How is the life of a professional chessplayer with ELO around 2500? I mean, someone who is no doubt strong, but hardly a top GM? How does he make a living these days, if he hasn't another job?
I know a few GMs in 2500-2600 range who would be considered professional -> ie chess provides the primary means of earning income for them.
It is very hard work with wages not matching the effort/skill spent:
- Being the primary player for medium club team (European/Middle East/Far East)
- Teaching (preferably within said club as it guarantees steady supply of clients)
- Being an personal assistant/coach to another player
- Playing for hire for a stronger club in say Bundesliga lower boards
- Actually getting some prize money in medium sized tournaments
- Books provide a tiny bit of income, but mostly are used for name/brand building for the next item
- Selling training coarses - again only a few can make a living from this
- A growing but still insufficient means of income is streaming, a few personalities can pull it off
- Playing in special norm tournaments, in Eastern Europe GMs get about 250-350Euros for a week long tournament, where IMs/FMs/untitled have to pay 100-300 Euros to compete for GM norms.
That said most GMs around 2500 have other means of living besides chess.
Australia has some grandmasters, but no top GM (2700+). The country's legenary GM, Ian Rogers, is a renowned chess journalist. You can see his chess reports all over the Internet.
The other grandmasters either have a job or actively make a living by coaching. GM Max Illingworth is a professional chess coach.
I don't think anybody in Australia is able to make a living by just playing chess, grandmaster or not.