Rest In Peace

On Monday April 1st 2013 two Melbourne Chess Club members, Andrew Saint and Hannibal Swartz, died in a tragic car accident while driving back to Melbourne from the Doeberl Cup. Andrew had just won the Doeberl Cup Major Tournament.

Andrew Saint (1981 - 2013)

I first met Andrew when he moved to Melbourne for work. He came along to the MCC and after a short time we found out that he had been involved in chess administration in South Australia. He quickly accepted an offer to join the MCC committee and put in some great service to our club.

He was a very generous person and would always offer others a coffee when he went to buy one - even if he didn't know them that well. He was also generous with his time, putting a huge amount of effort into the very difficult job of being the Melbourne Chess Club Treasurer, despite working long hours in his day job. Andrew was a shining light as a very generous and giving person amongst a chess scene of "individuals". He gave more to chess than he took out of it - both at MCC and back in Adelaide.

Andrew was also a wonderful person away from chess. He liked fine food and dining out. At a Bunnings sausage sizzle to raise funds for MCC, he bought all of us some Wagu beef steaks just to share the gourmet experience with all of us. After the sizzle he showed myself, Pano Skiotis and Paul Cavezza one of his favorite restaurants "Laksa King", a Malaysian restaurant in Flemington. It was so good that I went back there the next night too! Andrew was also the brains behind the free lunch at Cup Weekender and would have enjoyed cooking good food for all of the players in the event. As well as food and cooking, I also enjoyed talking to Andrew about traveling, football and his other interests - in fact we really didn't talk very much about chess!

When someone passes away, it is customary to talk about the persons attributes and generosity, however with Andrew its simply so easy to remember countless examples of these things - they are not hard to find with him and even after we all discuss the great things he did, there will still have been another 1000 generous things he has done that have simply gone unnoticed - that was just the sort of person he was.

After hearing that Andrew had won the major at Doeberl, I immediately sent him a rather cheeky email suggesting that he should use his prize money to buy an MCC life membership. Had he read it, I'm sure that he would have known that I wasn't completely serious, yet it would not have surprised me either if he had actually said "yes ok"! Unfortunately the next thing I heard was that he was gone. He will be looking down now and giggling about that email I think...

In losing Andrew, Australian chess has lost a great great person who did so much for other people and so much for chess itself. Andrew thank you for the work you have done at MCC and for the friendship, happiness, coffees and restaurant tips you have given all of us - you are already deeply missed! Well done on a magnificent performance in your final tournament - not many people get to go out on top, but you certainly have - in both chess and in life in general!

Rest in peace my friend.

Tribute by Grant Szuveges (Melbourne Chess Club President)

Hannibal Swartz (Nghia Nguyen, 1991 - 2013)

I first met Hannibal at Box Hill Chess club about ten months ago. We discovered a shared interest in Alekhine's Defence and played many training games in this opening. Slowly I got to know Hannibal better. Later in 2012 he asked me to coach him. We began fairly intensive study and training early in 2013 during the Womens Masters Tournament.

I discovered that beneath that gentle and reticent exterior lay an acute mind. Hannibal aimed to be at least a FIDE Master but I suspect an International Master.

I formed the impression that Hannibal was really thriving in Melbourne. He was a regular at the Anderson Chess Collection, the Melbourne University Chess Club, the Box Hill Chess Club, and the Melbourne Chess Club.He had grand plans for the future and not only in chess. He exhibited an enthusiasm for chess that was infectious and inspired me to make time to study with him.

I feel that he would have become a major figure on the Melbourne chess scene and later on the Australian chess scene. I believed he would achieve his goals and would have opened up and realised his potential in other fields.

I deeply regret his passing.

Tribute by Marcus Raine (Coach and friend)