Incomes of top Go players


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Thibault de Vassal    (2008-01-08)
Incomes of top Go players

One more interesting article from the IGN "Goama" newsletter -

Incomes of Top Korean Professionals in 2007:

1. Lee Sedol - $600.000
2. Lee Changho - $400.000
3. Park Yeonghun - $360.000
4. Cho Hanseung $180.000
5. Kang Dongyun - $150.000
6. Mok Jinseok -$148.000
7. Lee Yeongku -$122.000
8. Won Sungjin -$116.000
9. Yun Junsang - $113.000
10. Kim Jiseok $113.000

Japanese players, even who is not famous on international arena, makes more money, but it's still hard to compare their tournament incomes with top football or hockey players.

Maybe better to compare chess and Go players: "As sports go, chess is not lucrative for the average professional. The well known top players who have been able to achieve millionaire status (Karpov and Kasparov) are the exceptions. Aside from them, there are only about 20 players world wide who do well financially from chess ($100,000+ per year income), and another 100 or so that make a comfortable living ($50,000+). The next 1,000 players, on average, come out about even -- earning in prizes what they incur in entry fees and expenses. Then come perhaps 10,000 players who invest several thousand dollars more per year than they earn." -- from "GM RAM: Essential Grandmaster Knowledge" by Rashid Ziatdi and Peter Dyson, PROChess LLC, New York, 1998

Glen D. Shields    (2008-01-08 03:36:15)
What are the Costs I Wonder?

This lists income ... I am equally curious what it might cost to play full time. Unless a player has a sponsor surely there travel expenses and tournament fees to cover. Then, of course, there's all the behind the scene preparation to become the best.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-01-08 03:49:08)
Cost of passion

Hi Glen !

What are the costs to play full time, what's the cost of time, good question. One parameter is passion for sure, so the price may be not so high during the first years, but it is possible that the cost increases quickly as soon as a player reaches the top !? :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-01-08 03:51:46)
Time & passion

...waiting for Dinetszche De Silvathoustra's opinion about this interesting issue ;)

Glen D. Shields    (2008-01-08 04:10:25)
Other Expenses

Happy New Year Thibault!

Besides time, fees, travel there is also taxes and depending on where the player lives there may also be a need to pay towards retirement pensions, healthcare, etc.

My point ... $600,000 sounds like a lot, but when one factors in the whole enchillada, it's really not much money at all to be the very best in the world at your profession!

Hannes Rada    (2008-01-08 18:33:08)
Income of top Chess players.

That seems to be peanuts compared with the top Chess players. Any ideas about the income of Kramnik & Co ? > it's really not much money at all to be the very best in the world at your profession! > What's the income of the best cc-player ? van Oosterom's income will be zero ...

Don Burden    (2008-01-09 02:02:20)
Incomes of top chess players

For a regular GM, my guess is not that much but they seem to make enough to live on. I find it interesting when playing in a chess tournament to look at the type of cars the GMs arrive in. Here in the USA, there was a regular GM tournament player who drove a car that looked like it was ready to break down any moment.

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2008-01-09 02:26:36)
Income ....

If chess were as popular as Tennis, we would see the GM's with advertisements on their clothes when they are playing tournaments.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-01-09 04:08:20)
Incomes of top chess players

"lol", Don ! .. show me your car and I'll tell you your rating !

Actually, it is quite possible that the most dangerous cars could be found in average between 2400 and 2500 elo :) .. just joking ?