How to make money from Chess? ( 9 ways to earn )

make money from Chess

Being an enthusiast of Chess is one thing, but making money from what you love is different. It’s like working for your passion. What you’ll be doing will not only give joy but also some form of monetary value, which is an excellent opportunity. Becoming a chess player is an art; not everyone can possess that.

Chess players generally make money from providing chess coaching, winning prize money from chess tournaments, writing chess write-ups and articles, streaming live videos and sponsorship deals. World Champion Magnus Carlsen has an estimated net worth of $30 million dollars, as of 2022. (SourceOpens in a new tab.)

With the rising popularity of chess, more audience starts to watch the game of chess. The number of players who played on online chess platforms like lichess and, is increasing exponentially.

Let’s look at 9 ways to earn money from chess.

Chess tournaments

Starting from some classic ways, by which people have used to make money. It’s the participation in chess tournaments. In a chess tournament, chess games are played competitively to determine a winning individual or team.

The winning team are often rewarded with monetaryOpens in a new tab. prizes. The chess tournament gets its prize from the prize fund and then winners from each section get rewarded. Like in 2008, the world open chess tournament had a prize fund of $400,000. So, engaging in board tournaments is one of the ways to make money from playing Chess.

Chess clubs player

A chess club player has some substantial knowledge about chess and plays rated games. These chess club players are known as rated players. It has been one of the ways by which grandmasters have been earning money.

These chess clubs have competitions arranged, and participating in them gets you paid a good amount of money. On average, $5000 to $15000 is earned for competing against another club. Therefore, playing as a chess club player will be a great and viable option for a chess player.

Online chess tournaments

Chess online tournament is a tournament that is played over the internet and it allows the players to play against each other in real-time. Nowadays, this option will come in handy. It’s also gaining popularity in this decade. There is some good money you can earn sitting at the ease of your own place.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen won the richest online chess tournament in history, bagging the history-making $70,000 winner’s prize.

As of April, an online chess tournament was held and Norwegian chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen organized a chess tournament which had a total prize fund of $250,000. It was considered one of the richest international online chess tournaments.

Making Appearances

If you have already made your name in the world of Chess, then this option is for you. Making appearances in events will give you various incentives. A sum of money along with incentives is given to the guest that made a special appearance. Many top Grandmaster make more than $10000 as appearance fees.

So, what’s better than the entertainment of seeing a chess game as well as earning money from it.  One example to quote here will be Magnus Carlsen who is a well-renowned chess grandmaster.

Becoming a coach of Chess

Nobody becomes the master of Chess without some teaching and guidance from their coach. It’s always the chess master that brings out the best in the chess player. So, why not make it a profession and choose to be a chess trainer. There are international as well as fide masters, but even a person with some good skills of Chess can become a chess trainer.

This way is a good option to get money from something you love. The amount of money basically depends on the region where you are located. Because in some places, Chess is very important while in places like Africa, a chess coach won’t make much. So, do your research and if it proves to be a viable option, then go for it.

Becoming a chess writer for websites

What do you think, all those articles that go through your web pages every day about Chess are written by simple writers? Nope, for writing an article about Chess, only an expert that knows the techniques and skills for playing Chess will be a good fit. So, if you have a good grip on writing, then this method can work out for you.

Because companies hire writers that are knowledgeable about Chess. You can write blogs and articles about Chess and earn a handsome amount of money. If you get success in this field, then there is a nice chance that maybe a big firm will hire you for writing content for their website. Earning money while being a senior writer of Chess will be a good option.

Chess exhibitions

Taking part in a chess exhibition is also one of the ways to earn money. In the chess exhibition, you will be playing against several players at once. Then participants will pay you if you beat them. If you are famous, then this won’t be difficult for you.

Otherwise, make your reputation and engage people in your playing skills and attract a huge audience and similarly more money. But to excel in this method require a lot of expertise and experience. So make sure you are skilful enough that people get impressed as the main motive of them to come and see is to watch a good player.

