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Theo R. D. Grove 1933-2002

Following several years of poor health, West Midlands Chess recently lost one of its best known players. Theo was 69 years old.

He first came to prominence during the late 1940's playing top board for Dudley Grammar School. Supported by his headmaster the late Dr Temple he progressed to become a junior international, playing in a number of major tournaments. It was during this era that he beat the Belgium star Body with a brilliant rook sacrifice.

Theo played for a while with the Lye Club before joining Dudley soon after it was formed in 1958. He was the leading Dudley player throughout his competitive career. He also played regularly for Worcestershire. He held many offices with the Dudley club and was vice president of the Worcestershire Association.

Along with Alan Ruffle, the late John Raybould and the late Jess Flatley, Theo was a founder member of the Dudley and District Chess league.

He qualified to become a teacher at Dudley Training College. Theo taught mainly P.E. and mathematics at several local primary sand secondary schools. Throughout his teaching career he introduced many youngsters to chess, particularly in the northern area. Later he taught English at Halesowen College. After retiring Theo attempted to teach chess to inmates at Winson Green prison!

Theo's other main interest was amateur dramatics. He was a talented actor and for many years was fully involved in the activities of Dudley Little Theatre.

A man with a dry sense of humour, in Theo Grove the Black Country has lost one of it's true sons.