Top 6 Richest Chess Players

richest chess players

Chess is a fun strategy game played between two players and is often simply thought of as a board game. Therefore, it is often overlooked when it comes to revenue potential. However, the top players in the world pull in income comparable to your favorite athletes. In fact, the top 50 chess players earn over $100,000 per year.

Who Are the Richest Chess Players in the World?

  1. Hikaru Nakamura - $50 million
  2. Magnus Carlsen - $50 million
  3. Fabiano Caruana - $13 million
  4. Garry Kasparov - $6 million
  5. Judit Polgár - $5 million
  6. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - $5 million

1. Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura is the richest chess player in the world, with a net worth of $50 million. Hikaru has earned his money through several avenues. He’s made a decent amount through winning tournaments, but most of his income comes from other areas. For example, he wrote a popular book breaking down his strategies and tips for becoming a better chess player.

He also earns an annual salary of $329,644 for representing the USA. Additionally, he is active on social media pages and runs several businesses. He is one of the best chess players in the world and has also been successful in the business world.

2. Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is a Norwegian chess player with a net worth of $50 million. Magnus is one of the fastest growers in the sport when it comes to income. He earns an estimated $2 million annually from sponsorship deals alone, not including winnings from tournaments and matches.

He also has a very successful app called “Play Magnus,” which merged with and is one of the largest online chess companies in the world. The way things are trending, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Magnus jump up on this list as he continues to rise in net worth.

3. Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana is one of the richest chess players in the world and has a net worth of $13 million. He has won tournaments and games that have created significant income streams. For example, Fabiano earned $511,400 for earning silver in the World Championships in 2018. In just two years, he has netted over $1 million from prize money alone.

The rest of his income comes from business deals, such as his sponsorships with Chess Club, Scholastic Center, and Liberty Science Center. A net worth of $13 million makes him the third richest chess player after Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen.

4. Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess player, writer, and activist who has a net worth of $6 million. Gary was a World Chess Champion and peaked in the rankings as number one in 1984, at the time setting the record for the youngest player at the top of the rankings.

He makes most of his income from business ventures, including Kasparov International Management. His profits have skyrocketed ever since leaving Russia and living full-time in the US. Kasparov is currently retired from chess and has pursued a career in politics, further increasing his income.

5. Judit Polgár

Judit Polgár is a Hungarian chess player worth $5 million. She is regarded as the greatest women’s chess player of all time. She has earned her money through several revenue sources. She has won several big tournaments and matches but has also written several successful books about chess.

Polgár has retired from professional chess but is currently the captain and coach of the Hungarian national team. She also has a chess foundation where she promotes education through the form of chess. She has done very well in the chess world but is also active in other avenues that allow her net worth to rise.

6. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is a French chess player worth $5 million. He has earned most of his money through his successful chess career. Maxime has won several big tournaments and was awarded the FIDE Grandmaster title at the young age of 14. In 2019, he was ranked number one in blitz and rapid ratings.

Going on his 17th year in the sport, Maxime has generated some of his income through sponsorship deals. In addition to his career as a chess player, Maxime also streams on Twitch as a way to unwind. He has recently partnered with STAKRN Agency to manage his Twitch streaming career and to maximize his earnings through avenues in business and sponsorships.

Honorable Mentions

Teimour Radjabov

Teimour Radjabov is an Azerbaijani chess player with an estimated net worth of $5 million. He was a child prodigy, and at the age of 14 in 2001, he became the second youngest player to ever reach the rank of grandmaster.

Since then, he has amassed numerous high-profile wins against the likes of Garry Kasparov, Ruslan Ponomariov, and Viswanathan Anand. So far in his career, his highest ranking has been fourth in the world.

Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand is an Indian chess player with an estimated net worth of $3 million. He is currently the deputy president of the International Chess Federation, and was a five-time World Champion in his playing days.

Anand is the first Indian grandmaster in chess history, making him the undisputed best Indian player of all time. He occupied the number one position in the world for an impressive 21 months. Almost all of his wealth comes from chess, and he is one of the sport’s highest earning players of all time.

Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian is an Armenian chess grandmaster with an estimated net worth of $3 million. He was a chess prodigy in his youth, and became a grandmaster at the young age of 17 in 2000.

Since then, he has become a legend in the chess community and a celebrity in Armenia. He currently plays for the American Chess Federation, and has been ranked as high as number two in the world.


Who is the richest chess player in the world?

The richest chess players in the world are Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen, who each currently have a net worth of $50 million. Both players made their fortunes through chess tournaments and outside business ventures. Nakamura earns an annual salary of $329,644 for representing the United States as a chess player, and Carlsen brings in $2 million in yearly endorsement deals. All of these various avenues of money-making have contributed to Nakamura’s and Calsen’s status as the richest chess players in the world.

How much do chess grandmasters make?

Chess grandmasters earn variable amounts of money, but generally, an experienced grandmaster can earn between $2,500 and $3,000 USD per month from various sources. The most common means of earning revenue as a chess grandmaster is by playing in tournaments. Many grandmasters also give chess lessons or coach younger players for money. Finally, some chess grandmasters may even create chess-related content, such as writing books on chess, creating educational chess videos, or even organizing their own tournaments as a source of revenue.

How do chess players make money?

There are various avenues by which a chess player can make money. The most obvious is by participating in chess tournaments, which often have large prizes attached to them for advancing to various stages. However, tournament revenue can be unreliable, depending on how often one wins at chess. More stable means of income from chess include playing for a chess club, earning sponsorships and endorsements, and even teaching chess to novice players or young children. Some chess players can also earn money by streaming chess games online for views and organizing their own chess events.