Chess Grandmaster Salary: How Much They Earn?

chess grandmaster salary

Chess is a sport like any other, and playing chess is not easy, requires dedication and a lot of effort. This is why people who play chess have great opportunities to work, and if you play chess very well you’re worth gold.

However, how much can you make from playing chess? This is a good question, and, how much money can a regular chess grandmaster earn?

The amount of money you can earn is relative, of course, a chess grandmaster salary is juicy, but it can change incredibly. For example, you can compare how much a grandmaster earns to what Magnus Carlsen earns playing chess. See what I mean?

Today, we are going to see different ways to earn money playing chess, and how chess grandmasters have a “salary” and the real ways to monetize chess.

Do you want to learn how to earn this money playing chess? Keep reading and we will go over all you have to know about the chess grandmaster salary.

How much is a chess grandmaster salary?

chess grandmaster salary event

A chess grandmaster can earn around 2000 to 3500 dollars per month playing in events, simuls, and presenting in different places. However, the activity for the excellence of chess grandmasters is coaching, and they can charge up to 120$ an hour.

The thing is many factors can influence the amount you earn and how grandmasters promote their service. Remember that no company or institution secures the payment at the end of the month.

Chess grandmaster salary is defined by how much he works, the opportunities the master has, and interpersonal skills. A chess grandmaster can charge 40$ for an hour, or maybe 100$.

Everything will depend, a chess grandmaster offers an independent service, which means he can charge the amount he wants. If the chess grandmaster can get the correct public with people willing to pay 100, 200, 500$ an hour of coaching, things change.

This is the reason why is so relative, there are millions of ways (some of them you can’t even imagine) of making money as a chess grandmaster. A chess grandmaster's salary will be defined by how good he is at selling his product and skills of course.

How to monetize chess skills?

chess grandmaster salary tournament

Every skill you can think of can be monetized, you just need to find the public that needs the product. There are many ways to monetize chess, even if you are not a chess grandmaster.

Of course, when you have the grandmaster title, your chances of earning more money will increase dramatically. We have already discussed the different ways there are to earn money playing chess in this post.

However, the chess grandmaster salary goes further beyond that, a coach has possibilities an amateur doesn’t, for example:

  • Playing in high-class tournaments: There are many tournaments with great prizes, and some of them are invitational tournaments. This means not every player can participate, not to mention the grandmasters-only events. The first place of any of these tournaments can earn 6000$ easily.
  • Coaching: Anyone can coach actually, but when you are a grandmaster it gives you free advertisement and lots of credibilities.
  • Presenting in chess clubs: This makes a good part of the chess grandmaster salary, giving lectures and classes on clubs. Like a chess grandmaster, I’m pretty sure chess foundations or clubs may want to hire you to give lessons. Even playing a simul can give a good amount of money. A chess master can find chess teacher jobs on Jooble also.

There are also other ways to make money, these are the most common. As I said, they can give less or more money depending on the conditions.

Do you need to be a grandmaster to win money playing chess?

chess grandmaster salary play

Actually, no, you don’t need to be a chess grandmaster to earn a living out of chess, but it is an advantage. If you want to play chess for money, there are other things you can do and don’t necessarily involve getting extremely good at chess.

A good way to give good money to those who have good charisma is to make videos for platforms like Twitch and YouTube.

Even great grandmasters like GM Hikaru Nakamura exploit this factor to the most. We will use this grandmaster as an example because is the most transparent and clear to see.

There is no definitive number of how much he earns monthly, nonetheless, is known that any chess streamer with little fame can earn up to 100.000$ a year!

Considering that Hikaru is one of the most known chess streamers there are, we’ll leave the calculation to you. When we ask: How much is a grandmaster's salary? The response can fluctuate too much, there is no clear response to that.

Many factors influence and the difference is too great from one to another.

Are chess grandmasters rich?

chess grandmaster salary garry

Well, the income may look attractive, but I don’t think that is enough to become rich, with all the letters of the word. Of course, chess players can earn a decent wage per year, always looking for new opportunities and using their skills smartly.

A chess grandmaster salary is not to become rich, but the thing changes if we change the level of play. The top players of the world can make over 1 million dollars playing just one tournament.

The amount goes even higher if they get a decent result in the tournament, but this is just for the top 5 chess players of the world. However, the first 100 players of the world can also get over 100.000$ a year only by playing in tournaments.

