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  1. #31
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Max doesn't just play chess; he coaches and writes about it for various publications too.

    Posters to this thread should be a little bit careful about speculating about any particular named person's financial circumstances without being sure of the facts.

  2. #32
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    I had a chat with a very strong Russian IM this morning (we studied chess together in the moscow palace of pioneers back in the childhood days). He told me that he is working hard as a Chess coach, including coaching some ppl online, plays a lot of tournaments, writes about chess and on average, he makes about 1000 dollars a month (with great difficulty) given that his rating is 2450+ and he speaks decent english (sufficient for online coaching of people outside Russia), this is yet another indication of how impovershed the ''chess professionals'' are.
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  3. #33
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    It's tough work being a chess professional, but probably the best way to make money from chess is either selling supplies (books, equipment etc) or teaching classes (not that one precludes the other) to beginners or near-beginners. Money from playing, writing, and individual coaching is the purview of masters, but nearly anyone can be a chess professional as a teacher or supplier. I'm not sure about organising tournaments, but that could be something people could do as well as a booster.
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  4. #34
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    I can declare myself a chess professional too as I won $7 of someone playing dollar a game some weeks ago. The question is, can the so called professionals support themseves through chess?. Incidently, I can recall a couple of under 2300 Australian players who regard themseves as chess professionals.
    Both of them are recepients of unemployment benefits...
    Well I have bet $300 per game, loads of excitement

    Anyway it is pertinent that our local professional chess player Max did not post here, but understandable considering the contents of some posts. But I did appreciate this in his Honi Soit article
    http://honisoit.com/2014/08/more-art-than-science/

    “I think that one thing that chess offers that other pursuits don’t is an intellectual stimulation,” he says. “Somehow, when you play chess, you look at things from a different sort of angle to other people, because of the nature of the struggle.”

    We should also realise that dedicated chess players are actually difficult to find so we should appreciate one another. If we were on an isolated island with hundreds of people and there being one other decent chess player we would treasure s/he so much.
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  5. #35
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    AC (as always) replied something unrelated. My question was about feasibility of being a chess pro, not about what chess offers...
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  6. #36
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    On player / coaches.

    GM Gregory Kaidavov charges $100 ph. GM Sergey Volkov charges $50 ph. GM Dejan Antic charges $45 ph. One can find very cheap lessons from IMs as low as $15 (IM Petar Gojkovic), or even $10 ph ( FM Radovan Damnjanovic)
    All of the above in US$

    I am not sure how many students they have.

    Most offer their lessons through the internet.

    I witnessed one very well known GM giving one-to-one lessons to a junior at the Marshall Chess Club in NY.

    The same GM told me that nowadays he only plays in tournaments around the North East Coast (USA) area.

    He added that even if one has chances of winning top prizes in tournaments they need to travel to at least 10-15 different States (let alone overseas events) a year in order to gain good money (*).

    He also told me that moving around in hotels, keeping the taxman, wife and kids happy as well as never having a real future and/or enough retirement funds is a real pain.

    Writing or co-writing a book, teaching and playing an occasional tourney around here is more that enough for him these days he concluded.

    How much does he charge for a lesson? "Chess is very much a class thing, if you are interested just let me know" was his response, ending the discussion then and there.

    General belief in Europe is that you can't make good money (**) from Chess unless you are a very strong player. What's a very strong player? "Well among the best 50-60 in the world"!

    What about the best 100? "Not really! from 60 to 100 they might be able to get a place in a Euro team Championship but that's just 15 - 20 thousand euro a year which is not that hot"!

    Same circles in Europe found it hard to believe when I told them that Chess administrators and Club officials in Australia offer their services on a volunteer basis.

    (*) and (**) Not so sure about the definition of "good" money. It varies from individual to individual.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott Renzies View Post
    On player / coaches.

    GM Gregory Kaidavov charges $100 ph. GM Sergey Volkov charges $50 ph. GM Dejan Antic charges $45 ph. One can find very cheap lessons from IMs as low as $15 (IM Petar Gojkovic), or even $10 ph ( FM Radovan Damnjanovic)
    All of the above in US$

    I am not sure how many students they have.

    Most offer their lessons through the internet.

    I witnessed one very well known GM giving one-to-one lessons to a junior at the Marshall Chess Club in NY.

