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: Champord.am

...an elegant veil | Photo: Champord.am

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

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: Champord.am

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: Champord.am

The setting of the ceremony inside the church | Photo: Champord.am

The ring ceremony | Photo: Champord.am

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

Hopelessly in love! | Photo: Champord.am

Happiest day in Ponchik's life! | Photo: Champord.am

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

Getting ready for the reception in the evening | Photo: Champord.am

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

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: Champord.am

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 Champord.am 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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