You have to take into account that apart from playing the tournaments (and maybe winning them) they can do other things generating extra income. Most chess players also have a different way to make money apart from tournaments. For example Hikaru streams, Carlsen has an app, and so on.

What is the Net Worth of the best grandmasters in the world?

Many people might think that chess players of the elite are all simply rich, and that they do money playing. It’s easy to think that, all of the professionals in other sports make a living off the sport they play.

But this is not the case in chess, as it is not a sport like other, we have to analyze where this money come from. For example, in football, the money for the players and associations coms from donations, sports betting, and publicity.

Basically, if it attracts attention it produces money, and despite chess having a really loyal community it is not that big. There are more people in the world that would rather pay to see a football game than a chess match.

So, many chess players found different ways to make money, which are really interesting. This also makes more difficult calculate grandmasters’ net worth in total, which is what we will try to do now.

What do you need to make money with chess?grandmaster-salary-profit

If we talk about what you need to make money with chess, well, all you need is business knowledge. Basically, you can win money with chess without not knowing anything at chess.

This is the case of the people who actually sells products related to chess, like chessboards and clocks.

The correct way to say it would be then that you are making money off the public of chess. Of course, having knowledge in the matter will considerably make it more profitable.

It’s not the same to see a person selling chessboards than having a chessboard recommended for Magnus Carlsen himself! Obviously we all know which chessboard will sell a lot more than the other.

However, in the digital era, things have changed a lot for it, with many more ways to make money out of chess. Thanks to the internet, which has given an opportunity to work online for many freelancers.

How to make money with chess online?

As we said, when you talk about making money it stops being simply a game, it turns into business. For this, if you have chess knowledge better, but it is more necessary to know how to conduct a business.

Different to the ways to make money with chess shown above, these are ways that don’t necessarily require knowledge or chess, nor being a grandmaster:

  • Becoming a streamer: Becoming a streamer in these times has proven to be highly profitable if done correctly. It all comes to creativeness of the person, maybe you don’t have a GM title, but can comment grandmasters’ games. This is the case of YouTubers like Agadmator’s Chess Channel for example.
  • Organize chess events: Did you know that you can bet on practically anything? You can bet for the games of the grandmasters, and get the winnings. Of course, we wouldn’t recommend gambling as a way to make money, but we can also mention it.
  • Creating content in any platform: Creating articles for a blog or to get followers that you can feed with content is always good. As said “if it attracts attention it produces money” a principle for every work online you can get. After you have gathered a little community of chess lovers for yourself, you can add publicity to your websites as a way to make money.

Truth is, there are many other ways to make money with chess that probably neither of us know, but they exist. It’s all about the creativeness you have to fulfill one necessity of a certain public, and knowing how to benefit from it.

How chess grandmasters make money?

Chess grandmasters are a whole different thing, as grandmaster already have a lot of the capital we are talking about: Attention.

As grandmaster can earn money by appearing commercials, or advertising other brands.

Other grandmasters can also make money by being arbiters in chess matches, which can be really profitable.

The thing is, as in everything in life, there is not a specific way to make profit, it all depends on the opportunities that present to you.

For example, GM Anish Giri worked with the team developing the “Queen’s Gambit” series on Netflix. Of course he got payed for it, and it is some opportunity that probably won’t repeat again.

The thing is, chess is not a good market itself, only top tier grandmasters earn enough money to live off just playing chess. And even though, elite masters like Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also coach to earn money from other source.

There are different ways anyone can actually make money but they don’t exactly have to do with being a high-level player. This is only a booster for your costs, as grandmasters take a lot more money for an hour of coaching from a FM.

So what is the net worth of the elite grandmasters?

Garry Kasparov: Garry Kasparov is one of the best chess players of the world, still if he is not the actual world champion, he is still very famous. The thing is, he also earns from his personal chess classes, his academy, and books. His Net worth has to be between 10-15 million dollars, but it could be a lot more.

Magnus Carlsen: Magnus Carlsen has been the undisputable world chess champion for many years now, and he is very famous too. He is also a model, advertises different brands, streams, has an app on play store, and also streams. We would say his Net worth is 20-25 million dollars easily.

Hikaru Nakamura: He is one of the best players of the world, and his performance is simply amazing. He has been streaming for quite a long time over Twitch and YouTube, and he has openly shared that his net worth is 5 million dollars.

You may also like:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Playing chess

Is Playing Chess Online Safe?

How To Earn Money Playing Chess

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2 Responses

  1. Amazing content Alberto. Looking to read more blog posts and insights related to IM’s and GM’s

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