    The same GM told me that nowadays he only plays in tournaments around the North East Coast (USA) area.

    He added that even if one has chances of winning top prizes in tournaments they need to travel to at least 10-15 different States (let alone overseas events) a year in order to gain good money (*).

    He also told me that moving around in hotels, keeping the taxman, wife and kids happy as well as never having a real future and/or enough retirement funds is a real pain.

    Writing or co-writing a book, teaching and playing an occasional tourney around here is more that enough for him these days he concluded.

    How much does he charge for a lesson? "Chess is very much a class thing, if you are interested just let me know" was his response, ending the discussion then and there.

    General belief in Europe is that you can't make good money (**) from Chess unless you are a very strong player. What's a very strong player? "Well among the best 50-60 in the world"!

    What about the best 100? "Not really! from 60 to 100 they might be able to get a place in a Euro team Championship but that's just 15 - 20 thousand euro a year which is not that hot"!

    Same circles in Europe found it hard to believe when I told them that Chess administrators and Club officials in Australia offer their services on a volunteer basis.

    (*) and (**) Not so sure about the definition of "good" money. It varies from individual to individual.
    Excellent post, Tasso!
    One must also add that: GM Volkov lives in a fairly rural area of Russia (Saransk) where $50/hour is amazing kind of income. Likewise, those living in developing/undeveloped countries can survive through internet lessons cause their dollar buys more.
    Re families, wife and kids...not many of the ''mid-range'' grandmasters are family people if they remain on the professional circuit.
    Many give up chess (though who are capable/willing) of doing things other than chess to get a job before its too late and they are still employable.
    Those, who fail to do so by the age of 30 or so, well...you can see the likes of (better not put the names here) Gms in their late 40's/50's struggling to win anything at all in the European Open tournaments with their rating falling under 2500. Travelling from tournament to tournament and staying in cheap hotels is not a good lifestyle for someone in the 50's (not a healthy one anyway).
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  8. #38
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    Excellent post, Tasso!
    One must also add that: GM Volkov lives in a fairly rural area of Russia (Saransk) where $50/hour is amazing kind of income.
    Yes, need to consider the exchange rates in some countries and what that money then buys. Don't know what it's like in Russia, but for instance in Poland many things are about a third the price they are here once you've converted currency. I agree though, it was a very intersting post.

  9. #39
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    In this, chess is not enormously different from many other sports (or indeed some pursuits in the Arts and elsewhere). A tennis player probably struggles to make a professional income from playing alone if they are outside the top 100 in the world.

  10. #40
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax View Post
    ... A tennis player probably struggles to make a professional income from playing alone if they are outside the top 100 in the world.
    I understand that Chess is not exactly a spectators' sport and it does not attract the huge amounts of paying crowds Tennis does.

    I also understand that an average tennis player's temporal range of activity is restricted by factors such as injuries and of course age much more than a Chess's players respective career.

    Also Tennis, as a sport attracts a disproportionally higher amount of sponsorship money than Chess does.

    In regards to Tennis players individual income, some interesting comparisons may be drawn by figures found here.

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Singles.aspx

    Unfortunatelly, I am not in position to provide such a detailed statistical list in regards to Chess players income.
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott Renzies View Post
    I understand that Chess is not exactly a spectators' sport and it does not attract the huge amounts of paying crowds Tennis does.

    I also understand that an average tennis player's temporal range of activity is restricted by factors such as injuries and of course age much more than a Chess's players respective career.

    Also Tennis, as a sport attracts a disproportionally higher amount of sponsorship money than Chess does.

    In regards to Tennis players individual income, some interesting comparisons may be drawn by figures found here.

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Singles.aspx

    Unfortunatelly, I am not in position to provide such a detailed statistical list in regards to Chess players income.
    On a positive note (even though ther are surely more opportunities in tennis than in chess overall) - chess players travel/equipment expenses appear to be lower. Also they do not require regular massages and there are probably less chess-related injuries (even though some chess players do behave like they have fallen on their heads once or twice)
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  12. #42
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    On a positive note (even though ther are surely more opportunities in tennis than in chess overall) - chess players travel/equipment expenses appear to be lower. Also they do not require regular massages and there are probably less chess-related injuries (even though some chess players do behave like they have fallen on their heads once or twice)
    Have any top rung players died at the net? I have not heard of any.
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