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Hikaru Nakamura – Chess Grandmaster

  • Hikaru Nakamura

  • Chess Grandmaster
  • $35,000+ estimated monthly revenue

How does Hikaru make money online?

Hikaru monetizes his chess skills online in several ways.

Including:

  • Online Chess Tournaments
    This became a major source of income for Hikaru in 2020.
  • Twitch Streaming
    Hikaru has a big following on Twitch and thousands of his followers pay for access to exclusive content.
  • YouTube Ad Revenue
    Hikaru also has a big following on YouTube and earns a cut of the ad revenue there.
  • Book Sales
    Hikaru published a book about Chess in 2016 and you can buy a digital or physical copy via Amazon.

Here’s Hikaru playing an online chess tournament in August 2020:

How much money does Hikaru make?

As of this writing, Esports Earnings reports that Hikaru has won a total of $238,317 in prize money from online chess tournaments since 2015…

Aug 23, 2020 screenshot from EsportsEarnings.com

The $198,832 earnings shown there for 2020 was for January through August, which works out to $24,854 per month from online tournaments.

As of August 2020, Hikaru has 510k followers on Twitch. 

TwitchStats.net estimates that 6800 of those followers are paid subscribers. Hikaru has three subscription tiers on Twitch: 

  • $4.99 per month
  • $9.99 per month
  • $24.99 per month

Twitch apparently shares 50% of that subscription revenue with streamers (source).

At a conservative estimate then, Hikaru is likely earning more than $10,000 per month via Twitch, and possibly as much as $20,000 per month.

As of this writing, Social Blade estimates that Hikaru has earned anywhere from $1.9k to $29.7k in the past 30 days from YouTube ad revenue.

It’s unknown how much Hikaru earns from sales of his book on Amazon, but with all the aforementioned income streams combined it’s a safe bet that he’s earning at least $35,000 per month online

How did Hikaru get started?

Hikaru has been playing chess from a very young age.

From his Wikipedia page:

[Hikaru] began playing chess at the age of seven and was coached by his Sri Lankan stepfather, FIDE Master and chess author Sunil Weeramantry. […] A chess prodigy, at age 10 years and 79 days, [Hikaru] became the youngest American to earn the title of International Master.

In 2003, at age 15 years and 79 days, Nakamura solidified his reputation as a chess prodigy, becoming the youngest American to earn the grandmaster title, breaking the record of Bobby Fischer by three months.

According to Esports Earnings, Hikaru started earning money from online chess tournaments in 2015, when he would have been 27 years of age.

What type of online business does Hikaru have?

Hikaru runs a multifaceted online business. 

According to our framework it can be broken down like this:

  • Digital Products (Level 4)
    Hikaru sells an ebook on Amazon.
  • Authority (Level 4)
    Hikaru has built up a big following on several social media channels.
  • Physical Products (Level 5)
    Hikaru also sells a physical version of his book on Amazon.
  • Esports (Level X)
    Hikaru has won quite a bit of money in online chess tournaments.

Follow the links above for more info and examples for each type of business.

Other ways to make money online

There are many other ways to make money online, to work from home or anywhere in the world.

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