We don’t encourage gambling, but we do think that it’s interesting that you can take a flutter on your favorite players. In fact as with almost everything in the British Isles there’s always a bookmaker willing to take your bet. Despite the fact that the “cold war” excitement has vanished from the game and thus taken it off the front pages (and out of some newspapers completely), there are dozens of professional tournaments held around the world each year.
This month, May, you’ll find the world championship is taking place. But there are also plenty of other key competitive events going on at the same time, including the US championships – which are being played at this moment and the pre-tournament favorites seem to have the whole thing firmly in the bag (though there’s a minor upset in the women’s league).
In a couple of weeks there’s a major chess tournament being held in Salento in Italy where some top ranking players will be duking it out with the up and coming grandmasters for a small(ish) prize pot. Keep an eye out for Khenkin Igor who’s the pre-match superstar with a ranking of 2,670.
If you’d been out with an eye for form earlier this month, the Bulgarian Grandmaster Vladimir Georgiev took the Open Norwegian Championship (though he had to split the purse with five other players who finished on the same score). Given the close spread of FIDE rankings in that chess tournament it would have been very profitable to have predicted the winner or the split.
However, we’re not sharing this because we think you should have a flutter – but rather to inspire you to be good enough so that others bet on you. After all, you may or may not win any money backing a chess player at the bookies, but if you’re a great chess player there’s plenty of prize money available in the tournaments.