I learned chess when I was about six years old. My father taught it to me on a magnetic chess set that he had bought me. We played one game, in which he showed me that I had a mate in one, and that was the first and last time I played till I was about eighteen. For Christmas that year I had asked him to buy me a chess set. We played for about five months fairly consistently till I finally beat him. From that point on, it has been nothing less than an obsession.
I regret not playing it throughout my childhood. Though I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have made the most of it, I feel that a ceiling has been placed on my progress that probably would not be so low.
I've made a decision to try and achieve an FM title, and from that point, to achieve a life master title.
My favorite chess book is a bit dated, but is a classic nonetheless. It is Chess Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles by Reinfeld and Horowitz. My favorite opening is the King's Gambit, though my knowledge of its subtleties does not do it justice. I, like so many others, am rooting for Carlsen to attain that title, but he is not my favorite player. I'm not sure I have one, but more of a favorite style. Tal, Alekhine, Fischer, Nezhmetdinov, Pillsbury, and Blackburne get my juices flowing, but I also love a good squeeze in the style of Karpov, Capablanca, or even Steinitz (It's really Tal).