Blog Post #19: H2O 20202, A FRESH 2nd CHANCE TODAY


Dear Readers,

Given the figures involved, the title of today’s article could fit nicely with Blog Post #20, but I decided not to wait or make assumptions concerning next week or even regarding tomorrow, for right now yesterday’s tomorrow is most precious today.

If I simply count my birth date, 13 June 1962, as my personal day 1–though I am grateful to my mother and to God for looking after me in all the months before then, too–today, 3 October 2017, is my day number 20202. Realising that made me think of H2O, or water, and the fresh chance that God is giving me right now, today, to follow His wishes more faithfully than before.

I am also thankful to many good people who spread true Hope and news of Happiness to come in Heaven. Others are hearing of, and gladly accepting, believing and receiving, God’s free gift every day, for that is the only Oxygen we’ll need forever. Will you help, please, to keep bringing the Good News to more people in your life? I will try to do the same. Thank you!


Imagine a team which cannot be split into any number of smaller, mini, equal-sized teams (other than individuals, or single “ones”, which wouldn’t really count as proper mini-teams). The size of such a team would be a prime number, e.g. 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61,…

As I was born in the year “62”, I am thinking of five different prime numbers which add up to give a total sum of 62. If two of my five prime numbers are 3 and 13, your fun challenge is to discover exactly what my other three prime numbers are.


What is special about the product I get if I multiply my five prime numbers together?


Time is very precious in chess. In the position above, whoever is to move, wins! Can you find really convincing moves to prove that point?


A priest is stopped by a policeman for speeding. The policeman smells alcohol on the priest’s breath and sees an empty wine bottle on the floor.

He asks, “Sir, have you been drinking?” And the priest answers, “Just water.”

The policeman presses, “Then why do I smell wine?” And the priest looks down at the bottle and says, “Dear Lord, He’s done it again!”



Since the total sum of five odd numbers would be an odd number–and therefore couldn’t equal 62–that wouldn’t work. So, one of my prime numbers must be the (only) even prime number, 2. In combination with 3 and 13 (stated in the brainteaser), that brings the total so far up to 2+3+13=18. Then 62-18=44, and the only two new and different prime numbers with a sum of 44 are 7 and 37.

SUMMARY: My five prime numbers, in increasing order, are: 2, 3, 7, 13 and 37. The product 2x3x7x13x37=20202, my aforementioned special day number today in my life.


White would win with 1 Bd7+ Kd8 or …Kf8 (1…Be5 2 fxe5) 2 Re8#, but Black (who was actually to move in E.Perelshteyn vs. D.Howell, Isle of Man Masters’ Tournament 2017) started with 1…Kd8!!, after which White had no satisfactory defence to the threats of 2…fxe6 or 2…Rh3+!! 3 Bxh3 Bf2+ 4 Kg4 Rg3+ 5 Kh4 Rg1#.

I will finish this article with a good quote: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”–John 7:38.


Author: Paul A. Motwani

My name is Paul Motwani, but my colleagues, my students and their parents mostly call me "Mr. Mo"! My middle initial, A, stands for Anthony, because I was born on the official feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of miracles and of lost souls. I love teaching Mathematics and Chess, and giving fun-packed talks and shows in schools and clubs. The popular ingredients of Math, Chess, Mystery and Magic are my "Fantastic Four", and I give prizes too! I am an International Chess Grandmaster, and (loooooong ago!) I was the World Under-17 Champion. I am the author of five published chess books and hundreds of newspaper articles. I live with my wonderful wife and son in Belgium. I also love music, movies and puzzles. I blog at My e-mail address is You can find me on Facebook, too.

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