When I was 14, I found an old chess set in the attic, and I learned the basic moves from our Compton's Picture Encyclopedia. Then I taught them to my mother so I'd have someone to play with. Having played very rarely since then, I am confident that my skills remain at the level of a self-taught 14 year old. My delightful son-in-law conned me into playing online chess.
*Note: I wrote the above in 2009. In the 5+ years since then, I have played more than 800 online games. And I'm proud to announce that, as a result, my skills as a chess player can be fairly described as "marginally improved." (!) I believe I can say with confidence that I'm now as good a chess player as a self-taught 15 year old who's been playing for a full year ... well, for a couple of months, at least.