In memoriam Hans Engberts

In memoriam
Hans Engberts

* 28/01/1958 (Curaçao)
† 29/11/2011 (Utrecht)

Hans 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 ones.

Michael Negele has written a very personal and moving obituary which we reproduce below.

Card announcing Hans Engberts' death
Card announcing Hans Engberts' death

My Friend Hans

Hans Engberts
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 his own.

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.

«Dear Michael,

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.

«Dear Hans,

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!

The worm thinks it is strange and foolish that a man does not eat his books. (Tagore)
The worm thinks it is strange and foolish that a man does not eat his books. (Tagore)

We commemorate the deceased with some photographs.

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