Report on ACP Polls

Dear Colleagues,

The ACP conducted two surveys that took more than two months and we would like to share our findings.

One survey was prompted by FIDE President’s idea to limit the participation of chess professionals to a single league. While the President modified his statement with a later post, our findings showed a clear picture. Out of 97 votes, 86 voted against this limitation and only 11 voted for.

A separate poll that was run on the ACP President’s Twitter account had 315 votes and 85% of those voted against the limitation.

The conclusion from these polls is unequivocal – chess professionals do not like to be limited in their choices.

The other poll was intended to understand the situation of the chess professionals during the worst months of the pandemic. We asked questions about their financial situation, the ways they earned a living and ideas to improve the situation.

The results of this poll were very telling. You can consult the complete results  following this link, while here we would like to share three findings that we thought were characteristic.

The first finding can be drawn from the number of people who took the poll. Even though the poll ran for almost two months and was open to all, we only had 68 answers. This is a clear indication that the chess community does not feel the necessity to contribute to a common cause.

The second finding stems from the answers to the question about income. Only 37 participants answered. We all know about Carlsen’s prize money as these numbers are official, but even though the poll was anonymous the chess community is not comfortable sharing details about their income and discussion about it is still taboo.

Out of the 37 answers 25% had income of more than 2000 eur/month. The same percentage had income of less than 600 eur/month. This is not a representative sample in view of the small number of answers, but the two extremes having the same number of answers hints at a huge inequality of income in the chess world.

The third finding indicates that the main source of income during the pandemic has been coaching. Almost 50% of the answers to the question on helpful initiatives also indicated opportunities for chess coaching as their preference. The shift towards coaching is not surprising, but it may lead to oversaturation of the coaching market and dumping of rates per hour, which would make it worse for those who plan to earn their living by dedicating themselves to this profession. It still remains to be seen if coaching is a temporary solution only during the pandemic or a lot of players will remain coaches once over-the-board tournaments resume.

In conclusion, we would like to thank everybody who took their time to answer our questions.

The ACP Board