Generally, chess is not often played for money. Only the very top of the chess elite pro players make a good living from chess and are more wealthy when compared to the working middle-class.
Super GrandMasters like Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruan made over $1 million dollars each of the past two years from solely chess winnings.
Other Grandmasters like Hikaru Nakamura, Vishwanathan Anand, Wesley So, Alexandar Grischuk, Vladimir Kramnik, etc. can earn themselves up to half a million dollars in tournament winnings every year.
However, even if you’re not a Grandmaster or pro players, there are a number of different ways to make money from your chess ability/skills.
1. Club Playing
The main way that pre-elite grandmasters make a vast amount of their money is by playing for clubs. They are usually paid anywhere between $5,000 to $20,000 for competing for a particular club.
2. Create a Chess Youtube Channel
Youtube has grown to become a very popular way to make money online and it is also very possible with chess. There are many different kinds of videos you can publish, for example, tutorials, interviews, news, video logs about your progression, or even just some of your best games.
3. Scholarships and stipends
Remarkable chess players who seek a college education may get a grant or some special bursaries to pursue their careers. National teams have a special wage that varies among countries
To obtain those you basically have to prove that you either are already an established pro with a strong brand (and, preferably, good looks), or are highly likely to become one. Then some companies may be willing to invest in being associated with you and ask for your endorsement.
5. Become a Coach
You can charge $20 per hour to beginners for your Chess coaching; whether online coaching, at school, and more.
6. Selling Chess Merchandise, Books, etc.
There are plenty of Chess related products on Amazon, try to promote those products as an Amazon associate/affiliate!
7. Chess Hustling
Many people make money by beating other guys in blitz or bullet. You can see a lot of chess hustlers at parks or at chess clubs.