Blog Post #136: Chess Greetings To Friends Worldwide β™₯😊😊β™₯

Dear Readers,

Due to being busy working as the Mathematics teacher at the beautiful Musica Mundi School in Waterloo, Belgium, I don’t currently play many competitive chess games, but I do still very often think of dear chess friends all over the world. For instance, I would like to wish a super-happy birthday for tomorrow to Anuurai Sainbayar, a lovely lady chessplayer whom I met in August at the British Championships in Torquay with other friends there, including Gregg Hutchence, GM Keith Arkell and Midhun Unnikrishnan.

Happy memories from Gregg’s birthday on 14 August in Torquay β™₯😊😊β™₯

We all laughed a lot there, and now, here in Blog Post #136, I have a sort of mathematical curiosity/tongue-twister for everyone, featuring the number 136 ! It’s this: 136 is the sum of the cubes of the digits of the sum of the cubes of its digits !! Let’s see why that is so… First, 1 cubed + 3 cubed + 6 cubed = 1 + 27 + 216 = 244. Then, 2 cubed + 4 cubed + 4 cubed = 8 + 64 + 64 = 136 β™₯😊β™₯

Early Birthday Puzzle about Anuurai β™₯

As it’s 18 October today, I offer you this quick, fun puzzle about the new age that Anuurai will be on her birthday tomorrow… The sum of the squares of the digits in Anuurai’s new age will be 18. What will be Anuurai’s new age? Feel free to send in your answer, if you like β™₯😊β™₯

Tuesday lunchtimes are special treats this year at Musica Mundi School because we have a fun club for all students, teachers and other friends here who are interested in playing and discussing fascinating chess games and puzzles.

RaphaΓ«l is one of the very bright and talented, young mathematicians
who also loves chess at the school β™₯

As I know that Emile, Guillaume, Hoi Yuet, Jan V-L, Peter The Great, Raphaël, Steven, Timothée, Wout and others love sparkling attacking chess moves just as much as Anuurai does, we had several wonderful examples today 😊

It’s White to play & win
It’s White to play & win by force in this elegant study by A.Troitsky
It’s Black to play & win quickly
It’s White to play & win in this early birthday chess treat for Anuurai
(which is actually a study from almost 136 years ago!!) β™₯

Have a wonderful day, dear friends, and keep a smile on your face and a rainbow in your heart β™₯😊β™₯

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani β™₯

P.S. = Puzzle Solutions

  1. White wins with 1 Bxh6!, intending 1…gxh6 2 Qg6+ Kh8 3 Qxh6+ Kg8 4 Rae1 Qd6 5 Qg5+ Kh7 6 Re4 Qg6 7 Rh4+ and the loose bishop on c5 will be captured for free.
  2. The line 1 Qd2+ Kc5 2 Qb4+ Kd5 3 Qc4+ Kd6 (or 3…Ke5 4 Qc5+ Ke4 5 Qc2+, skewering Black’s king & queen) 4 Qd4+ Kmoves 5 Qa7+ emphasises the winning theme of skewers in this elegant study.
  3. Black wins quickly with 1…exf2++ 2 Kxf2 (or 2 Kd2 Qe1+ 3 Kc2 fxg1=Q) 2…Qe1+ 3 Kf3 Qg3#.
  4. White avoids promoting the h-pawn to a queen or bishop (which would result immediately in stalemate), and instead wins with 1 h8=R Nb1 2 Rh1! c3 3 Rh4! Na3+ (3…Nd2 is similar) 4 Kxc3 Nb1+ 5 Kc2 Na3+ 6 Kb3 Nb1 7 Rd4 (7 Rh2 is equally effective) 7…Na3 8 Rd2 and mate follows on White’s next move! β™₯

May the God of hope fill you with allΒ joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

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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