I've played chess since my older cousin taught me when I was 10 or 11. I've never played in a club, and have not played very much against humans. All these years I've just played against various chess machines. I've never been too good, probably because I kept the machine levels low enough so that I could win. To me it was always more about having fun.
There are a lot of things to like about chess.com, but for me, the tournaments are the best. Here's a chance to play a lot of games against (hopefully) real people, have fun, fight hard, maybe even learn something. I've been fried liver; stonewalled; rebuffed by a rhinoceros, and a hippopotamus; stormed by pawns; tormented by missed mates; red-faced by my own blunders, etc. But so far this hasn't dented my enthusiasm for signing on to the next 'Speed king' tournament.
There are a few things not to like. Cheaters: I was a victim of one in a tournament; but their account was closed on review, and that gave me some hope that chess.com is a better place to play than most. Sandbaggers: its a bummer when you make it to the last round of an under-1600 tournament and are facing someone over 1800! (Perhaps the TDs need to review the player history a bit more carefully before a tournament begins?)
But these bad examples are in the minority. The predominant impression I have is that there are many wonderful chess players out there, of all levels, in all corners of the globe.
I've tried most of the different types of games here, and learned which ones are best suited to my preferences. For me, the threads of thought that are part of the game get broken if they are stretched over too great a temporal distance. Thus, I prefer faster games (daily, <3 hours move time); but not lightning fast--just take a look at my abysmal blitz rating .
So, with this in mind, I am trying to host some fast-moving 'daily' tournaments for anyone who likes this style of play.
1. "Fast and small" tournaments--five groups of five, fastest time control
2. "Opportunity for advancement" tournaments--groups of four, where 50% of players advance
Both editions are No Vacation and Fast average move time. They require 50 completed games, in an attempt to establish a level playing field.
I'm experimenting with different rating requirements and I'm not sure where that will end up.
PS. If you like faster-moving games, keep an eye out for the "Speed King" edition tournaments (large groups, fastest time control, and a large completed games requirement).