Chess commentator

If you are a chess enthusiast, then you must have an idea that there is commentary involved in tournaments. So, if you feel like reaching the top rank will be difficult for you in Chess, there is always a second option. You will need a little expertise and knowledge about Chess, but still having a good title will only attract you to be part of the commentary. As there is tough competition in the chess community because the commentary is only done in privileged completions

Becoming a streamer

Most of the top players started streaming regularly on youtube and twitch. These platforms provides good passive income. Hikaru Nakamura is one of the top and active Grandmaster who earns in 5 digits per month through these platforms.

At a conservative estimate then, Hikaru is likely earning more than $10,000 per month via Twitch, and possibly as much as $20,000 per month. As of, Social Blade estimatesOpens in a new tab. that Hikaru has earned anywhere from $1.9k to $29.7k in the past 30 days from YouTube ad revenue.

How do chess grandmasters make money?

Answering this question is difficult because every grandmaster has their own strategy about how they get to benefit from Chess and make money. They can be using one of the above methods that were mentioned above. But still, there is a wide variety of options available for them. Chess grandmasters generally make money from chess interviewers, write e-books, do photography, and similarly participate in sponsorships that can benefit them too.

Average Salary:

Revenue can be generated once a grandmaster finds what their passion is and at what skill they are good at. The average salary of a grandmaster is around $20000 to $40000 per year. Some grandmasters do this money-making from Chess as a side hustle while others work full-time too. When data was gathered from some experienced coaches, it was found that, on average, a grandmaster earns up to 3000 $ per month and not more than that. So, this is how chess grandmasters make money through Chess. 

What are some top five cash prizes in chess championship?

Following is the list of the five top cash prizes that have been won by chess players in world champonship. These people managed to make some great money by playing chess tournaments;

YearWorld ChampionCash Prize
1990Garry Kasparov$1.875 million
2010Anand$1.68 million
2012Anand$1.53 million
2013Carlsen$1.5 million
2014-2020Carlsen$1 million on average

The world championship-winning is a huge award and accomplishment that these players achieved. Till now, $1.875 million is the highest prize for winning the tournament. But as each year passes by, the amount gets increased, and the players strive to do their best in order to secure a good position in Chess and also earn some handsome amount of money.

The world chess champions get a very high cash prize since 1886. The table below shows the prize money given to chess world champions since 1886. (SourceOpens in a new tab.)

YearWorld ChampionCash Prize Earned
1886Wilhelm Steinitz£400
1891Wilhelm Steinitz$2,000
1921José Raúl Capablanca$12,000
1927Alexander Alekhine$8,000
1935Max Euwe$10,000
1966Tigran Petrosian$2,000 bonus
1972Bobby Fischer$156,250
1978Garry Kasparov$350,000
1990Garry Kasparov$1.875 million
1995Garry Kasparov$1 million
2000Kramnik$1.33 million
2010Anand$1.68 million
2012Anand$1.53 million
2013Carlsen$1.5 million
2014-2020Carlsen$1 million Average

Who Is The Richest Chess Player In The World?

Magnus Carlsen is the richest chess player in the world, with an estimate networth of $30 MILLION. He earns an estimate of $750,000 per year from chess tournaments and companies like Microsoft, G-Star Raw are some of his major sponsors.

Magnus CarlsenOpens in a new tab. started playing the game at 5 years old and was already a grandmaster by 13. Magnus Carlsen was born on 30 November 1990 in Norway. Magnus carlsen was the highest FIDEOpens in a new tab. rated chess player with the peak rating of 2882.

Magnus carlsen is 5 times world chess champion. He defeated legendary chess player viswanathan anand, clinch the title. From 2013 to 2022, he remains undefeated.


As covered in this article, you now have a good idea about the ways by which you can use Chess to earn a handsome amount of money. To make good money from chess you should have proper dedication, talent and learning mind.

Harikrishnan A

I am an International Fide Rated player with 10+ years of experience. Played many International Chess Tournaments and Commonwealth games.

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