In memoriam Karel Falleyn

March 24, 1931 (Blankenberge) – October 4, 2008

Although Karel Falleyn has never been a member of the KWA, many members he was known to as the publisher of the chess ex libris catalogue.

For many years his state of health was severely disturbed. The last 18 months of his life, Karel was seriously ill. Even then, his death came unexpectedly.

Karel, who never complained, fought bravely against the illness that controlled his body more and more. He could rely on the great support and care from his kind wife, Georgette, regardless of her own state of health.

Chess was in Karel’s life until the very last moment. Yes, even on the morning of his death, he was relatively well and was able to do some work for his chess collection.

Being an educated ship’s mechanic, he used to work in the shipping industry; however, being young, he combined the shipping work with the work of a croupier in the local casino during the summer. Karel worked day and night.

When later on he got the opportunity to become a full-time croupier in one of the most important casinos on the Belgian coast, i.e. Knokke, he said goodbye to his work as a ship’s mechanic.

Karel Falleyn, 1999
Karel Falleyn, 1999

Working most of the time during the evening and night, this job gave him a lot of free time during the day. He became very active as a correspondence player. In 1971, he became Champion of Belgium in the primary division.

Getting infected by the chess virus, he started to collect everything related to chess: advertising with chess motifs, postal cards, stamps, ex libris (bookplates) with chess motifs, etc. He became a member of the organisation for chess motif collectors BENEFRALUX where he personally met Jean Mennerat, the former great French collector and mourned KWA-member.

He got in contact with many foreign collectors he regularly corresponded with, amongst others the German Gerd Meyer and the Pole Gyzicki. This resulted in the publication of a chess ex libris catalogue in 1992. In 1996 a second volume was published.

Karel was a very gracious man, however, at the chess board he could deal hard tactical blows. As a piece of evidence his "immortal game", published in the Schach-Informator no. 13 and awarded the seventh best game of that Informator. He repeatedly said that he had received 9 points out of 10 from the former world champion Euwe, but from his countryman O'Kelly only 2 points ...

Finally the game, as a lasting memory to Karel:

Ottevaere, Herman – Falleyn, Karel – cch-BEL 1971, 1st division:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Bc4 Nc6 7. Be3 Bg7 8. f3 O-O 9. Qd2 Bd7 10. Bb3 Qa5 11. O-O-O Rfc8 12. h4 Ne5 13. Kb1 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. Nb3 Qd8 16. g4 b5 17. e5 Ne8 18. h5 Bxe5 19. hxg6 fxg6 20. Nxb5 Be6 21. N5d4 Bf7 22. f4 Bg7 23. f5 Nf6 24. Rh4 a5 25. Qh2 a4 26. Nd2 Rb4 27. Nc6 Bxa2+ 28. Kxa2 a3 29. b3 Qc7 30. Qg2 d5 31. Nxb4 Qc3 32. Nc4 Ne4 33. Nxd5 Qb2+ 0-1

You may also play through the game at!

Henri Serruys