How do chess players make money?

Answered by Michael Wilson

Chess players have various ways to make money and establish themselves as industry experts or businesses. Here are some different avenues through which chess players can earn a living:

1. Playing in tournaments: Chess players can participate in local, national, and international tournaments to win cash prizes. The higher the level of the tournament, the bigger the prize money. Grandmasters and top-level players often earn a significant portion of their income through tournament winnings.

2. Coaching: Many chess players offer coaching services to aspiring players of all levels. They can provide one-on-one coaching, group lessons, or even conduct chess camps and workshops. Coaching fees can vary depending on the expertise and reputation of the player, as well as the duration and intensity of the coaching.

3. Streaming: With the rise of online platforms like Twitch, chess players can monetize their gameplay by streaming their matches. They can engage with viewers, provide commentary, and even offer lessons during their streams. Viewers can support the streamers through subscriptions, donations, or by purchasing merchandise, which can generate a steady income.

4. Running a chess academy: Experienced chess players can establish their own chess academies or clubs. They can offer regular training programs, tournaments, and other chess-related activities. The revenue can come from membership fees, tournament entry fees, merchandise sales, and sponsorships.

5. Writing: Chess players can write books, articles, or blogs about chess strategies, tactics, and their own experiences. They can publish their works independently or through established publishing houses. Royalties from book sales, as well as income from freelance writing or contributing to chess magazines, can contribute to their earnings.

6. Creating content: Chess players can create video tutorials, analysis videos, or instructional content on platforms like YouTube. They can monetize their content through ad revenue, sponsorships, or by offering exclusive content to their patrons through platforms like Patreon.

7. Sponsorships and endorsements: Successful chess players can attract sponsorships from chess-related companies, brands, or even non-chess-related businesses looking to reach a target audience. They can endorse products, wear branded clothing, or promote chess-related events in exchange for financial support.

8. Simultaneous exhibitions: Chess players can organize simultaneous exhibitions where they play against multiple opponents at the same time. Participants pay an entry fee to play against the player, and this can be a source of income for the chess player.

9. Online chess platforms: Chess players can join online chess platforms like or and participate in online tournaments or offer coaching services. Some platforms offer prize money for winning tournaments or reaching high ratings.

10. Corporate events and exhibitions: Chess players can be invited to corporate events, team-building exercises, or exhibitions to showcase their skills and provide entertainment. They can charge appearance fees, conduct simultaneous exhibitions, or even provide interactive chess lessons.

It’s important to note that the income potential in chess varies greatly depending on factors such as skill level, reputation, and marketing efforts. Some players may earn a comfortable living solely from chess-related activities, while others may supplement their income with other jobs or professions.