Here’s Who Inherited Bobby Fischer’s Money After He Died

These days, anyone with internet access can (theoretically anyway) make money playing chess. All you need is a Twitch stream (or a YouTube channel), a few thousand followers, maybe some sponsors, and you’re making money. However, a few decades ago, the number of people who made a decent living playing chess could probably have been expressed in three digits. Fischer was, of course, one of them.

It’s not clear how much money Bobby Fischer made in his day, but it was a lot — at least for a pre-Twitch chess player. When he won the world championship in 1972, he was paid just over $150,000 – a good amount of money under the Nixon administration, particularly for chess (via History). When Fischer faced Boris Spassky again in 1992, the prize pool had gone up to $5 million, according to The New York Times. During his years in seclusion, Fischer was offered other opportunities to earn bank, such as from the Shah of Iran for a match in his country or from the then-dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, for a match in his country, all of which he turned down.

When he died in 2007, according to The New York Post, his estate was estimated to be worth about $2 million.

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