Levon Aronian was born October 6, 1982 in Yerevan, Armenia. In 1994 he won the World Youth Championship U-12. In 2002 he won the Armenian Championship and the World Junior Championship. Aronian won the World Rapid Championship in 2009. He won the Chess960 World Championship in 2006 and 2007. He is scheduled to play in the Candidates Tournament for the World Championship match of 2011 as a result of winning the latest Grand Prix. He plays the black side of the game shown. His opponent is Ivan Sokolov. Sokolov was born June 13, 1968 in Yugoslavia. He won the Yugoslav Championship in 1988. Now, he lives in the Netherlands.
The opening is the Nimzo Indian Defense. Black initiates this by playing 3...Bb4 pinning White's knight. This starts a struggle for control of e4. Black is willing to exchange the bishop for a knight in order to gain time for development. 4.Qc2 is the Classical Variation which was used by Capablanca to avoid doubled c-pawns. As a result of how Aronian handled 10.Bxb8, that move is considered to be incorrect. His dynamic play is illustrative of his position near the top of the world's rating list.