I'm a beginner and guilty of taking on opponents I have no right challenging and first thought en passant was magic. Don't give a rat's ass about losing as long as I'm learning. I play because I work in corporate America and Chess keeps me one more step away from a lobotomy. I'm also teaching my 10 year old daughter to play because it beats Candy Crush and the vapid choices kids these days have to pick from.
I learned about Chess first from my great grandfather when I was a wee lad. He lived in a single wide trailer next to my grandmorher's house and didn't have a Chess board, but cherished cassette recordings of Bobby Fischer matches given to him by his grandchildren. He was a retired farmer and also known to share his cheese with you if you behaved and you marveled at his ability to swat hornets out of the air bare handed.
I play Chess as well because its beginnings are baffling to me as to how the human mind can create something so beautiful and challenging. It fits right perfect with my elementary love and understanding of physics and the universe, science fiction, and political gamesmanship. I ain't no genius and definitely no savant, but learning is a sacred ritual I protect with sword and shield.