How much do professional chess players earn?

The income of a professional chess player can be quite significant with the top three players earning over $1 million US Dollars annually. The top 50 professional chess players earn, on average, over $100,000 a year, while the top 100 likely earn anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000 for a year of work. Earnings don’t just come from competing in real tournaments, but also from activities such as personal appearances, playing in clubs, covering events for publications, and even writing books about chess as a game and a profession.

Notable chess players throughout history:

Deep blue. It took this IBM computer several years to finally defeat a human chess pro, but its most notable victory came in 1997, when Deep Blue defeated champion Garry Kasparov twice, lost one game, and drew three more in a six-game series. . Dismantled shortly after the competition, Deep Blue paved the way for chess software programs that players routinely use as part of their training.

Paul Morphy. Born in 1837, Morphy was a self-taught professional chess player who defeated Hungarian master Johann Lowenthal in three games when Morphy was just 12 years old. Retiring at 21, Paul Morphy had already beaten many of Europe’s most prominent players.

Emanuel Lasker. Holder of the longest tenure as a world champion, Lasker greatly influenced the direction of professional chess during the 27 years he dominated the field. He was one of the first to demand and receive higher fees for his participation in tournaments and competitions, influencing the amount professional chess players earn to this day.

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