Chess: Armenia’s world title hopeful in training for FIDE Candidates’ Matches

Armenia’s top grandmaster Levon Aronian is in final preparations for the FIDE Candidates’ Matches to be held in Russia next month.


Leading online chess portal ArmChess.am reports that the Armenian chess ace is taking his training in Yerevan during the month of April.

Aronian is one of the eight players to compete next month for the right to challenge reigning world champion Viswanathan Anand of India in the World Chess Championship 2012.

In the Candidates’ Matches tournament in Kazan (May 3-27) Aronian’s immediate rival is Russian grandmaster Alexander Grischuk. The winner of this best-of-four quarterfinal pair progresses to the semifinal to meet the winner of the Vladimir Kramnik (Russian) v Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) quarterfinal match. The other two quarterfinal pairs are Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) v Gata Kamsky (USA) and Boris Gelfand (Israel) v Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan).

Aronian, 28, is currently number three on the FIDE list, which makes him the highest-ranked Candidates’ Matches player for the time being in the absence of Norway’s Magnus Carlsen who had withdrawn from the tournament.

The Armenian grandmaster is approaching this major competition having won one tournament in 2011 (the 20th and final edition of Melody Amber blindfold/rapid chess in Monaco in March). Aronian is also the reigning World Blitz Chess Champion after winning the title in a highly competitive tournament in Moscow, Russia, late last year.

Aronian’s previous attempt to become a challenger to the holder of the world chess crown in 2007 ended in a failure as the Armenian grandmaster finished only seventh out of eight players in the candidates’ tournament.