Main
Date: 11 Jun 2007 09:31:49
From: EG
Subject: Chess Professional Salary
Hi,

What is the average salary that chess professionals make like GMs and
IMs?

I keep seeing a ton of GMs play at weekend swiss events and also
several players play international in tournaments in Europe and
Russia. A lot of them are the same players too. So what kind of
salary are they making from their winning each year?





 
Date: 19 Jun 2007 01:39:23
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
On Jun 19, 3:59 am, raven1 <[email protected] > wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 09:53:17 -0700, EG <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> An example would be Alexander Alekhine
> >> dying in poverty; obviously, this happened not because
> >> he found it impossible to make money at chess, but due
> >> to his unfortunate association with the Nazis, who had
> >> lost the war
>
> I can think of several adjectives more appropriate than
> "unfortunate"...


Maybe you think GM Alekhine was a closet Nazi all
along, and only *pretended* to let wars ruin his life.

Me, I think he was obviously obsessed with chess,
and wars served to interfere, to muck up the works.

If the Axis powers had won WWII, the propaganda
articles attributed to him would hardly have been
any problem for his chess career; but of course
they lost. Since the articles were not *anti-Nazi*
propaganda pieces, this sealed his fate. History,
of course, is written by the winners. Most of what
passes for history around here credits the victory
to us Americans, but it looks more like we just
piddled around until mid-game.

In view of what happened to GM Alekhine's chess
career, I think it was very unfortunate that his
association with those articles weighed like an
anchor around his neck. I've read one of them,
and the idea that its contents could be taken
seriously by any but the dimmest of duffers, is
laughable. Perhaps the Nazis were hoping to
impact those who knew absolutely nothing about
the game, but for others it was an obvious case
of grasping at straws. I am reminded of the GM
Evans ratpackers, who tried to attack Taylor
Kingston for "missing" a move which was in fact
missed by a famous GM, who wrote that he had
carefully analyzed every game in his book. Ad
hominem quite often defies all logic.

-- help bot







 
Date: 18 Jun 2007 13:54:13
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
On Jun 18, 12:53 pm, EG <[email protected] > wrote:

> If they don't make money and they know that being a chess professional
> does make a stable living then why do they do it?

Could you rephrase that question so it makes some logical
sense?

One relevant idea is that chess can be extremely addictive.
One famous quote states that if you wish to "destroy" a man,
you should simply teach him chess!

Another idea is simply that people like to do what they are
good at, and right along with this goes the psychology of
winning ("I like to watch 'em squirm", bwahahah!).

Maybe a few are truly interested in demonstrating artistic
creativity, and the winning and the money are just added
benefits. Yet often as not, "art" is given as an excuse for
competitive failures.

From my perspective, you would have to take things on
a more individual basis; what are the viable alternatives?
Flipping burgers at McDonald's (no offense, JR), or
something far superior to GM chess, like becoming a
double-oh agent in her majesty's secret service?

-- help bot




 
Date: 18 Jun 2007 09:53:17
From: EG
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
If they don't make money and they know that being a chess professional
does make a stable living then why do they do it?

















On Jun 11, 4:44 pm, help bot <[email protected] > wrote:
> On Jun 11, 2:54 pm, "Ray Gordon, creator of the \"pivot\""
>
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> > Once you get over 2200, business and keting acumen come into play more.
> > Guys like Dan Heisman are out there all the time, and even though he's not a
> > GM, he's trained a lot of kids, written a lot, and has various media gigs.
> > I'd guess he does better than a GM trying to make it on prizes alone.
>
> > Now the coaches for the NYC kids make bank.
>
> > If you want to make a living at chess, play to get strong, but teach and
> > write to make money.
>
> I think it is a bit pessimistic to say that only a relative few
> can make money in chess; it all depends on the approach.
>
> For example, if a GM flies from city to city and stays in
> nice hotels, then sure, he's gonna have trouble making
> money from his prize winnings. But there are plenty of
> players who are far below the GM level who nonetheless
> do okay by having more realistic expectations towards
> income, and by keeping a close eye on expenses. Such
> players, knowing they cannot rely on taking first place in
> an upcoming tourney, will work hard at giving lessons or,
> as noted above, simply move to an area with far more
> prospective students.
>
> The pessimistic opinions seem to emanate from people
> who require desperate measures to lend support to their
> conclusions. An example would be Alexander Alekhine
> dying in poverty; obviously, this happened not because
> he found it impossible to make money at chess, but due
> to his unfortunate association with the Nazis, who had
> lost the war; on the winning side there was GM Botvinnik,
> who as far as I am aware, did not die in poverty. Similarly,
> former world champion Lasker certainly did not "die in
> poverty" as a direct result of any inability to make money
> from chess; the man's finances had been ruined by war,
> and he had long retired from active play when that
> happened.
>
> Another example would be in the commentaryby IM Rashid
> Ziatdinov, which listed only two famous chess players as
> being known millionaires; obviously, in addition to AK &
> GK, there is GM Fischer, who earned more money than I
> will ever need by playing a single chess match of his own
> choosing, and long after he had passed his peak strength.
>
> A few years ago, I noticed that a player named Bernard
> Parham seemed to be making a living from giving chess
> lessons (if you can call them that) to local students,
> although he also at times seemed to take a real job, such as
> an EMT. The reason I bring this up is that between people
> like BP and any random GM, there is simply no comparison.
> The random GM can look through the back pages of Chess
> Life and pinpoint a tournament where he has a fine chance
> of taking clear first, while a local Expert like BP can only
> hope and pray that nobody good will show up.
>
> Now, you can call the acquisition of new students whatever
> you like (i.e. business and keting acumen), but a lot of it
> boils down to a willingness to work. And the same principle
> applies to the writing of chess books; many GMs are simply
> lazy, or were born with a silver spoon up their... .
> So even *if*, aside from the millionaires, there were only
> about 120 players who make $50K+ per year from chess,
> you have to consider how hard most of these players
> actually work. Judging from many samples in Chess Life
> magazine, I would venture to say that a lot of the best
> chess players here are exceedingly lazy, and only write or
> continue to play because it is so *easy* for them to make
> money.
>
> -- help bot




