In the past, I would bet on chess games with coworkers and friends. I never bet over $10. In my top year, I possibly won less than $1,000.

It was just a blast for me. But there are ways to make great money from chess. Here are some of them:


Play in Tournaments

Magnus Carlsen won over one million for placing first in the 2013 world chess championship. He was only 22. That not bad money for just playing in a chess tournament.

If you like fast games and you’re a good player, you might want to try the world blitz championship. This tournament usually gives out 10 cash prizes (last year is was $40,000) to winners in different categories. Check it out, and you’ll discover several tournaments around the US where you can win anything from a couple of hundred dollars to one million.

Be a Chess Hustler

Playing chess in city parks for $5 to $20 is the usual. But the financial rewards differ, to say the least.

Some players are real hustlers who will lose a game purposely so their opponent will make a huge bet on the following game. Most just depend on their skill and the typical chess player’s inexperience with speed chess in an off-putting environment.

Is it legal? A little bit. NYPD doesn’t care about small gambling of this sort, as long as no drugs are in the picture. Laws differ around the US, but plenty of states let you bet small wagers with friends. For example, Minnesota law bans wagers for money except for those that are social, private bets.

When I bet on chess for money, I don’t lose on purpose or do anything dishonest. But, I do crunch the numbers. For example, if I won around 80% of the time against a certain opponent, I would offer to bet my meager $5 to his $1 to lure him to playing blitz (5-minute) games.

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