Can You Make Money Playing Chess in 2023 (Complete Guide)

Published by Robin Esson on

Did you know that there are people making money online playing chess? Did you know that there are different ways you can make money with your chess skills? Can you make money playing chess is not a question anymore, because you can make money!

In this article, we’ll explore some ways to earn money with chess and discuss what it takes to become a professional chess player. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced player, there are many opportunities to make money with this timeless game. So let’s dive in and see what options are available!

What is Chess?

Can You Make Money Playing Chess

Chess is a two-player strategy game played on a chessboard, a square-checkerboard. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The goal of the game is to checkmate the other player’s king, which means the king is in a position to be captured (in “check”) and there is no way to move the king out of capture (mate).

Each type of piece moves differently. The rook can move horizontally or vertically, through any number of unoccupied squares. The bishop can move diagonally, through any number of unoccupied squares. The queen can move horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

The knight moves to any of the squares immediately adjacent to it, then makes a separate, 90-degree turn and moves to an adjacent square on that line. The king can move to any adjacent square that is not occupied by a friendly piece.

The pawn can move forward to the unoccupied square immediately in front of it on the same file, or on its first move it can advance two squares along the same file, provided both squares are unoccupied; or the pawn can capture an opponent’s piece on a square diagonally in front of it by moving to that square.

The game is won by the player who captures the other player’s king, or by the player whose opponent is unable to make a legal move. The game is drawn if the king is not in checkmate but there are no legal moves available, or if the king is not in checkmate and both players have only a king and a bishop or a king and a knight left, or if the king is not in checkmate and both players have only a king left.

Are There Different Types of Chess?

Did you know that there are different versions of chess that people play? Each version has its own set of rules. Here are a few examples:

  • Blitz chess: This is a super fast version of chess where each player has a limited time to make their moves.
  • Rapid chess: This is similar to blitz chess, but players have a little more time to make their moves.
  • Correspondence chess: This is a form of chess where players communicate their moves to each other through correspondence, like email or snail mail, rather than playing in real time.
  • Chess960: In this version of chess, the starting position of the pieces on the back rank (the rank closest to each player) is randomized, with the exception of the white and black bishops, which must be placed on opposite-colored squares.
  • Crazyhouse: In this chess variant, captured pieces are returned to the capturing player’s reserve and can be placed on any unoccupied square on their next turn.
  • Fischer Random Chess: This chess variant was invented by Bobby Fischer and the starting position of the pieces is randomized according to certain rules, with the exception of the white and black bishops, which must be placed on opposite-colored squares.

There are many other variations of chess, each with its own unique set of rules and challenges.

Can You Make Money Playing Chess

black and white chess board

It is possible to make money by playing chess, although the opportunities and earning potential can vary greatly depending on a person’s skill level and their ability to find paid opportunities.

At the highest level, professional chess players can earn significant amounts of money through tournament winnings, sponsorships, and other sources of income. For example, the winner of the World Chess Championship can earn millions of dollars in prize money. However, becoming a professional chess player at this level requires a high level of skill and dedication, and only a small number of players are able to achieve this level of success.

There are also other ways for chess players to make money, such as by giving chess lessons, coaching other players, or writing about chess. However, these opportunities may be more limited and may not be as lucrative as professional tournament play.

In general, it is difficult to make a living solely from playing chess, and many players who are able to make money from the game also have other sources of income or pursue other careers.

Different Ways to Make Money With Chess

Tournament winnings:
Players who compete in chess tournaments can earn prize money for their performances. The amount of money available can vary depending on the size and prestige of the tournament, as well as the player’s final placement in the event.

Sponsorship deals:
Some top players are able to secure sponsorship deals with companies that pay them to represent their brand at chess events and in other promotional activities. This can be a significant source of income for top players.

Teaching and coaching:
Players who are skilled at chess can offer private lessons or group coaching sessions to other players who want to improve their skills. This can be a good way to make money from chess on a more part-time or casual basis.

