Mike Bolan

I was saddened to hear of the recent death of Mike Bolan at the age of 81.

Mike’s primary club was Ashtead, but he also played for Richmond in the Thames Valley League between 2007 and 2017.

Mike was the kindest and friendliest person you could imagine, always with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. The first time I met him was in 1975, in a Thames Valley League match against the long defunct Cobham Chess Club. Every time we saw each other thereafter he reminded me of how I beat him, although, in truth, it was much closer than he made out.

By profession the headmaster of a prep school in Surrey, his passion was for junior chess. For forty years or more he was very much involved with Surrey Junior (Wey Valley) chess, as organiser, teacher and anything else that needed doing.

Mike Bolan at the Berks & Bucks Congress 2015: photo by John Upham.

The tributes to him on the English Chess Forum are testimony to how much he was cherished by very many friends and colleagues in Surrey and in the world of junior chess.

A real chess enthusiast and a perfect gentleman, he will be much missed by very many people in the chess world and beyond.

Rest in peace, Mike, and thanks for all you did for chess.