  
Date: 19 Jun 2007 03:59:18
From: raven1
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 09:53:17 -0700, EG <[email protected] > wrote:

>>An example would be Alexander Alekhine
>> dying in poverty; obviously, this happened not because
>> he found it impossible to make money at chess, but due
>> to his unfortunate association with the Nazis, who had
>> lost the war

I can think of several adjectives more appropriate than
"unfortunate"...
--

"O Sybilli, si ergo
Fortibus es in ero
O Nobili! Themis trux
Sivat sinem? Causen Dux"


 
Date: 11 Jun 2007 13:44:44
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
On Jun 11, 2:54 pm, "Ray Gordon, creator of the \"pivot\""
<[email protected] > wrote:

> Once you get over 2200, business and keting acumen come into play more.
> Guys like Dan Heisman are out there all the time, and even though he's not a
> GM, he's trained a lot of kids, written a lot, and has various media gigs.
> I'd guess he does better than a GM trying to make it on prizes alone.
>
> Now the coaches for the NYC kids make bank.
>
> If you want to make a living at chess, play to get strong, but teach and
> write to make money.

I think it is a bit pessimistic to say that only a relative few
can make money in chess; it all depends on the approach.

For example, if a GM flies from city to city and stays in
nice hotels, then sure, he's gonna have trouble making
money from his prize winnings. But there are plenty of
players who are far below the GM level who nonetheless
do okay by having more realistic expectations towards
income, and by keeping a close eye on expenses. Such
players, knowing they cannot rely on taking first place in
an upcoming tourney, will work hard at giving lessons or,
as noted above, simply move to an area with far more
prospective students.

The pessimistic opinions seem to emanate from people
who require desperate measures to lend support to their
conclusions. An example would be Alexander Alekhine
dying in poverty; obviously, this happened not because
he found it impossible to make money at chess, but due
to his unfortunate association with the Nazis, who had
lost the war; on the winning side there was GM Botvinnik,
who as far as I am aware, did not die in poverty. Similarly,
former world champion Lasker certainly did not "die in
poverty" as a direct result of any inability to make money
from chess; the man's finances had been ruined by war,
and he had long retired from active play when that
happened.

Another example would be in the commentaryby IM Rashid
Ziatdinov, which listed only two famous chess players as
being known millionaires; obviously, in addition to AK &
GK, there is GM Fischer, who earned more money than I
will ever need by playing a single chess match of his own
choosing, and long after he had passed his peak strength.

A few years ago, I noticed that a player named Bernard
Parham seemed to be making a living from giving chess
lessons (if you can call them that) to local students,
although he also at times seemed to take a real job, such as
an EMT. The reason I bring this up is that between people
like BP and any random GM, there is simply no comparison.
The random GM can look through the back pages of Chess
Life and pinpoint a tournament where he has a fine chance
of taking clear first, while a local Expert like BP can only
hope and pray that nobody good will show up.

Now, you can call the acquisition of new students whatever
you like (i.e. business and keting acumen), but a lot of it
boils down to a willingness to work. And the same principle
applies to the writing of chess books; many GMs are simply
lazy, or were born with a silver spoon up their... .
So even *if*, aside from the millionaires, there were only
about 120 players who make $50K+ per year from chess,
you have to consider how hard most of these players
actually work. Judging from many samples in Chess Life
magazine, I would venture to say that a lot of the best
chess players here are exceedingly lazy, and only write or
continue to play because it is so *easy* for them to make
money.

-- help bot













 
Date: 11 Jun 2007 13:24:17
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
On Jun 11, 3:29 pm, samsloan <[email protected] > wrote:
> On Jun 11, 2:34 pm, Taylor Kingston <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> Somebody pronounced you dead a few days ago, so I am happy to see you
> alive after all.

Very much alive, but no longer with much interest at all in
rec.games.chess newsgroups. I just happened to notice this question
about chess and money, and thought Ziatdinov's comments were relevant.



 
Date: 11 Jun 2007 12:29:42
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
On Jun 11, 2:34 pm, Taylor Kingston <[email protected] > wrote:

Somebody pronounced you dead a few days ago, so I am happy to see you
alive after all.

Sam Sloan



 
Date: 11 Jun 2007 11:34:40
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
On Jun 11, 12:31 pm, EG <[email protected] > wrote:
> Hi,
>
> What is the average salary that chess professionals make like GMs and
> IMs?

The word "salary" implies a set wage paid regularly, say, monthly or
bi-weekly. Few chess masters, except those in communist countries
where chess has been a state-subsidized activity, have ever made such
a regular living from chess. Few have even made starvation wages from
chess, and have had to take regular jobs like the rest of us.
Historically, the best unsubsidized players have eked out an irregular
income from a combination of tournament prizes and honoraria,
simultaneous exhibitions, lectures, writing, and teaching. Even some
world champions have died in poverty, e.g. Steinitz, Lasker,
Alekhine.

> I keep seeing a ton of GMs play at weekend swiss events and also
> several players play international in tournaments in Europe and
> Russia. A lot of them are the same players too. So what kind of
> salary are they making from their winning each year?

Of the current chess scene, IM Rashid Ziatdinov wrote in 1998:

"As sports go, chess is not lucrative for the average professional.
The well known top players who have been able to achieve millionaire
status (Karpov and Kasparov) are the exceptions. Aside from them,
there are only about 20 players world wide who do well financially
from chess ($100,000+ per year income), and another 100 or so that
make a comfortable living ($50,000+). The next 1,000 players, on
average, come out about even -- earning in prizes what they incur in
entry fees and expenses. Then come perhaps 10,000 players who invest
several thousand dollars more per year than they earn." -- from "GM
RAM: Essential Grandmaster Knowledge" by Rashid Ziatdinov and Peter
Dyson, PROChess LLC, New York, 1998




  
Date: 11 Jun 2007 14:54:13
From: Ray Gordon, creator of the \pivot\
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
Once you get over 2200, business and keting acumen come into play more.
Guys like Dan Heisman are out there all the time, and even though he's not a
GM, he's trained a lot of kids, written a lot, and has various media gigs.
I'd guess he does better than a GM trying to make it on prizes alone.

Now the coaches for the NYC kids make bank.

If you want to make a living at chess, play to get strong, but teach and
write to make money.


>> What is the average salary that chess professionals make like GMs and
>> IMs?
>
> The word "salary" implies a set wage paid regularly, say, monthly or
> bi-weekly. Few chess masters, except those in communist countries
> where chess has been a state-subsidized activity, have ever made such
> a regular living from chess. Few have even made starvation wages from
> chess, and have had to take regular jobs like the rest of us.
> Historically, the best unsubsidized players have eked out an irregular
> income from a combination of tournament prizes and honoraria,
> simultaneous exhibitions, lectures, writing, and teaching. Even some
> world champions have died in poverty, e.g. Steinitz, Lasker,
> Alekhine.
>
>> I keep seeing a ton of GMs play at weekend swiss events and also
>> several players play international in tournaments in Europe and
>> Russia. A lot of them are the same players too. So what kind of
>> salary are they making from their winning each year?
>
> Of the current chess scene, IM Rashid Ziatdinov wrote in 1998:
>
> "As sports go, chess is not lucrative for the average professional.
> The well known top players who have been able to achieve millionaire
> status (Karpov and Kasparov) are the exceptions. Aside from them,
> there are only about 20 players world wide who do well financially
> from chess ($100,000+ per year income), and another 100 or so that
> make a comfortable living ($50,000+). The next 1,000 players, on
> average, come out about even -- earning in prizes what they incur in
> entry fees and expenses. Then come perhaps 10,000 players who invest
> several thousand dollars more per year than they earn."




 
Date: 11 Jun 2007 13:07:53
From: irvin
Subject: Re: Chess Professional Salary
Probably no more than US$10,000 on average. And that might be an incredibly
optimistic figure.






"EG" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Hi,
>
> What is the average salary that chess professionals make like GMs and
> IMs?
>
> I keep seeing a ton of GMs play at weekend swiss events and also
> several players play international in tournaments in Europe and
> Russia. A lot of them are the same players too. So what kind of
> salary are they making from their winning each year?
>