Three-day Tour Carlsen (& Aronian) Through Armenia

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 6/24/14, 8:44 AM.

Right after the FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Championship, Magnus Carlsen didn't return immediately back to Norway. Instead he travelled to Armenia, where the World Champion made a three-day trip together with his manager. The two were joined and guided by Armenia's number one player Levon Aronian. The trip was held at the invitation of businessman Ruben Vardanian of Acronis and Serguei Beloussov, CEO at Acronis and founder of Parallels - one of Carlsen's sponsors.

After winning both the rapid and blitz world title and spending one more day in Dubai, on Sunday Magnus Carlsen went on a three-day tour to Armenia together with his manager Espen Agdestein and also with Armenia's number one player, and world number two, Levon Aronian.

On the first day, Carlsen met with officials of the Armenian Chess Federation and visited the Petrosian Chess House, where he gave a simul. But before that, Carlsen paid tribute to the 9th world chess champion: Tigran Petrosian of Armenia, who held the crown from 1963 to 1969.

Carlsen leaves four white roses at Petrosian's grave | Photo © Armsport

Carlsen played the simul over 12 boards, against young & talented chess players. Nonetheless, he managed to win all games. 

Each board at the simul had a beautiful demo board that reminded of the best times of Soviet chess | Photo © Armsport

After the simul Carlsen also visited the Cafesjian Art Center where he played some blitz with representatives of IT & technology companies. There, the Norwegian grandmaster lost one game, to Armenian MP Tachat Vardapetyan, as reported by Yerkramas. Another news website, ArmeniaNow, adds that Vardapetyan represents the parliamentary faction of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia led by President Serzh Sargsyan.

The highlight of the trip took place on Monday when the group hopped into a helicopter for a 45-minute flight to the medieval Tatev Monastery, a popular touristic attraction located in Armenia's southern Syunik province. It was this trip that Espen Agdestein looked forward to most, when speaking to in Dubai, and for good reason: at the monestary, Aronian & Carlsen would give a joint simul, but the opponents were rather special this time: 20 monks!  

Aronian kept his friends updated on the trip by tweeting a few times, and also posted a photo on his Facebook page.

Aronian & Carlsen in between the monks | Photo © Levon Aronian on Facebook

A nice collection of photos of the simul can be found on the PanArmenian Photo website.

“Tatev is a very beautiful place and reminded me of my homeland. I have not seen much to express my  opinion about Armenia. I am very much impressed by the attitude toward chess in your country. It is really a good example for other countries,” Carlsen would say at a press conference back in Yerevan, as reported by The full press conference was posted on YouTube:

On Tuesday Carlsen met with the aforementioned Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia but also the head of the Armenian Chess Federation. Mediamax quoted the President: “I am happy Levon Aronian is here as well. He is the pride of Armenian people and I think he is also Magnus’s most worthy opponent in chess. Beyond doubt, we pin great hopes on Levon, and it’s first of all owing to him that the team of a small country such as Armenia is has managed to become a three-time winner of the World Chess Olympiad. I am greatly thankful to him.”

A meeting with the president | Photo © Mediamax

Chess is becoming quite popular in Norway, but it must have been a joy for Carlsen to visit a country where the game is so deeply incorporated in its culture!

12407 reads 22 comments
14 votes


  • 2 years ago


    magnus paid respect to tigran.  that's good for a world championCool

  • 2 years ago


    Fourth result for me on Google, though you probably do a lot more political research on Google than I do.

  • 2 years ago


    Carlsen paid tribute to the 9th world chess champion: Tigran Petrosian of Armenia, who held the crown from 1963 to 1969 (means 6th)...

  • 2 years ago


    i like this. world number one and two doing some bonding...maybe some of carlsen rubbed off on aronian... XD

  • 2 years ago


    Ambassadors of the game deserve some beautiful sightseeing. Magnus is following the great example of his predecessor Vishy, who has been a superb ambassador of chess and who, contrary to the opinion of the Armenian president, is "Magnus' most worthy opponent in chess."

  • 2 years ago


    I hope they both had a great time. From the pictures it looks like a great all round trip in some beautiful locations.Smile

  • 2 years ago


    Great to see the worlds best players together as good friends. Smile

  • 2 years ago


    I wish Carlsen have a mini tournament. And the winner will escort him on one trip he would go :D I want to watch him play in person :D

  • 2 years ago


    Norway should rename itself Carlsenland!

  • 2 years ago


    That does it!  Norway should rename itself Carlsenland!

  • 2 years ago


    Quite amazing... Carlsen has become such a celebrity in a short time1

  • 2 years ago


    Champion should know that you can't wear shorts in monastery. Smile

  • 2 years ago


    How beautiful.

    Friendship and respect.

  • 2 years ago


    Great to see the best players in the world spending time together off the board. A wonderful propaganda for the game!

    Isn't it wonderful to finally see an active WCh who promotes chess across the globe, from Brasil to Armenia and from Silicon Vallery to Russia?

    Fortunately for chess the the times of fierce rivalry off the board between the best seem just a memory for the moment and it's great to see all (almost, we still have Topi vs Kramnik) the top players respecting each other. Cool

  • 2 years ago



    Yes that is almost a rule-all Armenian last names end with "-yan" or "-ian". 

  • 2 years ago


    I wonder if magnus secretly farted while talking with the president.

  • 2 years ago


    Surprised Magnus was allowed to wear shorts to the monastery ....

  • 2 years ago


    do most armenian names end with -ian? aronian petrosian

  • 2 years ago


    Nice article! Lovely country. Have you been to Armenia, Peter?

  • 2 years ago


    Great trip !

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