Learned how to play to chess at 17 when I was a high school dropout spending my days at a coffeeshop, smoking weed, and writing poetry. One afternoon an old man asked me to play and though I resisted by saying I did not know how to and had no interest in doing so, he insisted and presisted on teaching me. He taught me how to play and the basics of the French Defense. I was hooked and after that I spent a majority of my free time playing anyone that would play at the coffeeshop, against friends at parties, and even out of books by myself on a small magnetic board. After about a year, I went to college and rarely played on a three years hiatus until I had my first job in Downtown Denver. On the 16th Street Mall there are always people playing on the free tables by Larimer Street and I ended up spending many lunches and evenings there. The people, mostly homeless looking men, that play on 16th Street are beyond good at chess because many of them actually are homeless and have the time to really dedicate to becoming masters. They always let me play ahead of turn because I'm a normal looking younger female. I've only won a handful of games ever there, and sometimes that is not recieved well. But nothing beats a live game, especially with a stranger sharing awesome stories. Online chess is new-ish to me. I much perfer a live game with a cup of coffee and a cigarette... or drink... or joint... and of course random conversation. I am getting into the tournament thing on here though, that's a pretty nifty feature. And I seem to be doing better in live games now.