I don't consider myself a chess expert, but a few years ago I read Garry Kasparov's autobiography and I was hooked. Kasparov was world champion for much of the last decade. I learned to play from my dad when I was a child, but I never really got serious about studying it until after I read that book. Until then I always had this idea in my mind that chess players had these fantastic mental powers, and were almost magical, untouchable, genius. But on reading Kasparov's book, I realized that although they are very talented and smart, it really comes down to hard work and study.