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trenton

How to make it as a chess player

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I have been thinking about my hobby a lot and how I could turn it into a career.  It is difficult to make it as a chess player, but I am looking at many different ways I could make money off of something I want to do.

First, there could be a professional chess player who travels around the world to many tournaments, playing in as many as one a week.  Currently this is not feasible because I work at Kroger and have limited time off.  Plus I currently don't make enough money to live alone without getting a raise to about 15.50 per hour.  It would be hard to balance a job with demanding hours with many tournaments, while still having enough money to live on my own.  I would have to eat into my savings for paying bills and tournaments, over the course of two years before they finally pay me 15.50.

Second, there are various jobs I researched in order to transition to something closer to my passion.  I am currently a chess coach for 15 dollars per session, but I only have one student and she is recovering from surgery.  I would have to find more people by becoming an online coach.  If I taught 6 people per week, it would bring me to 90 dollars on that front.  If I get better, I could charge more.  Grandmasters charge about 50 dollars per session.  Another way I could make a similar job is with an organization like chess in schools.  Unfortunately, the opportunity I found was in New York, and COVID makes it even harder.

Third, I asked about becoming a tournament director.  I don't know what the salary is yet, but I have some emails explaining how to become one.  If I get experience on this front, then I could work with the Ohio scholastic chess series on one Saturday in each month.

Fourth, I could become a proofreader or chess commentator for online sites like Chessable and play Magnus.  I once was a voluntary beta tester who found typos in a course and analyzed various positions with a computer to find instructive variations.  I took four years of Spanish back in high school and if I review that, I could qualify for jobs like these.  One of the courses was an AP course.  Apparently it has a very nice salary, but I don't know how much exactly.

Fifth, many of the jobs in this field require some knowledge of computer science.  I went to college and got an associate degree in computer sciences, and if I went back to make that a bachelor's degree, then I would have enough knowledge to qualify for many more jobs in this field.

Sixth, I could try making chess courses, but the market is already saturated with many chess courses made by grandmasters.  I would have to work for one of these grandmasters in making courses, and it is probably something related to computer sciences.  I could consider checking other board games to see how many of them have courses and in what languages.  If I can't make chess courses, then I may need to make and translate different courses from other games.

Finally, I have a few ambitious ideas.  I could bring in a little more money by building my own club, charging membership, and holding tournaments. 

if I were to do something special, I could make a special school for many board games, I would set myself up to break some records. I would teach each board game throughout one week. After studying many different board games, I could play a simul.  It would be like how chess grandmasters play 20-50 chess games at once, only this time I would be playing a different game on every board.  One would be chess, another shogi, another Chinese chess, another checkers, and so on and so forth. I could really make it crazy by adding things like duel monsters and Pokemon trading cards.  I currently don't know if any simuls featuring 20-50 different board games.

A similar idea would be to play a simul with all 960 unique Fischer random postions.  Currently, the world record for the largest simul is 604 chess games, taking 25 hours to complete.  If I were to make this simul doable, it would have to be online rather than walking around a large area.  The current world record holder walked 34 miles during his simul.  If online simuls count, then this record could be broken in under a day and half of constant play.  Of course I would need to get better at Fischer random.

Maybe through a combination of all of these things, it would be possible to make it as a chess player and potentially put me in a position to more easily become a grandmaster.  If I find jobs which encourage constantly learning and self improvement, then that would combine money with my goals.  One day I hope to bring month long spiritual retreats into this equation plus testing psychedelics to  recontextualize my entire life, but that is a story for another day.

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I used to have a friend who was a professional chess player. He lived in the US and traveled around the country doing tournaments for pay. And he would tutor rich kids on how to play chess. From what I understand he made a very good living doing that.

BUT! This requires that you are a really top-notch chess player. You gotta be exceptionally good at it. You have to be realistic with yourself whether you're gonna reach such a top-notch level. Do you have the right stuff to make that happen? Are you willing to make your entire life chess? You're gonna have to become obsessive about it.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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On 10/15/2021 at 11:36 PM, Leo Gura said:

Do you have the right stuff to make that happen? Are you willing to make your entire life chess? You're gonna have to become obsessive about it.

I have the right stuff to make it happen.  Other players recognize my talents and agree that I am under rated.  I played black in this game against an International Master and won.

https://lichess.org/guK01WfB

Am I willing to make my entire life chess?  No, and there are world champions like Kasparov and Carlsen who also play sports and are politically active.  Some grandmasters are also psychologists or engineers. 

If I were to do something aside from chess it would be restructuring our society such that we appreciate the significance of emotional mastery which is completely overlooked in education.  This vision I have resonates with me most emotionally because all my life I struggled with self manipulation in which I tried to push away my most authentic emotions to convince myself I was someone else.  If there are other people who struggled in this way, then I could make my life about teaching society the limitations of education and how to overcome them.  One of the consequences would be to prevent suicide, but there would be a much broader impact beyond that.

This leaves me with a big decision because these two directions for my life are good, but the second resonates with me most emotionally.  I don't yet know how to actualize the second and I still don't make enough to get away from family.  This leaves me with some uncertainty and feeling split as to where I should go.  I will keep researching other methods for actualizing  the second vision.

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Sounds like you enjoy chess but it is not central to your LP. It's just that you are afraid to go after your LP full-bore because you don't yet know how to actualize it and chess is something you're good at seperately, so you're trying to shoehorn that into your LP somehow. But is this really relevant to your LP?

Some food for thought. I am not telling you what to do.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Your skill in chess can help you navigate systemic solutions for all this stuff that concerns you. I have very similar background as yours, but not in chess

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@cookiemonster I normally don't play on chess.com so my rating there is low.  I typically play on lichess.org with my rapid and classical being around 2200.  My blitz is around 2000.  I tried to break 2100 in blitz, but the closest I got was 2080.  My peak rating on longer games was around 2270.

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14 hours ago, trenton said:

@cookiemonster I typically play on lichess.org with my rapid and classical being around 2200.  My blitz is around 2000.  I tried to break 2100 in blitz, but the closest I got was 2080.  My peak rating on longer games was around 2270.

That's amazing well done. I'm just a 1100 rapid!

2000 blitz is awesome. Anything less than 10 minutes for me and my game turns to crap.

 

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3 minutes ago, cookiemonster said:

That's amazing well done. I'm just a 1100 rapid!

2000 blitz is awesome. Anything less than 10 minutes for me and my game turns to crap.

 

It took me a lot of practice to get from 1700 blitz to 2000.  I know a young prodigy at chess club who has an online blitz and bullet rating of 2500.  When it comes to longer time controls I have a small edge and I play a little bit better until my time gets low.  I lost pretty badly in the tie breakers though.  If I study him I might figure something out for blitz.  We have some pretty close and tense games otherwise.

One bit of hope for me in blitz was a bughouse tournament I played in and won.  My time control was excellent despite having only five minutes for the whole game and I was stalling for my team mate.  We ended up thing for first, but I proved that I can excellent time control even though I often end up "living off of the increment" in 3+2 games for blitz.

I started on lichess back around 2017 at 1700 in classical and rapid.  I have been practicing constantly and have been on this kind of slope of gradual improvement overtime.  I have some bumps and peaks, but overall I have been getting better all along.

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Such an interesting purpose! Will be interesting to see what you do with it!


Don't let your beliefs limit you. 

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