Filipina chess master Arianne Caoili dies after car crash

Filipina chess master Arianne Caoili

Filipina-Australian chess champion Arianne Caoili died on Monday, March 30, two weeks after sustaining injuries from a car accident in Yerevan, Armenia.

She was 33 years old.

Her husband, Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian, announced her passing on Twitter.

“I have no words to express my grief over my wife Arianne’s death,” he wrote. “She was [an] intelligent, hard working and joyous person that lived a beautiful life.”

Caoili was born in Manila on Dec. 22, 1986 to a Dutch mother and a Filipino father. She was 12 years old when she represented the Philippines in the Olympiad in Elista, Russia in 1998, and again in 2000 in Istanbul, Turkey. After moving, she represented Australia in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

The Philippine Sports Commission thanked Caoili for “inspiring a generation of chess players.”

“She is well-known for leading the Women’s Philippine Team in the World Chess Olympiads until 2004 at a young age,” the PSC added.

Among her major achievements are being awarded the title women’s international master by the World Chess Federation, the game’s governing body; winning the Asian Girls Under-16 Championship tournament in Bagac, Philippines in 2000; the London Chess Classic Women’s Invitational and the Oceania Women’s Zonal in 2009.

Caoili also did some modeling in Australia and joined the Australian version of “Dancing With the Stars” where she and her partner, the dancer and choreographer Carmelo Pizzino, finished second.

She met her husband, who is currently a grandmaster ranked No. 7 in the world, in 1996 at the World Youth Chess Championship in Las Palmas, Spain. They got married in 2017.

The Filipina chess master was involved in an accident on March 15, when her vehicle “crashed into a supporting column under the bridge near the intersection of Sebastia Street and Isakov Avenue.”

She underwent several operations before her untimely death, according to several reports.

Armenia’s prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, extended his condolences on his website.

“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,” he said.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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