On Fri., Jan. 11, when blockbuster hits such as “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Gangster Squad” hit theatres, Kim Kardashian was contemplating a more fruitful venture: learning the art of chess. The reality TV star tweeted that she wanted Armenian Grandmaster Levon Aronian to teach her how to play the intricate game.
“I want to learn how to play chess. Wondering if Levon Aronian can teach me,” she tweeted. These 15 words have been “favorited” by over 400 people and retweeted nearly 600 times on the social networking site Twitter, causing a stir among the chess community. The tweet has even prompted certain aficionados of the game to offer their services to the starlet, free of charge.
One such example is Erik Allebest, owner of www.chess.com. Allebest was very “touched” by Kim Kardashian’s interest in the game, and offered to sponsor her chess training, recommending 21-year-old U.S. Grandmaster Sam Shankland as the “ideal tutor.”
Aronian also responded favorably to Kardashian’s proposal. When informed of the tweet by reporters, he beamed. “Oh, that’s funny. I am not under spotlights frequently. I guess it’s fun,” he stated. The world number 3 player is currently competing in the 75th Tata Steel Chess Tournament in the Netherlands, and will participate in the Chess Candidates Tournament in London in March.
The sportsman has received numerous titles and honors, most recently the 2012 “Person of the Year” award, established by the Armenian magazine “De Facto.” In 2009, Aronian was recognized as the “Honored Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia,” and was declared the “best sportsman” of Armenia in 2005. He won the Chess World Cup of 2005, and led the Armenian national team to the gold medals in the 2006 (Turin, Italy), 2008 (Dresden, Germany), and 2012 (Istanbul, Turkey) Chess Olympics, and the World Team Chess Championship in Ningbo, China, in 2011. He won the FIDE Grand Prix 2008-10, was the World Chess960 Champion in 2006 and 2007, World Rapid Chess Champion in 2009, and World Blitz Chess Champion in 2010. His plethora of accolades continues to grow with each competition.