Blog Post #66: Thinking of You

Dear Readers & Friends,

Though the current Corona virus pandemic severely reduces people’s opportunities for meeting, we are still free to think of and pray for each other. Whether we have already met or not, I truly believe that one day we will meet, in a perfect place with no more death, illness or suffering of any kind.

In the meantime, if you share my liking for puzzles involving good thinking, then I hope you can still enjoy a couple of fresh ones that I offer now today…

As you will have realised directly, the photo below of my wife and myself (in Budapest last October) was taken long before the current pandemic officially started. The fun challenge is to figure out exactly how many days ago the photo was taken…given that the whole number equals the sum of the cubes of its own digits.

I also have a wee Chess puzzle for you…

Imagine that White has an invisible pawn somewhere on the b-file.

Exactly where should that pawn be so that White (to move right after the pawn is placed) can force checkmate as fast as possible?

Solutions to the puzzles will be posted at the time of the next blog post (always God-willing of course).

Here they are now, on April 20th, 2020:

153=1 cubed + 5 cubed + 3 cubed.

In the chess puzzle, if White has an invisible pawn on b3, then 1 Qc6+ Ka7 2 Qb7# or 1…Kxa5 2 Qb6# are pretty, but I like 2 Qa4# even more!

With love to you all,

Paul xxx

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.

2 thoughts on “Blog Post #66: Thinking of You”

  1. Dear Paul , we think of you and hope your dear family – and all your many loved ones are all happy, healthy and well. We talk about you often, and wish you were part of our life like you used to be. In a way you still are, because you are always in our hearts. Sigurd misses you particularly, he does not do chess any more -it is not the same without you. Maybe in a while I will try again. Lots of love to you and your family from Sigurd August, Ask Johannes, Vilja Aurora, Sigve og Yngvild:) > 31. mar. 2020 kl. 17.49 skrev Paul Motwani : > >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Yngvild,
      Thank you for your really kind message, which is greatly appreciated.
      I send lots of love to your whole family, and wish you all continued happiness and very good health.
      Paul x


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