Writing about chess:
Players who are knowledgeable about chess and have good writing skills can make money by writing articles, books, or other content about chess. This can be done through freelance writing or by publishing content on platforms like or

Online streaming:
Some chess players make money by streaming their chess games online, either through a platform like Twitch or by creating their own YouTube channel. Viewers can support their favorite streamers through donations or by subscribing to their channel.

Chess merchandise:
Players who have a following or a brand can make money by selling chess-related merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, or chess sets.

These are just a few examples of how someone might be able to make money playing chess. The specific opportunities and earning potential will vary depending on a player’s skill level, reputation, and other factors.

How Much Money Can You Make From a Chess Tournament?

While it is not common for professional chess players to be wealthy, some of the top grandmasters can earn significant amounts of money from playing chess. For example, it is not uncommon for elite grandmasters to earn up to $100,000 from a single chess game.

Magnus Carlsen, the current World Chess Champion, is estimated to have a net worth of at least $25-$30 million, and former World Chess Champion Vishwanathan Anand has a net worth of around $15 million. However, it is important to note that these are exceptional cases and most professional chess players do not earn anywhere near this amount of money.

How Much Money Can You Get From a Chess Sponsorship?

black and white chess board with a king and queen

The amount of money that can be earned from a chess sponsorship can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the sponsorship deal and the player’s reputation and popularity. Some top chess players are able to secure sponsorship deals with major companies that pay them to represent their brand at chess events and in other promotional activities. These deals can be a significant source of income for top players.

Make Money Teaching & Coaching Chess?

Titled chess players, such as CMs, FMs, IMs, and GMs, to make money by giving chess lessons online. According to my research, it is not uncommon for a CM to charge around $30 per hour for a lesson, although the actual rate may vary depending on the coach’s level of experience and expertise. However, it is important to note that takes a 20% cut of these fees, so the coach would actually receive $24 per hour of coaching.

It is difficult to predict the demand for chess lessons, as it can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the coach’s reputation, their teaching style, and the overall demand for chess education. However, with over 125 coaches and more than 20 million members on, it is likely that there is a good level of demand for chess lessons on the platform.

Earn Money Writing About Chess? 

It is possible for knowledgeable chess players to make money by writing for chess websites or magazines. Rates for these writing opportunities can range from $50 to $150 per article, depending on the word count and the specific website or magazine. To be considered for these opportunities, it is generally helpful to have good English skills and be able to communicate clearly and effectively.

Writing for a chess website can be a good way to earn extra money and hone writing skills, while writing for a chess magazine may be more challenging and require a higher level of expertise and reputation in the chess world. It may be more difficult to secure writing opportunities with a chess magazine unless you already have a strong reputation as a player or commentator.

Can You Make Money Online Streaming Chess?

Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of chess streamers on platforms like Twitch. Many of these streamers have been able to make a significant amount of money by sharing their chess skills and expertise with their viewers. One such streamer is Alexandra Botez, a professional chess player based in Austin, Texas. Botez has been able to make over $100,000 per year by streaming chess content on Twitch, often alongside her sister Andrea. In fact, Botez expects to earn at least mid-six figures by the end of 2022.

Streaming chess on platforms like Twitch can be a great way for skilled players to make money while also sharing their love of the game with others. Not only do these streamers have the opportunity to earn money through donations and subscriptions, but they can also gain a following of dedicated fans who are interested in learning more about chess and improving their own skills. For chess players who are looking for a way to make money and share their passion for the game, streaming chess on platforms like Twitch can be a rewarding and lucrative option.

Make Money Selling Chess Merch?

Many people have found that selling chess merchandise can be a very profitable business. There are hundreds of online stores dedicated to selling branded chess merchandise, and these stores are able to make a lot of money by offering high-quality products to chess enthusiasts around the world. If you are interested in making money by selling chess merchandise, you don’t have to be a blogger, coffee shop owner, artist, or game production company to get in on the action.

