Money is not good
In order to make a decent living from chess, you need to be extremely good, not only GM, not only Super GM but basically you need to be top 20 in the world.
Local tournament wise, to be the best in Malaysia is definitely not good enough. On average, first prize RM400. Let’s compare with say...memancing! (Golf will be overkill) First prize RM20,000! And in GP Joran they even have this Hadiah Utama, a cool RM84,000 in cash for overall winner. Ofcourse,in memancing tournament they start on time.
Torturous Tournament Format
In other sports, tennis dart etc if you are not good, you will lose in the first round and you can go home, you can still bragging to lose to champion and you will never know whether you are the most unskilled player around.
In chess, they have this torturing device called SWISS System and even if you lost, the tournament director will force to keep on playing and playing and playing with your fellow chess clowns. Worst part is, you cannot hide, this SWISS System will show to the whole world (thank you, Internet) with absolute certainty whether you are the most...what word to use here...you are the most ‘need to improve’ player.
Not a popular sport
Ask any hot actress, who she wanted to go out with, a top chess player or a top footballer? Enough said.
Wait a minute, on a brighter side, ask any hot actress who she wanted her daughter’s IQ to be inherite from, a chess player or a boxer? In this area we might have a chance!
Accused to be a spy/smuggler
This happen to me some 20 years ago. I played correspondent chess with Andrew Ooi, Masros Tukiran and few others. I was at boarding school in which all letters will be open by Puan Rosniyah (she is a big fan of Ludlum’s novels). She accussed me of devising a secret plan to smuggle cigarettes inside the school when she opened one of those letters that mentioned
3. Bb5 if 3. ...a6 then my move is 4. Ba4
If 3. ...Bc5 then my move is 4.c3
But still, whatever reasons are, we all love this beautiful game!