Blog Post #131: A Beautiful Double Discovery β™₯😊😊β™₯

Dear Readers,

The beautiful Musica Mundi School in Waterloo, Belgium (where I work as the Mathematics teacher) has been blessed now with many lovely new students and staff members as the school begins its fifth year, so far. As every person in the whole school family tries to give the very best of himself/herself, we can all learn so many good things from each other. With that thought in mind, I believe that, in a special sense, every person at Musica Mundi School can say honestly, “I teach at MMS!” (with regard to himself/herself personally). What makes that all the more beautiful for me is that it can be rearranged to make “Mathematics!”

I made that delightful discovery just earlier this year, around the time when I turned 60 in June. Only yesterday, though, God gave me a fresh gift which is similar in a way to the “Mathematics!” one, but is even much more important…

I’m always learning from Jenny, my wife, and from our son, Michael β™₯β™₯

After 60 years thus far, I have lost count of my myriad human mistakes, whether they were mathematical, chess-related, language-related, mistakes affecting people and/or were sins against God. However, because God is perfectly kind and loving, He offers everyone (including you and me) something that we can find in one word, “Various”, something essential for the journey to Heaven…

People’s journeys will vary, but in the end there is one SAVIOUR for us all β™₯
This lovely image and Bible quote are from the excellent site β™₯
Happy birthday, dear little brother! β™₯😊β™₯

I’m actually a wee bit early with the “Happy birthday!” message for my younger brother, but can you figure out his exact birthday this month if I tell you that it’s basically D922 where D is the day number, 9 is for September, 22 is for this year 2022, and the four-digit number D922 is exactly divisible by 22? 😊

My next puzzle is dedicated to Jens, who is not only a brilliant scientist, but is also a highly mathematical, new, young teacher now at Musica Mundi School.

For this puzzle, I’m thinking of an adult friend who is AA years old, where AA represents a two-digit number palindrome. I’m also thinking of an older adult friend who is BC years old, where BC represents a different two-digit number. The funny thing about the two friends’ ages is that A2+A2 = B2 + C2 😊

Your fun challenge is to figure out the exact ages of the two friends.

In the previous school year, keen chess enthusiasts at the school included Hoi Yuet, Peter The Great, Steven, TimothΓ©e, Wout…and more, and now we also have Guillaume, Jens, RaphaΓ«l…and more 😊😊

So, to celebrate in their honour, let’s conclude this article with a feast of chess puzzles! β™₯😊β™₯

If we imagine an empty chess board (pretending that we don’t even need kings on it!), we would have 64 possible places for putting a single white rook on it.
No matter which of the 64 places we choose for the white rook, in each case we’d have 63 possible places for putting a black rook. Guillaume and others calculated the total 64 x 63 possibilities mentally in this sneaky way: if we double a number successively six times, we effectively multiply it by 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2, so we multiply it by 64; the students started with 63, and successive doubling took it to 126, 252, 504, 1008, 2016, and then 4032 possible permutations for where we could place the white rook + black rook duo β™₯
I gave the students this ‘White to play and force checkmate in 3 moves’ puzzle, which is part of a longer celebrated chess study β™₯

They were delighted to find 1 Bd4+ Kg2 2 Re3!! Kg1 (the only legal move for Black!) 3 Rxg3#, and that’s double check & checkmate!!

That’s double check & checkmate, folks!! 😊😊

Thanks to Grandmaster Jon Levitt for having shared via Facebook the following fabulous ‘White to play and force checkmate in 25 moves!!’ puzzle created by Richard Geurrero.

It’s White to play and force checkmate in 25 moves (!!) in this fabulous puzzle created by Richard Geurrero β™₯😊β™₯

I will sign off for now, dear readers, by wishing you a wonderful weekend and all the very best in everything that you do. God bless you all, and especially for a colleague who was having an operation yesterday, my family and I wish her an excellent recovery β™₯

With love and kindest wishes as always,

Paul M☺twani β™₯ xxx…∞

Have a wonderful weekend now! β™₯

P.S. = Puzzle Solutions!

My younger brother’s birthday is coming on 9.9.22. Note that 9922 = 22 x 451.

Age AA = 55 and BC = 71. Note that 52+52 = 72 + 12 and they both make 50 each.

In Richard Geurrero’s fabulous chess puzzle, White forces checkmate in 25 moves as follows:-

1 Rxg8+! Kxg8 2 Rh8+! Kxh8 3 Qh5+ Kg8 4 Qh7+ Kf8 5 Qh8+ Ke7 6 Qxg7+ Ke6 (or 6…Ke8 7 Qf7#) 7 Qf7+ Ke5 8 Qf5+ Kd4 9 Qe4+ Kc3 10 Qc2+ Kd4 (back we go now!…or 10…Kb4 11 Qc4+ Ka5 12 Qa4#) 11 Qc4+ Ke5 12 Qe4+ Kf6 13 Qf5+ Kg7 14 Qf7+ Kh6 15 Qh7+ Kg5 16 h4+ Kf6 17 Qf7+ (here we go again!!) 17…Ke5 18 Qf5+ Kd4 19 Qe4+ Kc3 20 Qc2+ Kd4 21 Qc4+ Ke5 22 Qe4+ Kf6 23 Qf5+ Kg7 24 Qf7+ Kh6 25 Qh7#, beautiful stuff! β™₯😊β™₯

The beautiful final position of Richard Geurrero’s ‘Mate in 25’ chess puzzle β™₯😊β™₯

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: