Blog Post #135: A Gift from God ♥

Dear Readers,

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him” is Psalm 127:3, a particularly beautiful verse from The Bible. Today, my wife, Jenny, and I thoroughly enjoyed a wee trip to the lovely city of Mechelen with our son, Michael, in advance of his birthday tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Michael’s age will be the smallest positive whole number which has precisely eight divisors (or factors) including 1 and the number itself. Your first fun challenge is to figure out the new age that Michael will be tomorrow…

The name Michael is actually of Hebrew origin, and one meaning of Michael is gift from God.

If you look back to Blog Post #134, there were many joyful surprises for Leonid Kerbel (and his wife, Hagit, the founders of Musica Mundi School where I work as the school’s Mathematics teacher), as Leonid was turning 60. Their adult son, Liav (whose name is also of Hebrew origin and means God is Mine), will have his birthday on a day number this month which matches Michael’s new age for tomorrow. So, congratulations if you figured out already that Michael will be 24, and then you also know that Liav’s birthday is on October 24.

On his birthday, Liav’s new age will be a divisor (or factor) of this blog post number; that is, his age will be a factor of 135. Given that Liav is an adult and that his father, Leonid, is 60, there is only one proper possibility for the age that Liav will be…can you figure it out, fast!?

Well done for getting 27 = 135 ÷ 5; Liav will turn 27 on October 24.

Jenny and I already have some lovely surprises prepared for Michael tomorrow, and so now I’m going to offer an early, extra surprise for Liav, too! 😊

As Michael and Liav are both in their twenties, start with any number that is at least 20. It can be as big as you like, and it doesn’t necessarily even have to be a whole number. As it could be really large indeed (it’s your choice!) and it’s a surprise for Liav, let’s call your chosen number L. A calculator will come in handy regarding the following steps!

Calculate 1 ÷ L, which is going to give you a small decimal.

Let’s add on 1 as an early birthday bonus for Liav.

Using the number that you now have, raise it to the power of L.

Multiply by 10, the total number of letters in Liav Kerbel.

Round your result to the nearest whole number.

I have my fingers crossed that you’ve ended up with 27, as an early celebration for Liav! 😊

Just like Mathematics, the Royal Game of Chess is full of almost endless delightful surprises, and I’ve got an absolute beauty (based on a celebrated chess study) to share with you now ♥😊♥

It’s White to move and force checkmate in 5 moves.
If you’re a chess enthusiast, I think you’re going to love this puzzle! ♥😊♥

I would like to round off this article by wishing everyone a wonderful weekend. God bless you all.

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani ♥

P.S. = Puzzle Solutions

In the chess puzzle, White forces checkmate with 1 Nf6+!! gxf6 2 g6!! fxg6+ 3 Kxf6 g5 4 Kf5 g4 5 hxg4# ! ♥😊♥

It’s worth noting that Black had no ways of trying to deviate and escape from the above sequence; all of Black’s moves were forced, completely!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from The Father” James 1:17

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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