Blog Post #58: Happy Birthday, Aunt Sheila!

Dear Readers,

A few hours ago, I sent a fun puzzle to a really smart lady: my Aunt Sheila, for her 82nd birthday today!

SEASON represents a 6-digit odd number in which only the first and fourth digits are the same.

The 3-digit right end SON equals the cube of N.

Also, N and A are the squares of E and O respectively.

Your fun challenge is to first figure out exactly what number SEASON represents.

Then work out SEASON x (A+S)

to wish Aunt Sheila a super-happy birthday today!

Chess enthusiasts may well also enjoy considering what is the strongest option for Black (to move) in the following position…

Wishing you all the very best,

Paul Motwani.


734729 x (4+7) = 8082019 to celebrate my Aunt Sheila’s 82nd birthday today, 8.08.2019 !

The chess position occurred after White’s 19th move in the recent game K.Toma vs. J.Willow at this year’s British Chess Championships.

Black played 19…Bc5!! and White resigned (in view of 20 Nxc5 Qg5 with the decisive threats of …Qxg2# or …Nh3+ followed by …Qxe3; also, if 20 Qd2, then the simple 20…bxc5 leaves White with a fatal material deficit).

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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