Variety of influences. I got into it after reading the Land of Elyon Book 1 The Dark Hills Divide (I'm not as good as Pervis, heh). Then the book Chess: From first moves to Checkmate which got my dad and brother into it - we played against each other for years, off and on. I beat my dad regularly near the end of said tenure. Then I had a great-uncle I played against and always lost to.
Then there was that chess guy who also did tai chi - I read his book too. So lots of books and practice against other players of debatable competence in real life (I refuse to make remarks on the competence of my opponents here except perhaps some positive ones, as anything else is in poor taste, and besides anyone can improve and beat me).
A formidable challenge indeed! My brother and I used to gang up on my parents in chess - if you team play, you catch each other's mistakes. I have no such advantage. But we shall see.