Blog Post #56: Grateful

Dear Readers,

A phone call from a very kind lady friend earlier today prompted me to write something here tonight. Tess called to share the really positive message of the sermon she heard in church today. It was this: the key to contentment is being grateful for everything from God, including things that may not be easy. I liked the message so much that I wanted to quickly re-share it here before wishing you a very good night and a happy month of July, beginning tomorrow.

I also have a Good Knight chess surprise relating to the following diagram…

Imagine that Black (to move) has an invisible knight on a certain square such that Black can force checkmate in 4 moves, but cannot be sure of a faster win. Your fun challenge is to determine the exact position of the invisible black knight, and the sequence of moves that will force checkmate.

For readers who enjoy number puzzles, I offer this one: use all of the numbers 1, 1, 5, 8 and as many or as few of +, -, x, ÷ or (    ) as you want, but no exponents, roots or other operations. The sneaky challenge is to make the target number 10. I wish you lots of fun with that, and I will post solutions with the next blog post.


8 ÷ (1 – (1 ÷ 5)) = 10.

WITH A KNIGHT ON g4, BLACK WINS WITH 1…Qh2+! 2 Kxg4 Qg2+! 3 Kh4 (other moves allow 3…Qg5#) 3…g5+ 4 Kh5 Qh3#.

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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