Chess Grandmaster Salary: How Much They Make

Chess is a timeless game; it continues to attract and compel people of all ages. But, have you thought of the potential profit that comes from playing chess? You may think it’s an unreliable source of income, however, a chess grandmaster’s salary is more than enough to make a living.

With that in mind, the average chess grandmaster’s salary is $3500 monthly, but can increase to $4800 if they’re also a coach.

For those who master it, chess is a powerful skill they can use to make money. Now, let’s break this down into more detail.

What Is a Chess Grandmaster?

First, let’s define a Grandmaster. Chess Grandmaster is the highest title a player can earn, granted by the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

This title is achieved during difficult chess tournaments where chess players reach a standard FIDE rating of 2500, as well as three grandmaster norms.

A norm is a superb performance during a tournament. Check out this link to learn how to achieve a chess norm. You can also check the FIDE’s handbook for more details.

How Much Does a Chess Grandmaster Earn?

Chess grandmaster salaries aren’t fixed; they usually vary based on experience. On average, a chess grandmaster’s salary reaches up to $3500 per month. However, if the grandmaster coaches other people, their earnings can reach $4800 monthly.

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Chess grandmasters work independently, which means they don’t receive a regular payment by the end of the month. So, besides experience, their salary varies based on how much work they do, and how much they charge their clients.

Additionally, a grandmaster’s salary depends on their ability to market and convince others of their skill.

How to Earn Money Using Chess?

Because chess is getting the recognition it deserves, there are multiple ways in which you can make money out of it.

You can earn money by simply playing chess tournaments. Another option is creating Youtube channels, opening a chess academy, or coaching other people.

In this section, we’re going to discuss how grandmasters profit from their chess skills.

Playing Chess Games

Paying in a chess tournament is the most common way for a grandmaster to earn money. That’s because there are lots of competitions that offer good awards. For example, a chess grandmaster can earn $6000 at an elite tournament.

Teaching Chess

As a grandmaster, you can easily attract students, as the title gives you credibility over other coaches. It’s the most profitable source of money for a chess player. That said, the average hourly rate for a grandmaster is $40 to $100.

Do You Have to Be a Grandmaster to Make a Living Out of Chess?

No, you don’t have to be a grandmaster to earn money using your chess skills. If you consider yourself a skilled chess player, teaching other people is still an option for you, too. The average rate for chess coaches (who aren’t grandmasters) is $20 to $30 hourly.

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Moreover, you can earn money by creating online educational videos on Youtube.

Net Worth of Elite Grandmasters

Elite grandmasters can earn a fortune by winning championships and matches. So, if you’re still wondering how much grandmasters’ salaries reach, here are a few examples of famous chess grandmasters and their net worth.

Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura is the wealthiest chess grandmaster; his net worth is $50 million. Nakamura became a grandmaster at the age of 15, making him the youngest American to achieve this title at the time.

His income comes from various sources, such as playing chess tournaments and being active on Youtube and social media platforms.

In addition, he wrote a book on how to become a better player, using his strategies to illustrate how to master playing chess. He’s also paid a monthly salary for representing the USA.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is a rich chess player of Norwegian descent. His net worth is also $50 million. Carlsen began playing chess tournaments at a young age and achieved the grandmaster title when he was just 13.

Not only does he earn money from winning competitions, but he also receives an annual revenue of about $2 million through sponsorship deals. Moreover, his mobile app ‘Play Magnus’ is a major source of income for him.

The reason behind the success of ‘Play Magnus’ is that it allows you to play and learn chess in an entertaining and innovative approach.

Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana comes in third place after Carlsen and Nakamura, with a net worth of $13 million. He won the grandmaster title when he was only 14, right after he triumphed in the Italian Chess Championship.

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Caruana profits most from playing chess games; he made more than $1 million in two years by winning tournaments alone. In 2018, he was awarded $511,400 in the world championships for receiving a silver medal.

On top of that, Caruana made numerous sponsorship deals, such as the ones he made with the Liberty Science Center, Chess Club, and Scholastic Center.

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov isn’t just a chess player, but he’s a writer and an activist as well. His net worth is $6 million, rendering him the fourth richest chess player.

Just like any elite grandmaster, Kasparov began his career at a young age. He started playing chess at the age of 10, and he was ranked number one in 1984 when he was 21.

His earnings mostly come from his business corporation ‘Kasparov International Management’. After he retired from professional chess in 2005, he set out to become a writer and politician.

Judit Polgar

Judit Polgar is the most pronounced female chess player in the world. Her net worth is $5 million.

Most of her income comes from winning tournaments and selling copies of her books.

Moreover, she established a chess foundation aimed at advancing education through the use of chess. She also coaches the Hungarian National Team.

Bottom Line

To wrap up, chess grandmasters make money by playing chess, coaching people, writing books, or creating online content. Their salaries are variable, as they depend on experience, the amount of work they do or tournaments they play, and the amount they charge their students.

Further, the average hourly rate for grandmaster coaches is $40 to $100, whereas that of other coaches is $20 to $30.

Elite grandmasters, such as Hikaru Nakamura, Magnus Carlsen, and Garry Kasparov earn a substantial amount of money by winning competition prizes. Thus, making a living out of a chess career is lucrative.