Theo was a Life Vice President and former President of the Worcestershire Chess Association. He died aged 69 in January 2002. Theo was chess champion of Dudley Club 25 times over a period of half a century. When I first met him I was a newcomer to Worcestershire and he a senior member of the Worcestershire Chess Association, but he immediately made me feel at home. Chess was only one of Theo's activities. He was well respected for his academic work as a lecturer in English at Hillcrest and Halesowen College and was a stalwart of Dudley Little Theatre. Here is one of the games he won against me in a Worcestershire County Division 1 League match played in Dudley in 1983.
(Worcester City I) - Theo RD Grove (Dudley)
1.e4.e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8 10.d4 (Theo playes an ultra-solid Breyer Defence to Ray's Ruy Lopez) Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 c5 13.d5 c4 (13...Ne8 14.Nf1 g6 15.Bh6 Ng7 16.Ne3 Nf6 17.a4 had been played by Karpov against Gligoric in the 1973 Leningrad Interzonal tounament) 14.Nf1 a5 (Other possible good black moves are 14...Nc5 and 14...Re8) 15.Ng3 Re8 16.b3 Qc7 17.bxc4 Qxc4 18.Bb2 Ba6 (To prepare ...b4) 19.Bd3 (19.Nf5 was more agressive) 19...Qc7 (Black has fully neutralised the 'Spanish torture') 20.Qe2 Nc5 21.Rab1 Nxd3 22.Qxd3 b4 23.Qd2 Bc4 (23...Qc4 was better because it threatens to take the white a-pawn and to infiltrate at d3) 24.cxb4 axb4 25.Qxb4 Bxa2 26.Ra1 Reb8 27.Qc3 (Or 27.Qd2 Ra4 28.Rec1 Qa7 with equality) 27...Qxc3 28.Bxc3 Nd7 29.Re2 Bc4 30.Rxa8 Rxa8 31.Rb2 Nc5 32.Nf5 Bf8 33.Nd2 Bd3 34.Ng3 g6 (Prevents the knight getting to f5) 35.f3 h5 (35...f5 was perhaps stronger, but black's move with the h-pawn provokes a serious error) 36.Ndf1? (36.Nb3 was better 36...Na4 37.Ra2=) 36...h4 37.Ne2 Na4 38.Nc1 Nxb2 39.Bxb2 Bxf1 40.Kxf1 Bh6 41.Ke1 Rb8 42.Ba3 Rb6 43.Ke2 Ra6 44.Bb2 Kf8 45.Kd3 Ke7 46.Ne2 Ra2 47.Kc2 Be3 48.Kb3 Ra8 49.Kc2 0-1 White resigned because there is no way to defend the pawn on g2 following black pawn advance on the king side to queen a pawn.
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