In Memoriam Henryk Konaszczuk
* 20 March 1955
† 24 March 2015 (Zabrze)
Recently Tomasz Lissowski informed us that his friend Henryk Konaszczuk had passed away, having died of lung cancer just a few days after his 60th birthday. He was buried in Ruda Śląska (near Zabrze) on 28/03/2015.
Henryk Konaszczuk was born near Biała Podlaska (Lublin Voivodeship, East Poland), his name may point to some Ukrainian ancestors. He finished a technical school with a qualification for university entrance, afterwards he became a student of chemistry in Warszawa (Warsaw) and reached a degree in inorganic chemistry (Magister of Chemistry, Politechnika Warszawska) - quite a success for a boy from the province without an education in a more universal high school. After his diploma Henryk moved to Zabrze (Hindenburg) in Upper Silesia, South Poland where he worked as an employee of the Chemical Research Institute in Gliwice (Gleiwitz). Generally, he was a man of modest character and of pleasant reserve, and he was used to work hard.
As to chess, Henryk Konaszczuk was a devoted and diligent chess researcher and author, spending a lot of time in libraries or browsing online, and he also collected items for his objects of research. He frequently dealt with the history of chess in Silesia, even if he was not a native-born Silesian. Certainly his private archive will still serve other chess historians, his wife has promised to preserve all his papers.
Some of his articles have been published on the web only, for instance at the "Vistula pages" (minimum 12 articles), and two high-quality articles by him appeared at ChessBase (in German translation): the contributions on Paul Mross (alias Pawel Mróz) (2004) and on Bad Salzbrunn 1933 (2009). According to Tomasz Lissowski, for the Mross article alone he should be remembered for years. Moreover he wrote a book "The scientists and chess", but it was never published. It seems the part on chemists appeared in CHEMIK 2011, volume 65, issue No. 5, p. 476: "Szachy i chemia" by Henryk Konaszczuk.
Henryk Konaszczuk didn’t live to see anymore the small book on Antoni Wojciechowski he had in preparation, but there is reasonable hope that it will be posthumously published by Tomasz in a not too far future.
Tomasz Lissowski was connected with Henryk over a period of 12 years, but only once met him personally, at the meeting in Ostrów Wielkopolski (Sept. 2013, see our pictorial report) where also Michael Negele got acquainted with Henryk; afterwards Michael still kept up communication with him by e-mail, naturally on chess historical subjects, so about Prof. Hans-Georg Lachmann of Bielefeld, born in Słupsk (Stolp), near Szczecin (Stettin). He now regrets very much that he cannot realize anymore his intended visit to Zabrze to discuss some points with Henryk on the tournament Wrocław 1889.
We still link a postcard (front + back side) that was distributed to the attendees in Ostrów, it is also autographed by Henryk Konaszczuk, Michael Negele and others; as well as an image from the Lasker scrapbooks which Michael Negele had provided Henryk with for his work on Lachmann, and an article found thereafter by Henryk on the net.
Henryk Konaszczuk is survived by his spouse and his mother, he had cared for the latter over years.
May he rest in peace.
Photographs: Tomasz Lissowski
Details: Tomasz Lissowski and Michael Negele