Daily News - - THE X- FILES -

The fol­low­ing seg­ment of a re­veal­ing ar­ti­cle was pub­lished in the pres­ti­gious Forbes Magazine by Alex Knapp. There looks at the is­sue of top play­ers try­ing to make a liv­ing from the game…

‘ Last month, at the United States Chess Cham­pi­onship, I en­tered a world of chess as se­ri­ous busi­ness. For one thing, I was wanded by a se­cu­rity guard on my way up to the com­pe­ti­tion. ( To pre­vent cheat­ing, cell phones or any­thing else that can con­nect to the in­ter­net were strictly for­bid­den in the com­pe­ti­tion area - I had to leave my smart­watch be­hind, too.) Be­fore the round got started, tour­na­ment di­rec­tor Tony Rich had an an­nounce­ment to make to the play­ers - he wanted them to make sure all their pa­per­work was in or­der. “If you don’t have a tax form, I can’t pay you.” It was a re­minder that, to para­phrase Bull Durham, that while chess may be an in­tel­lec­tual bat­tle­field “full of magic, truth and the fun­da­men­tal on­to­log­i­cal rid­dles of our time - it’s also a job.”

It’s ac­tu­ally an eas­ier ca­reer than it was a few decades ago.

For ex­am­ple, when Grand­mas­ter Yasser Seirawan was play­ing in the 1970s and 1980s, there wasn’t much of a pro­fes­sional scene in the United States at all. “For me, the chal­lenges of play­ing chess pro­fes­sion­ally was that in the United States, there weren’t chess pro­fes­sion­als. The real pro­fes­sion­als of the chess world were the Sovi­ets. Be­ing an Amer­i­can, it was very hard to have the train­ing re­sources or the fi­nan­cial re­sources to be­come a pro­fes­sional. That was the big chal­lenge.”

Grand­mas­ter Ben Fine­gold told me a sim­i­lar story, “So many times I would play in the last round of a tour­na­ment and if I won I could eat. And if I lost, I had to drive home for three or four hours and fig­ure out how to pay the rent.”

One thing that all the grand­mas­ters I talked to agreed on is that the in­ter­net is ac­tu­ally mak­ing it eas­ier to have a ca­reer in chess. Not only can you get bet­ter at chess by us­ing the in­ter­net, you can also make money teach­ing and mak­ing videos and do­ing commentary. It’s been a re­ally great boon for chess.’ 1988) Ja­cob­sen, Ho­varth- ( Qb8# 5 Kf8 Qg3+

4 Kg8 Qa3+ 3 Kf8 Qe3+ 2 Ke8 Qh6+ 1 The most pop­u­lar and pro­lific chess com­men­ta­tor on Youtube is An­to­nio Radic, a Croa­t­ian player who calls him­self the Agad­ma­tor. He has more than 750,000 sub­scribers and al­though only rated in the 1900s his brisk and en­gag­ing man­ner has un­doubt­edly struck a chord with the pub­lic as his videos have reg­is­tered over 300 mil­lion views…

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.