I taught myself chess at age six and have loved the game ever since, which is getting to be a long trip.
In the 1970s and 1980s I lived in New York and for years was a member of the Marshall Chess Club, a wonderful place for any player.
Back then my rating generally swung between the high 1800s and the high 1900s. I believe that, if I'd worked at it, I would pretty easily have reached Expert or maybe (I kid myself) even very weak Master, but I played mainly for fun, usually only once a week in the club's Thursday Swiss, and my notion of deep opening analysis was something like, "This guy thinks I always open with e4. What if I lay Bird's on him instead?"
I've faced some strong Masters and usually lost, but won or drew often enough to keep me coming back with my ego more or less intact.
I live in Baton Rouge now and haven't played a rated game in a long time, partly because there seems to be very little competitive chess here. Would be happy to find some.
My favorite player, naturally enough for a Louisiana boy, is Morphy. I love watching how the lines open up as if by magic, and even more than the brilliant sacrifices I love how his pieces almost always seem to be on the precise squares from which those brilliant sacs can be launched. Starting with my Marshall days, though, I came to appreciate Tal almost as much as Morphy. Tal played the game like a game, like exuberant fun, not like digging a ditch or running a hedge fund. Kasparov, I've always enjoyed his play too. Even Karpov, in I guess the same way that some people can be fond of boa constrictors as pets. (If the Russians had ever found a way to interclone Tal, Kasparov, and Karpov, it would be another century before any computer stood a chance.)
Of course Fischer was probably better, objectively, than any of those players, but I could never call Bobby a favorite.
The newer guys I'm not familiar enough with yet. But it's still the same old game, a pleasure and a beauty to play or even just to observe.