I learnt to play when i was twelve, and continued to do so till i was 25. Never played on a regular basis or participated in tournaments or in matches. However the game has held a fascination unparalled by any other game for me. Stumbled onto this site in Jan 2010, and got hooked once again. I don't use any engines while playing since the focus shifts and I presume so does the pleasure of testing one's skill against an opponent. On an objective note, i notice that my ability to calculate seems to have declined with age but then again so what. I still enjoy playing. The book which has had most influence on my game is " Nine Bad Moves and How to Avoid Them" By Fred Reinfeld.
Apart from chess, I had enjoyed playing "Bridge". It is also an interesting game and involves more teamwork than chess. More social and noisy. In a lighter vein, one can always lay the blame for any mistake on ones partners doorstep. Chess does not provide you that luxury. It makes you pay for your inaccuracies.