The wife of Armenia’s Chess Grandmaster Levon Aronian, Arianne Caoili, died on Tuesday in a Yerevan hospital where she was recovering from injuries sustained after a car accident in Armenia two weeks ago. Caoili, herself a world a chess champion from Australia, was 33.
“I have no words to express the grievance over my wife Arianne’s death. She was intelligent, hard-working and joyous person that lived a beautiful life,” Aronian said in a Twitter post announcing his wife’s passing. “I love you honeybun, sleep tight.”
Many renowned chess players from all over the world, namely Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri, expressed condolences to Aronian.
On March 15 Caoili’s Lexus R350 crashed into a supporting column under a bridge near the intersection of Sebastia Street and Isakov Avenue in Yerevan. Local media initially indicated she was in “serious condition” but reported that she was conscious. Aronian, who was in Spain at the time of the incident, returned home as quickly as possible despite growing travel restrictions. Reports indicate that Caoili was taken to the hospital on Monday and was pronounced dead in the late hours of the day leading into Tuesday local time.
Caoili was born in Manila, Philippines. Her mother was Dutch, her father Filipino, and she spent much of her early life in Australia. She learned chess at the age of six. At nine she began playing in international tournaments, and on her 14th birthday she won the Asian under-16 Girls’ Championship. She competed for Australia at the Chess Olympiads in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
In 2008, Caoili began dating Aronian, whom she had met at the World Youth Chess Championships in Las Palmas a few years earlier. The couple was engaged in 2015 and married in 2017 at the Saghmosavank Monastery, with then President Serzh Sargsian and his wife Rita in attendance.
President Armen Sarkissian and his wife, Nouneh, offered condolences to Aronian in a message posted on the Facebook page of the President’s office.
“Dear Levon, we are facing an indescribable pain. The loss of your wife, Arianne Caoili, is immeasurable. Knowing you and Arianne quite well, we knew that you are not the type of persons to surrender. And Arianne was fighting until the very last moment…I and Nouneh, and also our people for sure, stand by you with sincere words of sorrow. Rest In Peace, dear Arianne! Stay firm, dear Levon!” the statement says,” said the president in a the post.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also offered condolences to Aronian on Caoili’s passing/
“I am deeply shocked by the grievous news about the untimely death of FIDE Woman International Master Arianne Caoili, the wife of grandmaster, two-time chess world cup winner Levon Aronian,” said Pashinyan in a Facebook post.
“The renowned chess player, the wife of our dearest grandmaster Levon Aronian – who has always brilliantly represented Armenia in the chess arena – was loved and appreciated by the Armenian people. She was a good friend of Armenia, the author of numerous inspiring initiatives aimed at the development of our country. Arianne Caoili’s death is a painful loss for all of us, and her memory will remain bright in the heart of the Armenian nation,” added Pashinyan.
“Dear Levon, Anna and I are extending our condolences and support to you and the family and friends of Arianne Caoili,” concluded Pashinyan.