The current issue of New in Chess has a tantalizing blurb on whether Anatoly Karpov is a billionaire. In January, a Russian company called Petromir reported that they had found a new gas field in eastern Siberia, and financial analysts valued the company at more than one billion dollars. Karpov, the world chess champion from 1975 to 1985, was once the sole registered owner of Petromir, although it is unclear what stake he has in the company today. It would be interested if perhaps the greatest positional player in history was also by far the richest.
Garry Kasparov—Karpov’s arch-rival and successor on the world throne—is doing pretty well on the speaking circuit, reportedly earning $50,000 a talk. But that’s a rounding error and chump change if you’re a billionaire.