Chess is one of the oldest games in the world and while it may seem simple to some, it is actually quite complex requiring players to use strategy, tactics, skill, and cunning to outwit their opponents and win.
While most people who play chess do so for fun, there are actually many professional chess players who make a living from the game. While it’s fairly rare for people to become wealthy playing chess, many have created income streams with a hobby that they enjoy and would play anyway.
So how do chess players make money?
In this article, we’ll discuss 10 ways in which good chess players can make money from the game they love.
How Do Chess Players Make Money?
Chess is one of the most popular board games in the world. Many people start playing chess at a young age and even those who learn the game later in life never do so with the intention of making money.
Many chess players make their living through other means unrelated to chess and only play the game for fun in their spare time.
But as they get better, some start to think about how they could turn their passion and skill into a way to make some extra money. And that’s when they turn to articles like these! So, how do chess players make money?
Here are the 10 possible ways:
- Prize Money at Chess Tournaments
- Teaching Chess (Offline and Online)
- Playing live on streaming platforms (like Twitch)
- Monetizing a Youtube Channel
- Monetizing a Chess Blog
- Working for Chess Organizations
- Working as Strategy Consultants for businesses
- Commenting on Chess Games
- Writing Books on Chess
Let’s look at each of these more closely.
#1. Prize Money at Chess Tournaments
Playing in chess tournaments and winning prize money is one of the most common ways for chess players to make money.
The tournaments with the biggest prizes are often invite-only and only the top chess players in the world are good enough to be invited. But, there are also many open tournaments where anyone can enter and compete for a cash prize.
Apart from winning prize money, players can also earn points that will help them qualify for even bigger tournaments. The more points a player has, the better their ranking will be and the higher the caliber of opponents they’ll be able to play against. This can lead to even more prize money winnings down the road.
#2. Teaching Chess (Offline and Online)
Many players after they’ve reached a certain level, start teaching chess to beginners and lower-ranked players. This type of work can sometimes be more lucrative than winning prize money in competitions but it is harder to come by.
Players can give chess lessons in-person or online. Some players also work as freelance trainers who are hired by chess clubs or organizations to help train their players. They can also be hired by schools to teach chess to students as part of the curriculum or as an extra activity.
Players can also create and sell instructional materials like eBooks, online courses, or even physical products like chess sets and boards.
#3. Playing live on streaming platforms
Another way that chess players make money is by playing online. There are many websites where chess players can play against others for money. These websites often have different levels and players can choose to play against opponents of a similar skill level.
Some of the more popular chess streaming platforms are Chess.com, Lichess.org, and Twitch.tv.
Players can also make money by streaming their chess games live on Twitch. This is a popular platform for gamers and many chess players have found success by streaming their games and commentary live. Viewers often will leave donations for the players.
#4. Monetizing a Youtube Channel
Similar to how players can make money streaming their chess games on Twitch, they can also make money by creating chess-related content on YouTube.
Players can create instructional videos, analysis videos, or even just commentary videos of themselves playing chess. They can then monetize their channel with ads and donations from viewers.
Players can also look for sponsors for specific videos. For instance, a chess set company might be willing to sponsor a video where the player uses and reviews their products.
#5. Monetizing a Blog on Chess
One of the most common ways people make money online is through blogging. And chess players are no different.
Players can start a blog on any chess-related topic they want and then monetize it with ads, affiliate links, or selling products. They can write articles, create videos, or even just stream their games live on their blog.
Viewers of the blog can then donate to the player or buy products that they sell. Visitors to the blog can be invited to join an email list which can be used not just to share chess news, tactics, ideas, tips, etc. but also to promote products or services.
#6. Working for Chess Organizations
A more classical way that chess players make money is by working for chess organizations.
There are many different types of jobs that chess players can do. They can be coaches, analysts, commentators, or even just administrators. Some organizations also hire players to give lectures or run training camps.
Players can also work as freelance consultants for chess clubs or schools. They can help with training, analysis, or even just give advice on how to run a chess program.
#7. Working as a Strategy Consultant for Businesses
Chess players can also be hired by businesses to give lectures or workshops on the game of chess. This is often done for team-building purposes but can also be used as a marketing tool. For instance, a business might hire a player to give a talk at their conference on how chess can help improve strategic thinking.
Chess players can also be hired by companies to consult on chess-related projects. For instance, a company might want to create a chess-themed product and they’ll hire a player to help with the design or development.
Chess is a game of strategy. And businesses know that. So by positioning themselves as experts in strategic thinking, chess players can open up a whole new world of consulting opportunities.
#8. Commenting on Chess Games
Another way that chess players can make money is by commenting on games. This can be done live, on TV or online.
Players can also get hired to write articles or give lectures on specific games. They can analyze the moves and offer their insights on what happened and why.
This is a great way for players to share their knowledge and expertise with the chess community, and also a great way to make some extra money.
#9. Writing Books on Chess
This may not be the easiest way for chess players to make money but it is certainly an option. If a player has expertise or knowledge in a specific area of chess, they can look into writing a book on the topic.
This could be an instructional book, an analysis of great games, a history of the game, or even just a general overview of the game. They could even consider writing a book for beginners or children which might be easier than writing one for experts.
Players can also look into writing eBooks or even just producing PDFs of their content. These can be sold on their own website or on platforms like Amazon. This can be a way to avoid looking for a publisher which can sometimes be the most difficult part of getting a book to market.
Players with a large online following can also get sponsorships from companies in the chess world or even from companies that are not related to chess. These sponsorships can come in the form of product endorsements, ads on websites or social media, or even direct financial support.
Players with a large social media following can also get paid to post about chess-related products on their platforms. This is a form of marketing known as influencer marketing and it can be quite profitable for chess players with a large and engaged audience.
Chess is a passion for many people but it can also be a way to make money. There are a variety of different ways that chess players can earn an income and many of them can become quite lucrative.
In this article, we reviewed 10 ways in which good chess players can leverage their knowledge and love of the game into ways to create new revenue streams.
So how do chess players make money? They can make money by winning cash prizes, teaching, playing for money, monetizing a blog or youtube channel, working for chess organizations or as business consultants, commenting on chess games, writing books, and winning sponsors.