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You HAVE to know who he is! He is a rap GOD, Eminem wishes he was him!
I heard this isn't the only little thing
To people saying that what I wrote applies to many professions and I just have a very pessimist view on life:
- No, there are not many professions like this. In the vast majority of professions you don't need to be world class level to be actually able to live a decent life.
In chess you need to be one of the best in the world to earn good money, if you are very good but not one of the best you will struggle a lot.
To the one saying that I simply do not have the courage or desire to work hard to achieve something:
- Absolutely false. I am a violinist and I started at 5 years of age. Spent many many years and did tons of hard work to achieve a good level. But I am not and will never be one of the best in the world. Fortunately, I am good enough to work in 2 orchestras and do other activities and I have a very comfortable life. I am not a millionaire or anything like that but I have a very stable financial situation and I am not afraid that I may be out of money by the end of the month.
However if I was a chess player, I would be counting every single cent and I would struggle a lot simply because I would not be one of the best in the world. It is not that I don't want to work hard for something, it is just that I do not see what is the point of working very hard if it is 99% sure that the results will not be good.
To be one of the best players in the world just hard work is not enough. Talent is absolutely a MUST, and also you need very good coaches, support from other people etc.
The problem itself is not only the (lack of) money in chess. There are sports where you also need to be one of the best in the world. But if you are doing a sport, even if you are not the best at least you are doing something good for your health. At least you are in excellent physical shape, at least you get media exposure.
I am not hating on chess at all. As a hobby I think it is a wonderful thing. If you already have a profession and a stable job then trying chess as a second profession might be Ok. But to chose chess as your only profession in life? Worst idea ever!
Pasha, you make some reasonable points. It's disappointing and painful to consider, but reality and truth is like that at times.
I love chess but would never encourage anyone to be a chess pro. Chess is one of the best hobby but one of the worst profession. It pays too little and too much work and time.
Exactly my point
Chess will never be a spectator sport, unfortunately. So the money will remain limited except for the Super GMs.
Like the ballet, you (probably) need rich family to pursue that dream.
Both Ken Rogoff, and John Nunn had alternative professions to pursue. Most Masters don't have that luxury.
Chess is too complex to understand for casual people. Even if they make Blitz matches and show them on TV most people won't understand at all why this or that move have been played.
Watching 2 guys sitting quietly playing a board game and doing moves that are impossible to understand is not something that people are interested in.
People like to watch action, people like to watch stuff that does not require hard thinking, people like entertainment.
If you say that you play chess for a living most people will think that it is very weird and kinda lame, to say the least.
Generally speaking, chess players don't care too much what non chess players think of them.
I watched the commentary on the Fischer-Spassky games on PBS, and the explanation of what was happening on the board was not only clear but even dramatic, so from the example of that series, I would say that chess can be presented in a way that is entertaining to those not extremely committed to it.
The "chess pros" who are able to make a decent living from chess alone are definitely few. But many have other skills, degrees, etc.
I longed to be a good musician - amateur or pro - but I got my graduate degree in Chemistry FIRST and studied serious music much later. I finally qualified to play Chopin on piano at the ACE Recital of the world-class Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in my 50's! Along the way, I met two music teachers: one with a degree in electrical engineering to fall back on if music didn't work out. The other got a business degree, found a job outside of music that offered a retirement pension after 20 years, then "retired" and used the steady income from the pension to allow him to become a full-time musician and music teacher.
Anyone getting into chess would be wise to have a similar backup plan!
Just as an aside, if I remember correctly, I read once that no record has been preserved of that commentary.