Levon Aronian (Armenian: ԼևոնԱրոնյան; born 6 October 1982 in Yerevan) is an Armenian chess Grandmaster. On the November 2009 FIDE list, he has an Elo rating of 2786, making him number four in the world and Armenia's number one. Aronian won the FIDE Grand Prix 2008-2009, qualifying him for the Candidates tournament for theWorld Chess Championship 2011. He is also the 2009 World Rapid Chess Champion.
Levon Aronian became part of the international elite in 2005, shooting up to fifth place in the world. In 2005 he was part of a five-way tie for first place at the Gibtelecom Masters in Gibraltar. He was the sole winner of the Karabakh 2005 International "A" Tournament. In the Russian Team Championship, he scored +5 =3 -0 with an Elo performance rating of around 2850. In December he beat Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine in the final round to win the World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. After a draw in two regular games, Aronian won both rapid games to win the event and emerge undefeated in seven rounds.
In March 2006 he took sole first place at the annual Linares chess tournament, half a point ahead of Teimour Radjabov and FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov. In 2006 he also tied for first in theTal Memorial. The April-July 2006 FIDE rating list ranked Aronian the number three player in the world.
In January 2007 Aronian shared first place at the category 19 Corus Chess along with Topalov and Radjabov. In May 2007 he defeated World Champion Vladimir Kramnik 4-2 in a rapid chess match.
His 2005 World Cup victory qualified him for the Candidates Tournament of the World Chess Championship, being played in May-June 2007. In this tournament he played GM Magnus Carlsen, and they tied 3-3 in the initial six games, then 2-2 in rapid chess, and finally Aronian won 2-0 at blitz chess. In the finals, he defeated Shirov 3.5-2.5. This qualified him for the final stage of the championship, which was played in Mexico. There, he scored only 6 points out of 14, finishing seventh out of eight players.
In January 2008 he won the prestigious Corus chess tournament jointly with Magnus Carlsen, scoring 8/13.
In March 2008 he won the Melody Amber blindfold/rapid tournament held in Nice, France, 2½ points ahead of the other nearest competitors. Apart from his first place win in the overall tournament, he also took sole first place in the Rapid section of the tournament (winning by a margin of 1½ points) and shared first place in the blindfold section with three other chess grandmasters: Kramnik, Morozevich, and Topalov.
Aronian won the Karen Asrian Memorial rapid chess tournament in Yerevan in June 2008. He finished 8.5/14 ahead of Péter Lékó.
In March 2009 he won the 18th Melody Amber blindfold/rapid tournament for the second time, scoring a combined 14 points in 22 games.
Aronian played in the FIDE Grand Prix 2008-2009, and won the Grand Prix with one tournament to go, qualifying him for the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2011.
On August 3, 2009 Aronian won the World Rapid Chess Championship.