Counties Chess

Roy Woodcock 1931 - 2007

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Published 20 February 2007


Roy Woodcock passed away on 18th February 2007, aged 76, at the George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton. All his working life was spent at the GEC in Coventry.

I knew Roy for over 40 years and we were good friends. In regard to chess he enjoyed the cut and thrust of attacking play, but it was as a chess organiser that he found his mé tier both at national and Midland level. The popular Nuneaton Club Congresses were his brainchild and more recently he assisted the late John Robinson at the two Coventry International Congresses. His work for the Nuneaton Club has been incalculable. In fact I have never known him refuse help or advice to anyone planning to hold a congress.

He was also a safe pair of hands at meetings both nationally and in the Midlands. He could have trenchant views but was always willing to listen to a contrary opinion. At the date of his death he was the Honorary Life Vice-President of the Warwickshire Chess Association and President of the Midland Counties Chess Union. Some years ago he received the British Chess Federation’s prestigious President’s Award for Services to Chess about which I know he was delighted. More recently he received the rare distinction of becoming a Honorary Life Vice-President of the English Chess Federation which meant so much to him.

Within the last few weeks when he was very ill he remarked that he and I had never disagreed on any matter, chess or otherwise. That is indeed true but I was touched.

I would not want anyone to think that his interests were solely confined to chess. He was a person with wide interests. He was a friendly man who-loved people, good company and was a gourmet, especially after a chess competition. He loved his garden. He was interested in all forms of sport and we spent many happy hours discussing it, but especially the nuances of cricket. On television he watched tennis at Wimbledon avidly and we watched international football together during the last World Cup competition.

His passing will leave a void in the chess community.

Peter Gibbs 20th February 2007