An interesting read from Guardian columnist Stephen Moss concerning his middle-age quest to "to see if playing better chess would make me a better person."
In fact, the article ( & book ) is more concerned with what chess can give you, to help in your life, rather than games and analysis, which makes it more of general interest.
Moss makes some very good observations.
For example, I am sure I fall into his category of players who played at ( or even for ) school, and achieved moderate success, but then dropped it for adventures in real life, until returning much later in life.
The internet makes this return easier for sure, since you don't need visit a club, and can play as anonymously as you like, but eventually you need to get out to play real people, and experience the more personal aspects of the game.