Blog Post #20: From Belgium With Love

Dear Readers,

Today’s blog post is packed with more fun than ever, and if you are hoping for something from Russia with love…we’ve got surprises with a Belgian connection too!

HE SANG TO U!

Enjoy a wonderful music video featuring Belgian tenor Helmut Lotti singing while Anastasia Volochkova, a Russian prima ballerina, dances beautifully.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tXS3kuj11k 3mins38sec.

SANG TO U FUN WORD PUZZLE

Your fun word puzzle is to make a proper seven-letter plural English word using the letters of SANG TO U.

A CLUE FROM RUSSIA…

Mrs. Elena Polushkina, a Russian friend of mine, is holding a yummy French/Belgian clue to the word puzzle…

TAKING ON KARPOV!

Elena’s husband, Mr. Igor Balabushkin, had the honour of getting to play Russian former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov in a “simul” in Brussels in December 2008.

The following diagram shows a position inspired by the Karpov-Balabushkin game. It is White to play and win.

THE 007 VERSION!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS2zQOG1jlE 2mins35sec. Happy listening!

QUICK QUIZ QUESTIONS!

  1. Besides the absence of kings, what else is strange about the chess diagram?
  2. How many different moves are possible for the black rook shown?
  3. Imagine a lone black rook positioned anywhere on the 7×7 board above. Altogether, how many different rook moves would be possible?

GILLIAN & DANIEL’S BIRTHDAY BRAINTEASER!

Gillian Grant in Scotland and Daniel Dardha in Belgium are two of many people I know who recently had birthdays. Daniel is younger. Assume that their ages (in years) are both two-digit whole numbers, and all the digits are different. What are their ages if I say that the product we get by multiplying the two ages together is 588?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHAEL!

Just like myself, my son, Michael, was born in a “Year of the Tiger” according to the Chinese calendar.

Michael’s 19th birthday is coming up next Monday and, since Michael also enjoys Math, I’m posting a fun, early puzzle to celebrate!

As my wife and my son and I are a family of three living in house number 11 of our street…

  • Pick any proper three-digit whole number that you like
  • Write it twice, to make a six-digit number e.g. 700700
  • Divide the six-digit number by Michael’s house number, 11
  • Divide what you now have by the three-digit number that you chose earlier
  • Reverse the order of the digits of your result.

Did you end up with a nice answer for wishing Michael a happy 19th birthday?!!

INTERNATIONAL CHESS JOKE

Two keen beginners are chatting…

“I improved my Dutch, English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish.”

“Then you must be a genius!”

“Why?”

“You can speak so many languages…”

“I am talking about chess openings; not languages!”

BANJO MINE!

Rearrange the nine letters of BANJO MINE to make O _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ where the eight “blanks” have to be filled by a common eight-letter boy’s name.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20g0h6WU_eg Only 47sec.

Don’t feel forced, but…may The Force be with you!!

JEWEL IN THE CROWN

The beautiful pencil shown was a gift I received last week from Nicolas, a young Math student of mine.

The prayer pictured too was a very precious gift that I received several years ago from Sandra, a lady now living in Germany. The words of the prayer from Proverbs 3:5-6 are so perfect that I like to always keep them near on my desk, where I’ll read them every day.

PUZZLE SOLUTIONS

SANG TO U FUN WORD PUZZLE

SANG TO U makes NOUGATS.

TAKING ON KARPOV!

White wins quickly with 1 Nxd6+! Qxd6 2 Bf4!, intending 2…Ne5 3 Bxe5 or 2…Qxf4 3 Qxe7#, checkmate.

QUICK QUIZ QUESTIONS!

  1. Instead of being an 8×8 board, it’s only a 7×7 board.
  2. The rook has 12 possible horizontal or vertical moves from its current position.
  3. As there are 7×7=49 possible places where the rook could be placed on the 7×7 board, the total number of possible rook moves altogether is 49×12=588 possibilities.

GILLIAN & DANIEL’S BIRTHDAY BRAINTEASER!

Gillian is 49 and Daniel is 12. 49×12=588.

BANJO MINE!

BANJO MINE makes O BENJAMIN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84HlQJW-RHM Another 2min6sec. of happy listening!

As it’s less than 11 weeks until Christmas, I’ll finish with this thought & picture:

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 paulmotwani.com. My e-mail address is pmotwani141@gmail.com. You can find me on Facebook, too.

3 thoughts on “Blog Post #20: From Belgium With Love”

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