Engberts, our second member from Utrecht (after René van
der Heijden), passed away much too early. He died at the age of
53 after a severe illness. Our thoughts are with him and his loved
Michael Negele has written a very personal and moving obituary which
we reproduce below.
Hans Engberts' death
My Friend Hans
Poet, antiquarian bookseller and chess player
First treasurer of the Ken Whyld Association
Again it shall be for me to take leave in silence of a good friend who was
with me for a part of my life.
There were always pleasurable and intensive encounters with this Hans Engberts
whose German was so excellent that we could exchange views about the meaning
not only of life, but even of chess.
So I soon knew about his fight against "king alcohol", about his
efforts on writing his poetic works (In Dutch, so unfortunately not completely
comprehensible to me.), of the joys and sufferings of a collecting antiquarian
and finally also of preparing for death, first that of his father, then
Unfortunately our joint "way to a meaningful life" was only short,
to you dear Hans I express my thanks for all the good thoughts you have
revealed to me. The first time we consciously met was at Jurgen Stigter
in November 2002, last we met briefly in Wijk aan Zee 2010.
At that time I already felt the disease pushing between us, threatening
to force you "to the other side". Shortly later you sent me the
fatal message about the deadly diagnosis, I was touched by this openness,
but also light-heartedness.
Your last mail arrived this March, I would like to reproduce it here. Your
prediction was that of a good chess player, well calculated.
it’s really a pity that we haven't met any more, I frequently think
of what you have told about different matters. And how motivating you are.
I am not well, it’s not very probable that I will still be alive at
the end of this year. At the moment radiotherapy, irradiation. I am even-tempered,
the people around me are great, my Ursula and me are happy. Unfortunately
I miss the energy to do all that what I want. Working is nearly impossible.
Nevertheless I enjoy this time very much, chess is a natural resource for
relaxation, or even meditation.
I am reading Brady about Fischer.
I hope very much that you and your wife are very well!
All the best,
Even today nothing more comes to my mind than those
words I formerly replied.
Unfortunately no get-together came about any more, maybe fate ordained it
so that I will keep my Hans in memory the way I wished to see him: full
of the effervescent savoir-vivre of a Bohemian ...
Hopefully my encouragement was a little help for you in the last months.
the end is your beginning ...
If you chew over this short sentence, you will enjoy the final period of
your fulfilled life too.
Try to preserve a cheerful nature even if vitality expires.
In any case I would like to meet you personally once again, maybe there
will be a meeting at the MEC in May which I could combine with a visit of
Utrecht. I am deeply affected that after René v.d. Heijden I will
soon miss a second friend in this beautiful city.
Naturally chess is (properly played) meditation, as it originates from India.
Unfortunately we have nearly ruined it since "Isabella of Castile",
the King is the strongest man, not the Queen...
The card [see picture below] should be a little consolation for you if you
believe to miss something in the next life.
Please be aware of all that you will be spared ...
Bye for now!
worm thinks it is strange and foolish
that a man does not eat his books.
We commemorate the deceased with some photographs.
The antiquarian bookshop of
Hans Engberts and René Hesselink
on the Utrecht Oude Gracht.
Engberts (with Bert Corneth and Peter Holmgren)
at Jurgen Stigter, 2002.
A sunny day in Forchheim
(KWA general meeting 2004)
Engberts (with Ralf Binnewirtz, Andreas Saremba and Jurgen Stigter)
at a meeting in Jurgen's home, 2004.
Corneth and Hans Engberts in Wijk aan Zee, 2005.
Hans Engberts on a visit to Wuppertal
at Michael Negele's home (2005).
in the Max Euwe Centrum (2006).
Engberts in his antiquarian bookshop, 2007
(with Peter de Jong).