Levon Aronian Captures Second World Cup in Thrilling Tiebreak

Photo Anastasia Karlovich

Today Levon Aronian of Armenia, became the first player to win two World Cups. After four draws in the classical portion of the World Cup final in Tbilisi, Georgia, Ding Liren and Levon Aronian faced off in rapid tiebreaks.

Aronian won the first rapid game (G/25+10) in a thrilling attacking victory. Try to find Levon’s crushing move in this position if you haven’t already played through the game.

Levon Aronian vs. Ding Liren

This loss put Ding Liren in a must-win situation in game two.

Aronian staved off Ding Liren’s attacking chances and turned the tables with 30…Nf5, since 31. Rxf5 fails to …Qh4. Instead White can play Rg1-g2 or Qg4 to avoid immediate disaster. Instead Ding Liren fell quickly after 31. Rfe1 Qh4, granting Levon the rapid sweep and his World Cup crown.

Both finalists qualify for the Candidates, now set for March 2018 in Berlin.

Likely joining him in Berlin will be Fabiano Caruana, who is currently playing in the Isle of Man chess.com International, but still found time to congratulate Levon on his victory.

Next up for Levon is his wedding to WIM Arriane Caoili, recalling Levon’s romantic words during the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz, which he also won.

Levon Aronian was recently featured in the New Yorker Magazine. 

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