I started playing chess at the tender age of 6, but didn't get "serious" about it until high school.  I played enough rated OTB games to get past the provisional rating, but haven't played in any tournaments in about 15 years. While I was in the Air Force I tried postal (aka correspondance) and liked the slow pace and lack of tournament travel.  This was especially important the year I spent in Iceland at a remote site.  When I got married I stopped even playing CC.  My wife sometimes forgot to give me incoming move cards and it was hard to keep a board set up -- she would clean and bam, the position's all messed up. Online play at chess.com has been wonderful.  It's so much easier with the site keeping track of the moves, and the opening explorer is way better than lugging around 2 boxes of chess books.  And the analysis board stays untouched as long as the computer doesn't crash and the kids don't fool around with it.