Blog Post #42: Happy Anniversary!

Dear Readers,

To a certain degree, the number 360 has been in my mind this week due to zooming round circles with some of my Maths students! Now today, I realise that it’s been 360 days since the previous birthday of my youngest brother-in-law who, many years ago, precisely on his 30th birthday, married my youngest sister.

Dreaming ahead a little to next year, I also realise that if my brother-in-law correctly multiplies his new age on his birthday in 2019 by the number of years that he’ll then have been married, he’ll get exactly 1000.


Your fun brainteaser is to figure out my youngest brother-in-law’s date of birth, and the date on which he got married.


I’m not saying who said it, but someone once joked: “A perfect wife is one who helps the husband with the dishes!”

Seriously now, my wife, Jenny, is really lovely, and she didn’t even mind taking the following photo of me with several lovely ladies (whom I know from a school where I worked before).


It is Black to play and win, basically by force, in a beautiful way.



My youngest brother-in-law was born on 9 May 1969, and he got married on 9 May 1999. He’ll be 50 next year, on his 20th wedding anniversary. 50×20=1000.


Black wins with 1…Qf3! (threatening …Qg2 mate) 2 Rg1 (if 2 gxh4, then 2…Qxf4+ wins the loose rook on c1) 2…Qg2+!! 3 Rxg2 Nf3+ 4 Kh1 Rd1+, and the cornered white king cannot escape checkmate.

To finish, an excellent Bible quote for couples (and indeed for everyone wishing to be kind to others) is: Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

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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