Blog Post #128: For a very special Queen ♥

Dear Readers,

My wife, Jenny, and I look forward to celebrating our wedding anniversary number 33 next month and, before then, in just 3 days from now, Jenny is due to have her birthday number 33 x 2. Here are 3 of ‘my Queen’s’ favourite photos from the past few days…

Paul & Jenny on 11.6.2022
Our dear friend, Andrée, came from Luxembourg to celebrate with us ♥
As you can imagine, I shouldn’t/didn’t eat even an eighth of such a cake…
…others were more than willing to help!!

Here in Blog Post #128 on my 60th birthday, I would like to include a wee puzzle involving the number 128, also because H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II has now been the wonderful queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for a remarkable 70 years & 128 days, so far!

An image from long ago of H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II,
who is still reigning in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The numbers puzzle is this: use 1, 2 and 8 just once each in a calculation that results in the number 128. You can freely use any of +, -, x, ÷, parentheses ( ), and exponents wherever you wish.

As the Queen is the most powerful piece in a game of chess, let’s have a beautiful chess puzzle in which it’s White to play and force a win in just 3 moves, and White’s queen plays a stunning role…

It’s White to play and force a win in just 3 moves!

Today at Musica Mundi School where I work, three of the graduating senior students gave fascinating presentations detailing the tremendous research that they had done as part of the very high-level Musica Mundi School Diploma. Warm congratulations to all of them, and to the further four students who will present tomorrow morning.

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani xxx ♥

P.S. = Puzzle Solutions!

2(8-1)=128 in the numbers puzzle.

In the chess puzzle, White wins with 1. Ne6+!! because of 1…fxe6 2 Qf8# or 1…K retreats 2. Qb8+ or 1…Qxe6 2 Qh6+!! intending 2…Kg8 3 Qf8# or 2…Kxh6 3 Bf8#, a lovely finish ♥😊♥.

What a beautiful finish! ♥😊♥

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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