How To Make A Professional Career Out of Chess

How To Make A Professional Career Out of Chess


Professional careers are jobs requiring a specific amount of advanced training and education. These are career paths with some level of authority in the specific field. More often than not, individuals with the desire to become professionals in their field would need to continue their education or earn an additional certification in that professional space because the world is constantly evolving and new skills develop every day.

For Chess, a board game of strategic skill for two players, played on a chequered board on which each playing piece is moved according to precise rules, players of the game can evolve into professionals like Doctors, Teachers, Bankers, Engineers, Lawyers etc.

Chess creates an opportunity for jobs, in the sense that you can become a professional chess player, chess coach, chess arbiter, or chess programmer. You can make a good career in chess once you are well-skilled enough. And as you know, getting skilled is about constant practice, engaging, and constant learning about the tricks that have made heroes out of chess players.

Read also Reasons To Make Playing Chess A Hobby

Picking Chess as a career even as an existing professional allows you to combine independent skills and your chess knowledge for example;
If you are good at Reporting/Journalism Skills + Chess knowledge = Good Chess Reporter/Journalist
Good Communication Skills + Good Chess Knowledge = Good Chess Commentator
Good Programming Skills + Good Chess Knowledge = Good Chess Programmer
Good Teaching Skills + Chess Knowledge = Good Chess Coach.

A professional chess player is someone who plays chess and generally relies on winning prize funds by finding the best tournaments, especially the FIDE Rated tournament with huge prize money, or appearance fees. For people of this rating, Chess is their main occupation. They rely on chess to make a living. Although, it is not easy to be a professional chess player because one of the requirements is that all players must be within the 2200 statutory ranking to participate in the big tournament. Meaning to be on the pathway of being identified as a Chess Professional, your ranking must be between 1 and 2200 in the world, a small number you will say considering we have about 7 billion people inhabiting the world at the moment.

However, being ranked isn’t a tough call, it just requires constant practice, participating in tournaments both online and offline. A more easy pathway is joining and More would be discussed about this process in another article.

Stated below are areas of specialization in being a Chess Professional

Chess Coach:- achess coach is someone who teaches and has a good knowledge of chess, to earn well with coaching depends on your accreditation (your rating and title you have). You can coach offline and online. The benefit of online is that you can have the chance to have students outside your country or state.

Chess Arbiter:- a chess arbiter is someone or an official (referee) who oversees matches and ensures that the rules of chess are followed, a chess tournament without a chess arbiter is like a football match without a referee. You can build a career as a chess arbiter by starting from your local club level. You can offer your help to the club as an arbiter and as you grow on the job, you also start familiarizing yourself with all the laws of chess. Before you know, you are already building your reputation, experience, and connection.

Chess Programmer:- you can specialize in becoming a chess programmer if you like programming. This would be building chess related apps for people to play chess or you can build a system that can help your friends to analyze their games. The world we live in now is full of technology built by programmers and you will get paid very well, and all you need is just a little knowledge of chess.

Chess Writer:- if you are good at writing, you can develop your writing chess around chess news and activities. You can research and write biographies of a well-known chess player or write on topics such as chess openings, chess strategies, and any chess-related concepts and publish your chess book with good publishing companies. Remember when you get published, you get paid.

Chess Commentator:- Every sport needs a rundown of its live activities particularly on competition days. If you have good communication skills and good chess knowledge, you can become a chess commentator. Many competitions are streamed online with different commentators and you can pick the techniques you want to use, it is all about understanding your audience. To be a good Chess Commentator, you need to be vast in the history of the game and be able to deliver historical interjections using present tense.

In conclusion, there are many career opportunities in chess. You just have to understand and know the skills you are good at, you should keep on moving ahead and keep improving those skills.

Ikorodu Chess Club
Faruq Mojeed-Sanni

Can also be interested in reading INTERVIEW: The 20-year-old who wants to use chess to fight cultism in Ikorodu


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