of you. Now, Levon will be rooted by Filipinos too, aside from Wesley. Mabuhay ang bagong kasal!
goeland goeland 10/16/2017 10:23
beautiful wife, handsome boy, magnificent ceremony. Nice singing video :)
All the best !
NYTed NYTed 10/16/2017 10:06
What a nice guy! I'm so happy for him and his wife.
blueflare blueflare 10/16/2017 09:36
Congratulations! My best wishes for both