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How much money can GMs earn?

  • #1

    Can anyone tell me how much one can earn out of making chess a living? I'd love to to know how much Garry Kasparov is worth. I've seen open championships where top prices are up to £1000 ($2000).  Do all top IMs and GMs play chess as a full time sport, or would they have to be in a full time job, and how high would your rating have to be in order to be a millionaire chess pro?

  • #2

    I can't imagine chess making anyone millions of dollars! Or even enough to support ones self alone or a family

  • #3

    Millionaire?... wow... Kasparov achieved that.  Anand likely, Kraimnik... I dunno... most 2700 guys.

     

    Just a guess but if you want to make BIG money you have to be one of the absolute best in the world (top 10) ... to make a living... 2500 should suffice (in Canada there are decent prizes (500 bucks) won by 2500's quite often).

  • #4

    Have you ever paid to watch a chess match?  Would you ever?  If so how much?  Ever seen chess players endorsing products on TV? 

    I don't see anyway they make much at all.

  • #5

    I would imagine most people who derive most of their income through chess rely on teaching lessons.

  • #6

    Kasparov was given hundreds of thousands of dollars by IBM just to play Deep Blue, which ended up making for huge advertising.

     

    The world championships have several hundred thousand dollars at stake. 

     

    Lots of Open National championships (meaning people from other countries CAN play should they choose) have a prize of 10grand. (I've been told Shirov comes to canada often enough?... dunno if that's true)....

     

    So... there is money in chess... just not like in Baseball or something :P.

     

     

    Edit - My total earnings in chess: $50 bucks :P ...

  • #7

    In America, can anyone survive by playing in tournaments alone? IM Ben Finegold's purse for tieing for first in the 2008 National Open was $2000. I think you have to write books, coach, give simuls, pose in magazines, etc to make a living... maybe it's different for GMs and foreign countries with a lower cost of living.

  • #8
    i beleive that when Kaparov played Short in (93?) , short won £1 milion and Kaspy £1.6 million for winning the title, this was 15 yrs ago, so i think they do ok :-)
  • #9

    The Average Professional Chess Player earns 1.7 blazillion US dollars a year

  • #10

    Chess players don't make what golf or hockyplayers make just because it's not spectaculair to watch . If it was played with real people on the squares with fights and blood it would be different.

  • #11

    Most people ive played at tournments that were pursuing chess as a full time gig we sad and pathetic people... most were unemployed or worked crappy jobs just to afford to come to a tournment where they could make $500 US if they won.

    Unless you are the very best in the world plan on eating alot of spam and spagettti-Os on your road to chess stardom.

  • #12

    Man, the last on corus (group A) earn 10.000 €  (2007)

     

    They do have a LOT of money

  • #13
    damourax wrote:Man, the last on corus (group A) earn 10.000 €  (2007)

    Out of which they doubtless had to play for their flights to and from the tournament, their accomodation while they were there and their food / upkeep. Plus, if they had seconds or supporters or partner / family there too, they'd have had to pay for them as well. 

    It's not a great deal of money when you factor in expenses - and especially when you bear in mind Corus is one of the year's biggest tournaments and therefore one of the biggest potential paydays. Most other events will surely pay less.

  • #14
    BishopJoe wrote:

    Many good players in course of history played games, tournaments and matches

    for some prizes, but had a job to support themselves and their families.

    Fisher was maybe the only one who demand money to play!

    Many of the great masters were, are and will have to have some other profession beside chess!


     Lasker was also known to demand "appearance fees" to play, as Fischer did later. Why shouldn't they? Their participation added much stature to any event they played, which even many of their rivals begrudgingly admitted.

  • #15
    Rand0m wrote:
    damourax wrote:Man, the last on corus (group A) earn 10.000 €  (2007)

    Out of which they doubtless had to play for their flights to and from the tournament, their accomodation while they were there and their food / upkeep. Plus, if they had seconds or supporters or partner / family there too, they'd have had to pay for them as well. 

    It's not a great deal of money when you factor in expenses - and especially when you bear in mind Corus is one of the year's biggest tournaments and therefore one of the biggest potential paydays. Most other events will surely pay less.


     Top GMs usually get "conditions" when they play. These conditions are normally all of their expenses are paid. In some cases they even receive "pocket money" for each day as well. I doubt seriously that any of the participants in Corus A , or Linares, or Dortmund pay such expenses as travel, food, or hotel.

  • #16
    dont forget book deals too, many 'lower' rated GM's and IM's make money endorsing or writing books.
  • #17

    There's no money in chess.  Frown Only the top players (I mean top 10 + a few others)  earn good money.

    In France, the average GM earns less than an average executive. And if you rely on tournaments, consider this : in opens, you have to fight along with at least 10 other professionals with a top prize of a few thousands (€/$) - no expenses paid. Sounds quite difficult to me.

    I wouldn't recommend anybody to try chess as a career unless they are extremely gifted. Frown

    But you can derive great fun from it as a happy amateur Smile

    Maybe it would be interesting to ask Andrew Martin about it ?!

  • #18

    It would be interesting to know how much Kasparov made from the Predecessors series, and his other big titles.

    I heard once that more books have been writen about chess than any other sport (is it a sport? who knows). This suggests that there is huge money to be made from publishing.

  • #19

    I'm guessing only the top 5 or so have the potential to make 7 figures per year from playing.

    I've been told only the top 30 or so can make a "decent living" off playing chess. Whatever that's supposed to mean.

    The remaining GMs apparently need to do other things (teaching, writing books, and such) but even then getting students willing to pay the bucks is not so easy.

    I was once friends with an IM that lived solely off chess, teaching online and in person. He once told me he makes 4 figures per week (i.e. $1000+) but he had to move to america to do so, he also figured out that his prize money wins barely covered his expenses for the tourneys so he plays in them mainly for enjoyment and exposure to gain more students.

    I once asked him why he doesn't bother with gaining the GM title and potentially gaining more students from it and he told me "grandmasters often have a harder time gaining students because people are afraid of them". I can see how this would be the case, particularly with a lot of places teaching the idea of "you don't need a GM to teach you, just a player who is stronger than you by a few hundred points".

    So perhaps it's better being an IM if you want to make money off chess and can't make it to the top 30? hahaha

  • #20

    The prizes for tournaments vary a lot.  There are tournaments with good prizes. In the Pearl Spring Chess Tournament in China next week (www.chess-pearlspring.com) - the champion will get Euro 80,000.  In the rapid tournament held in Kahzastan last month, the champion also got SF80,000.

    Of course, it will be small if we compare it to soccer, tennis, basketball players

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