Anyone with a passion for chess and an entrepreneurial spirit can start a business selling chess-related products and make a profit. Whether you sell t-shirts, hats, chess sets, or other chess-themed items, there is a good chance that you can find a market for your products and make money by selling chess merchandise.

Best Places to Play Chess Online

a chess queen standing proud on chess board
  • – With over 28 million members, this is the largest online chess community on the internet.
  • Chess24 – This platform offers a variety of chess-related content and features, including live broadcasts of major chess tournaments.
  • Lichess – A popular and feature-rich platform for playing and studying chess.
  • Internet Chess Club (ICC): This platform has been around for over 20 years and is a popular destination for serious chess players.
  • FICS – The Free Internet Chess Server is a long-running platform for playing chess online.
  • – This platform is operated by the German chess magazine “Schach” and offers a variety of chess-related content and features.
  • GameKnot – A platform for playing correspondence chess online.
  • Red Hot Pawn – This platform allows players to compete in correspondence chess games and tournaments.

Best Way to Learn Chess

Learning to play chess can be a fun and rewarding hobby, and there are many different ways to go about it. Here are some tips on how to get started:

  1. Find a good chess mentor or coach – A chess mentor or coach can be a great resource for learning the basics of the game and improving your skills. You can find chess mentors or coaches online through websites like or in person at local chess clubs or tournaments.
  2. Practice regularly – Like with any skill, the more you practice chess, the better you will become. You can practice against computer opponents or other players online, or you can play chess with a friend or family member.
  3. Join a chess club – Joining a local chess club is a great way to meet other chess players and get involved in the chess community. Many chess clubs offer lessons and other resources to help players improve their skills.
  4. Participate in chess tournaments – Chess tournaments are a great way to test your skills against other players and earn money. While the prize money for chess tournaments can vary widely, the top chess players in the world can earn millions of dollars per year.
  5. Play chess online – There are many websites and apps that allow you to play chess online against other players from around the world. Some of these sites, like, also offer lessons and other resources to help you improve your skills.

The key to becoming a good chess player is to practice regularly, seek out good mentors and resources, and get involved in the chess community. With time and dedication, anyone can learn to play chess and potentially even earn money playing the game.

How Do I Become a Professional Chess Player?

To earn the title of Grandmaster, a chess player must meet certain criteria set by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). In general, a player must:

  1. Have a FIDE rating of at least 2500
  2. Achieve a performance rating of at least 2600 in at least three different international tournaments
  3. Play in at least nine games in these tournaments, with a time control of at least 120 minutes per game

If a player meets these criteria, they can apply for the title of Grandmaster. It is important to note that these are general requirements and specific details may vary depending on the tournament and the player’s country of residence. Additionally, earning the title of Grandmaster is considered a significant achievement in the chess world and is only achieved by a small number of highly skilled players.


Can you make money playing chess is probably the question you asked yourself before this article. Now that you have a better understanding of how to make money playing chess, it’s important to consider if it is something that interests you and if it is a goal you want to achieve. Making money with chess requires dedication, hard work, and a strong desire to improve. It is not for everyone, but if you are passionate about chess and are willing to put in the time and effort, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling pursuit.

Best way to get started is to try streaming chess on Twitch. This can give you a sense of whether you have the personality and skills to make it successful as a chess streamer. You could also challenge other streamers to games to see how you measure up against different opponents. From there, you can start working towards your goal of becoming a Grandmaster. Remember, it will take time and effort, but with dedication and persistence, you can achieve your goals.


Robin Esson

Hey, I'm a project manager and dad of two who's all about maximizing the moolah. From creating successful money-making strategies to managing projects like a boss, I'm here to share my know-how with you. But don't worry, I won't bore you with jargon - I keep it real and add a little humor to make things fun. Let's build those passive income streams and live our best lives! Follow along for tips, tricks, and a little bit of quirkiness.


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