In memoriam René van der Heijden
René van der Heijden
(August 29, 1951 – April 6, 2007)
René van der Heijden, a founding member of the KWA and a passionate collector of chess books, has passed away much too young. In his struggle against cancer he was playing a losing game. We wish that his partner Tia van der Let together with her children Gwendoline, Natalie and Angelique may summon courage and strength to endure and to overcome this severe loss.
René liked to play chess and was a member of several clubs, in the last years he played for "Nieuw Amelisweerd", a circle of chess friends with the objective to enjoy the game and a friendly get-together. And he could win his last game played on December 14th, 2006. It’s true that his favourite book was Dostojewski’s The Player but above all he was a collector. Anyone who visited him at home knows what that means: various rooms filled with books from different fields: science, mathematics, literature in different languages, art, music, economy and of course chess. In bookcases, boxes, piles. Naturally each incomplete series had to be completed.
A personal episode: Jurgen Stigter had found the missing volumes of the BCM and the Tijdschrift van den Nederlandschen Schaakbond for René. I phoned René for a date and promised to bring him the eagerly awaited items. Now he knew that his collection would be complete at least in this area. On Friday we dropped by his house – unfortunately too late as René was already deceased a few hours before. Accordingly he couldn’t "really" experience any more the completion of his collection but only in the preview of his mind’s eye. We would like to believe that at least that was not completely insignificant.
René van der Heijden will be cremated on Friday, April 13th, in his family circle.