USA got another top GM

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  • USA got another top GM

    Levon Aronian from Armenia decided to change his federation to USA. Currently, Aronian is #6 in the world. A huge improvement for USA.

  • #2 This is huge news!


    • #3
      Originally posted by hans jung View Post


      • #4
        I really wanted to go to St Louis before this, but now Ive got the itch.


        • #5
 Had to post one of Levon's amazing games.

          Can you imagine the US Olympic team with Aronian, Caruana, Nakamura, and So with Dominguez and Xiong as reserves?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Victor Plotkin View Post
            Levon Aronian from Armenia decided to change his federation to USA. Currently, Aronian is #6 in the world. A huge improvement for USA.
            I recall Aronian recently talking about joining the army to fight for Armenia against Azerbaijan ; this would have been very mixed feelings for him, I would think.

            Anyway, congrats to USA.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hans Jung View Post
     Had to post one of Levon's amazing games.

              Can you imagine the US Olympic team with Aronian, Caruana, Nakamura, and So with Dominguez and Xiong as reserves?
              Thanks Hans, what an amazing game!


              • #8
                USA got another top GM

                Saturday, February 27, 2021

                Super GM Levon Aronian To Move To St. Louis, Represent The USA

                By Rebecca Buffington | February 26, 2021

                United States to have five competitors ranked among the top 20 players in the world

                ST. LOUIS (February 26, 2021) - The Saint Louis Chess Club is pleased to announce that GM Levon Aronian will relocate to St. Louis, Missouri 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 Armenian GM 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).

                Levon 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 St. 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 St. Louis, where chess players are proud to be chess players and we're loved, and that is mainly thanks to the Sinquefield family.”

                US Chess Federation president Mike Hoffpauir says, “The US Chess Federation welcomes the news of Super GM Levon Aronian’s intent to relocate to the United States. Until such time that he is living in the United States, the US Chess Federation has no jurisdiction with regard to his status with FIDE. As with all transfer matters, the US Chess Federation does not allow for inviting or paying for the transfer of any player. Our role is to process the player's administrative paperwork as required by FIDE.”

                Aronian joins dozens of other chess players who have decided to make St. 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 six 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.”



                • #9
                  USA got another top GM

                  Saturday, February 27, 2021

                  From Peter Doggers at

                  On February 4, 2021, the Armenian news portal Armenews was the first to report that Aronian is switching federations, referring to a second source called Mediapart TV. In the article, a fallout between Aronian and the Armenian government was suggested:

                  "The reason for this departure and especially for the abandonment of the colors of Armenia would be an unfulfilled promise against it on the part of the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. In the first months of his arrival as the head of the Armenian government, Pashinyan would have met Aronian and promised to solve the problem of the acquisition of a super-computer as well as the financing of a personal trainer for Aronian so that the Armenian champion can fully prepare for top tournaments. But according to Mediapart TV, Pashinyan would have failed in his promise."

                  When the rumors became stronger, with Armenian Chess Federation Vice President GM Smbat Lputian referring to an upcoming statement from Aronian, the Armenian number-one faced growing criticism to the point that his mother, Seda Aronovna, wrote a statement on Facebook defending her son. She also addresses the issue of not having access to a strong computer and counters the accusations that her son would have received "astronomical amounts," as quoted by

                  "The amounts were transferred to the Armenian Chess Federation for permission to benefit from the special server, and he isn’t the only one who has benefited from that server. As a matter of fact, he hasn’t been allowed to use the service since 2020."

                  In his statement on Facebook, Aronian confirmed that tensions with the new government, which has been in power since May 2018, led to his decision.

                  "After more than a year of waiting for the fulfillment of the promises made by the current government, I realized that I had to make a breakthrough decision and leave my native country. Obviously, every year of expectation of change is a wasted year for my sports career."

                  The previous president of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, was a big chess lover. During his reign, he was also the president of the Armenian Chess Federation and, in fact, still is. Aronian pointed out that he and his colleagues owed much to Sargsyan, but that a lot has changed for the worse since Pashinyan took over:

                  "After the revolution in 2018, the new government promised to continue the line, but the promise was limited to only one year of partial assistance, after which it stopped. Meanwhile, the chess arena was invaded by absolutely ignorant new sports state figures who have rewritten our successes to themselves, began to self-proclaim even through blackmail. They managed to divide a solid chess family and atmosphere into chaos."

                  Although Aronian's decision was long in the making, it just so happens to come a day after significant political turmoil in his home country. On Thursday, Pashinyan warned of an attempted military coup, after the country's armed forces said he and his cabinet must resign.



                  • #10

                    This looks / feels a bit strange.

                    Yes... Hooray for new team USA, making an already stellar team probably unbeatable, with Rex Sinquefield's acquisition of foreign players. It will be interesting to see what happens to St. Louis, arguably the new capital of the Chess World, and all the resident GMs and Super GMs, once Uncle Rex moves on.
                    Caruana sure, he was already American anyway. --- So okay... he may be a national hero in the Philippines, but one can appreciate how he was not going to get much support / competition / development opportunities had he stayed in the Philippines. --- Dominguez alright, there's certainly a big chess culture in Cuba and even decent opposition, but apart from that, tough times.

                    But Aronian?
                    Armenia is a small country, sure, but I've never heard of an athlete expecting personal financial assistance from their Prime Minister. Following International News on a regular basis, I'd say PM Pashinyan has had far greater problems to deal with, than to provide their top chess player with some super computer. Something Aronian can probably afford, given his successes as a chess professional over the past 15 years.

                    It looks more to me like... "The homeland is in shambles, let me use my status to jump ship" ... which is perfectly reasonable given all that's going on.


                    In football (soccer), federation transfers are (nearly completely) impossible. Not sure how it works in other sports, but I don't think it's very easy either. In chess, there are some high financial fees required, which are higher the quicker the transfer. Clearly for some countries / federations / chess enthusiast sponsors, this is not an obstacle. Has it gotten too easy to make this possible? Should the obstacles be financial, or of other nature?

                    Alex F.


                    • #11
             Interesting article. In it is a master class from Levon Aronian and Oscar Panno! (chess legend from the 50's and 60's) and analysis of the Aronian-Carlsen game mentioned above.