My personal blog about chess and everything what is related to this sport. Here you will find only subjective articles. There are no news from chess worlds. No scores, no analysis. Only my own opinions.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Boring GM's life

If you are going to be a Grand Master in chess, you need to know that your life will be boring and really stressful. Why do I think that?
Let me explain some things first.
No, I am not a GM and I'm not going to be at all.
Based on my experience in tournaments in Spain and Poland I see, that many GMs and IMs play in tournaments for money. They need to play for money, because they do not have any other possibility.
As we all know, if we are going to be GM we need to devote large part of our life (very often including school, job, family). And in many cases it is as I mentioned. I have seen a lot of GMs and IMs from Poland, Eastern Europe, South Europe, Latin America, USA, etc., so I know what I am saying.
Their life is boring, because they go from one tournament to another with expectation to win something. They do not have job (as they didn't care about it in the past). But they need money, so what they can do is only to play chess.
I see they do not have any pleasure with playing chess. They only think about money.
Funny thing is that if there are a few big tournaments (I met such situations several times in Madrid), so for example 5 GMs discuss where to play. And for example two of them play in one tournament, two of them in another, etc., so there is a big chance that all of them will be happy.
I know that many of you will not agree with me. But please understand that I'm not talking about top GMs, but only about ones with ratings 2400-2550. There are a lot of such players in the world.
Why their life is boring? It is boring, because their life is unsure. They do not know if they will be able to survive next months. They need to play, because they need money. They cannot do anything beside playing chess. Usually they cannot any skills needed to perform normal job.
Maybe from other perspective it doesn't look boring (I mean from perspective of weak player), but in real it is not lucky life.
The conclusion is that if you are going to be a Grand Master and you are going to devote everything you need to be a top player. Only such players have a happy life.


  1. Hello, nice blog!
    But I don't think average GM life is doomed..

    It's the same to just all other sports, only the class A (in chess, strong GMs) will have a comfortable life with it.
    So I guess you have to plan your life to avoid those situations, I know a few GMs who graduated as lawyers, doctors, professors, etc. So they don't depend on chess to live, they still enjoy both the game and their status..

  2. If they don't like eking out a meager existence and living hand to mouth they can do what I did when I realized I’d never make it playing chess…get a job.