Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

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John Saunders
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Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by John Saunders » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:29 am

Some sad news - Michael Stoop died on 18 April, aged 87.

Michael became a very keen congress player in his later years and I remember seeing him playing in Jersey, Gibraltar and elsewhere. He was a great raconteur and lived a full life. He was famous for being the man who lent his car to his friend Lord Lucan for his final journey into oblivion, and also for being the son of an England rugby captain after whom the Harlequins' ground was named. Like his father he won the Military Cross.

Bob Jones has written a full obituary here - http://www.creating-purpose.co.uk/chess/?p=785

Michael's dates were b 17 June 1922, d 18 April 2010.
Last edited by John Saunders on Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John Saunders
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Re: Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by John Saunders » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:32 am

I've just spotted a Guest Book on Times Online where people can leave condolences and memories of Michael...

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timeso ... =142115213
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Matthew Turner
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Re: Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by Matthew Turner » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:22 pm

Very sad news, there are some great stories about Michael, but probably not too many that can be printed in a public forum.
Bob hopes that Michael was better at backgammon than chess - I believe he was. In fact I believe he told me he had been World Champion in the 1950's for which he received $10,000 and a cruise to America courtesy of Dunhill.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:43 pm

He played at Guernsey frequently as well and was always most affable and entertaining.
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

Sean Hewitt

Re: Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:54 pm

I met Michael in Gibraltar and he was full of life and stories. I was gobsmacked when he told me in the same conversation that he had a terminal brain tumour - as casual as you like. It didn't seem to stop him though.

The difference between Michael's stories and the stories other people tell you over a drink or three was that his were true! He certainly lived a remarkable life. He told me that he was the second best backgammon player in the world in his day and I certainly believed him.

A remarkable man, a gentleman to boot, and someone who will be sadly missed. RIP.

John Ariss
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Re: Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by John Ariss » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:17 pm

Michael will be sadly missed, he was one of the nicest people I have ever met in the chess world. An absolute nightmare for anyone who ran a tounament as he always did his trick of turning up at the start of a tournament late with a smile and an excuse.
My favourite memory of Michael was of a tournament about 3 years ago. He turned up at the registration desk with his usual excuses ready,but unfortunatley for him the fellow didn't know him and refused to accept his entry.After a couple of minutes of pleading and being rebuffed, he looked across the hall to the control desk (I was just putting the finishing touches to the draw for the minor)and said "can I have a word with John", with a big smile on his face.
I called across to the fellow on the door " you had better let him enter, or he will never let me forget it".
Result one redrawn minor, one happy Michael and profuse apologies not to do it again.
Guess what happened 4 months later !!.
R.I.P.Michael, a true character

Simon Spivack
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Re: Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by Simon Spivack » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:47 pm

The Telegraph obituary is in today's print edition. It can also be found at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituar ... Stoop.html .

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Re: Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by Richard Bates » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:06 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:The Telegraph obituary is in today's print edition. It can also be found at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituar ... Stoop.html .
Did Andrew Greet write the obituary? ;)

Simon Spivack
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Re: Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by Simon Spivack » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:13 pm

Cough. ;)

Much worse I fear. I can exclusively reveal the script for a remake of Casablanca. The English Chess Forum casino has to be closed, not due to the gambling, but because the writers of obituaries and other drudges are reading it!

Geoffrey Bishop
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Re: Michael Stoop (1922-2010)

Post by Geoffrey Bishop » Thu May 06, 2010 1:56 pm

I first met Michael Stoop in June 2000 when we played at the Reading Chess Congress. At seventy eight he was an improving senior and we soon got chatting about things and people outside chess. Michael kindly invited me back for supper and asked me to go down the cellar to fetch a bottle of Gruaud-Larose 1961. If there's any left then he died prematurely!

I found myself sitting in an elegant William and Mary drawing room furnished with priceless antiques overlooking the Italianate garden through curved bay windows with the summer evening sunlight glinting on Michael's silver trophies for backgammon and bridge. Months later I recall watching a programme along the lines of how to be a gentleman in which someone said that a gentleman always irons his shirt so that there is no crease down the outside of the sleeves. When I next saw him I asked, "Michael, does a gentleman iron his shirt so that there is no crease down the outside of the sleeves or not?" to which he replied, "A gentleman, Geoffrey, does not iron shirts."

He was not only a brave soldier (Military Cross) but an equally brave driver and I will never forget the time we travelled back from Jersey with Mark Ruston in Michael's Honda 'Legend'. The journey from Weymouth to Reading was a non-stop, white knuckle ride where roundabouts occasionally got in the way but failed to slow us down. Had Michael scored as many points at the previous tournament as he had on his driving licence then he would have been the outright winner and no mistake! I called him just before leaving for Gibraltar this year to ask if he was going again,

"No, actually, I've had a bit of bad luck, diagnosed with a brain tumour ... Bon Voyage."

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