I first joined Chesterfield Chess Club, Mike was a member of the strong Chesterfield
Juniors team which dominated the (long defunct) Chesterfield League. He
subsequently progressed to become a member of the Sheffield League A Team,
whom he represented until his death. A late developer, mainly because
of his time-trouble addiction, he became a formidable opponent in his
thirties, and regularly occupied one of the higher boards in the team as
well as representing Derbyshire. Although he never overcame his love
affair with time-trouble, he mastered it in time, thriving on the adrenaline
it produced, and often winning by luring his opponents into a false sense
his horizons, he started to play in the Yorkshire League, and was a member
of the 1978-79 Rotherham team which won the Woodhouse Cup.
Subsequently, Mike played in the same competition for Sheffield, and
was a key member of several League-winning teams. However, it was in
the 4NCL that Mike found his ultimate metier when I persuaded him to
strengthen the Spirit of Atticus squad. Not only did he love the
attendant social life, but the slow time-limit was absolutely suited to his
attritional style of play (he always valued knights above bishops, and
often made appropriate exchanges in the opening). Mike was prepared
to 'grind out' endlessly positions in which he had a minimal edge, to gain
a crucial extra half point for the team (though it often left his team
mates hungry). More than once, his game was the very last in the room
to finish, and interestingly, he seemed to reserve his 'Spanish Torture' for
Bradford players, his three most notable marathon victims being Mike
Bramson, Dave Patrick and Harry Baxter.
chess, it is well known that Mike was a fanatical - and possibly deluded -
Derby County supporter, but less well known is that, before a leg injury,
he was a runner – a marathon runner, unsurprisingly, who once failed only
narrowly to achieve a prestigious sub-three hours' time.
President of Chesterfield Chess Club and a team captain, he was a tireless worker.
An absolute gentleman, he will be missed by team members and adversaries