What is the average income for an IM? What about for a super GM? Is there an online site/resource that has these average incomes?

Also only the ones that come from chess or chess-related activities(Sponsorships, Commentary, Tournament Organisation, etc)

  • In "chess-related activities" are you including coaching chess or royalties from writing chess books?
    – GreenMatt
    Aug 27, 2018 at 12:44

3 Answers 3


This article may answer your question.

If you want it short:

On average, according to Natalia Pogonina (WGM), the top-3 players in the world earn 1 million / year, top 10 - over 200 000$, top 50 - over 100 000$.

If you want more information, try looking around this thread.

  • 1
    Omg i never expected it to be so little, it's almost slavery compared to other sports
    – Brass2010
    Aug 24, 2014 at 16:40
  • 2
    It was even less before Bobby Fischer started demanding higher prize funds for the big tournaments in which he participated. So you could even say that modern players are even better off than the players before them.
    – vs97
    Aug 24, 2014 at 16:56
  • 1
    It is because chess isn't as wideplayed. We need more chessplayers.
    – MikhailTal
    Aug 25, 2014 at 7:07
  • 3
    @MikhailTal It is not only about wideplayed, it is how much revenue can an organizer collect. And how easy it is to follow game. Boxing is not much more spread then chess, but the revenue from ads, airing, tickets is huge. Hence boxers get lots of money. Also almost any half-drunk fat-belly would like to explain how a professional boxer should have done in some situation. Nonetheless fatman most probably would not be able to run 100 meters, he thinks that his opinion is important. In chess you can not do this. Even if you are good, you most probably have no idea what Kasparov is doing and why. Aug 26, 2014 at 9:38
  • @Brass2010 ...except you're free to take your brain power at any point and do literally anything else. A little too hyperbolic not to reply in comment...
    – djechlin
    Aug 30, 2014 at 1:46

Chessbase has covered this topic extensively,

Chess Cash Kings 2013

Live rating list of chess players earnings?

  • 1
    It's tough being a 2500-ish Professional chess player isn't it? Assuming he/she earns around $100,000 in all earnings on a good year, I wonder if that would be enough to make a good living especially since you are never guaranteed to earn the same amount every successive year.
    – RingMaster
    Aug 24, 2014 at 6:33

Top chess players have various sources of income, but if you are interested in prize money only there is a website tracking this:

How much do top chess players make in prize money?

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