I discovered Chess in a vegan restaurant on a Stag Doo. Re-discovery at least, because I do remember teaching myself the rules and value of the pieces and playing a handful of games as a kid with my cousins growing up. I much preferred the simplicity of Checkers (though my Grandad Tom would beat me every time) or as I grew up the epic battles of a game of Risk.
If I hadn't been an only child I probably would have played more Chess, especially with a younger sibling to bully into playing with me but Chess isn't very fun to play against yourself when you're 12. Not with games consoles around anyway. Hearing friends talk about playing each other on a Chess App in the restaurant though ignited the desire to play, and with 1 day or 3 day correspondence time control it allowed me to do so easily. I downloaded the App.
I played 17 games of daily chess in August, followed by another 17 in September. I lost my phone but still managed 28 in October, followed by 53 in November and I'm set to increase that again before the end of December. I got hooked quickly. A strategic and tactical game, with a rating system that allows me to goal-set and benchmark your ability against myself and others. I only wish I'd discovered the App years earlier as becoming hooked was inevitable.
From playing friends I've moved on to playing strangers, and from playing individual games to playing online tournament games. I've begun caring about my learning and taken the step of signing up for a monthly Platinum membership, and asking for a years membership for Christmas! I am really enjoying the competetive element of Chess, which had been something I was lacking before. My friend Chris is a very strong Darts player and I would listen with envy as he talked about competitions and leagues he was in. Now, I have stories to tell back even if the standard of the Chess I play is very low - at least it's competetive and it fills that need.
With a surname like Bishop, Chess is as good as any competetive game to take up...