Blog Post #137: VIPs Young and Old ♥

Dear Readers,

Whether we have already met yet, or not, I think of you as a VIP because we are all children of God, and that automatically makes you a Very Important Person indeed.

Everyone who took part in a fun chess talk/’simul’ at Edinburgh Chess Club three days ago (in early celebration of the club’s 200th anniversary coming three days from now), received lovely prizes such as books, magazines and chocolates to let them all feel like the VIPs that they truly are ♥

Thanks to Sue Loumgair, Dr. Vipin Zamvar, Ian Whittaker and FM Neil Berry (the President of Edinburgh Chess Club) for having sent nice photos from the event.

Dr. Vipin Zamvar is a really good-hearted gentleman who was particularly kind to my family during our final evening in Edinburgh ♥

In addition to enjoying seeing very long-time friends Lindsay McGregor, David Montgomery, FM Craig Thomson, FM Neil Berry, Jonathan Grant, GM Keti Arakhamia-Grant & their daughter Elena Grant, it was lovely to get to make many new friends during the club’s joyful celebrations 😊😊

I would like to thank all who attended the chess talk for being a wonderfully receptive audience, and I congratulate everyone from the ‘simul’ for playing so many good moves. Special congratulations to Warrick Campbell and Neil Irving for taking full advantage of their opportunities and playing better than I did!

The title of ‘Funniest Chess Friend in Edinburgh’ probably has to go to Craig Thomson! He knows that 3 is my favourite number, but as I hadn’t seen him for 13 years (since 2009 !) and as his email address contains the number 17, I offer these amusing thoughts…I was obliged to score 17/19 in your honour, Craig…and also 1303 x 3 x 3 x 17 = 199359 in recognition of the fact that the club was precisely 199 years & 359 days old when we met three days ago! 😊😊

I promised Lindsay McGregor that I would publish the moves of a personal game that I also shared during the chess talk, as he was very interested in that game. Here it is:-

P.A.Motwani vs. My Computer (Training Game played at home on 27.8.2022)

1 e4 g6 2 d4 Bg7 3 Nc3 d6 4 Be3 Nf6 5 Qd2 0-0 6 Nf3 a6 7 Bh6 Bg4 8 h4 c5 9 h5 Bxh5 10 Bd3 Bxf3 11 gxf3 cxd4 12 Bxg7 Kxg7 13 Qh6+ Kg8 14 e5 dxe5 15 Ne4 Re8 16 Ng5 Qa5+ 17 Ke2 e4 18 fxe4 e5 19 Nxh7 Nxh7

20 Rag1 Qc7 21 Rxg6+ fxg6 22 Qxg6+ Kf8 23 Rxh7 Qxh7 24 Qxh7 Rd8 25 Bc4 Rd7 26 Qh8+ Ke7 27 Qxe5+ Kd8 28 Be6 Nc6 29 Qh8+ Kc7 30 Qxa8 Rd8 31 Qxd8+ Kxd8 32 Bd5 and White (then 2 pawns ahead) soon won… 1:0.

Here now is a selection of positions that occurred in the ‘simul’. In each case, it’s White to play and win.

At the moment, I can still recall the moves from the 19 games in the ‘simul’. After a while, I will probably forget some of the details, but I will always treasure having met all the lovely people at the club ♥

Chess Position Solutions

  1. White obtained a decisive advantage via 1 Bxf6 gxf6 2 Qh6 f5 3 Qf6.
  2. White obtained a decisive material advantage via 1 Qd2 Ned7 (1…Ng6 2 f5 Ne5 3 h3 Bh5 4 g4 also traps Black’s queen’s bishop) 2 h3 Bh5 3 g4.
  3. White won with 1 Rxd7 Re4 (or 1…Qxd7 2 Qh6) 2 Rc7 intending 2…Rxh4 3 Rxc6 or 2…Qxc7 3 Qh6 or 2…Qd6 3 Qxe4.
  4. White won with 1 Nxd5, intending 1…exd5 2 Rxe8+ Qxe8 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 Qxd5+.

After all that chess, let’s round off with a nice wee dose of Maths here in Blog Post #137…

Not only is 137 a prime number, but so is 13, 17 and 37. 137 is the smallest whole number with digits possessing such properties!

In honour of Edinburgh Chess Club’s 200th anniversary, 200 is the smallest whole number which cannot be made prime by changing one of its digits.

I would like to wish everyone a very happy All Saints Day now on 1 November ♥

As there must surely be lots of singing in Heaven, the saying “Music is the Medicine of the Mind” comes happily to mind ♥

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani ♥

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.

8 thoughts on “Blog Post #137: VIPs Young and Old ♥”

    1. Dear Craig,
      Thank y☺u for being there! It was a wonderful surprise to see you again, and Jenny and Michael also thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and having a lovely wee chat t☺☺! I’ve decided to give my car the name Ann…because Car Ann OK rearranges to make Caro-Kann, in honour of the opening that you’ve used so well, so often!! ☺☺


  1. A big thank you from me too, Paul, for giving us such an enjoyable afternoon at the Edinburgh Chess Club last week! I have also enjoyed reviewing the game we played in the simul; I may have lost – as I did in the simul you gave at the club way back in 1995 – but once again it was a memorable experience! Best wishes, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Had a great time at the event, Paul. Thank you so much taking time to visit us!

    Very useful talk – seen the h5 pawn sacrifice on the over-defended h5 square in the modern several times since seeing your game!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Paul, having been club secretary around the time of your visit for the 175th anniversary I was sorry not to be able to be there for your return visit for the 200th. Although I’ve been involved with the bicentenary planning I’ve done so remotely as I now live in Slovenia, and having been ill for the last year with a rheumatic complaint that has required immunosuppressants I’ve been unable to get Covid booster jabs to allow me to travel safely, so I haven’t been back to Edinburgh for over two years.

    I was delighted to see you were able to accept our invitation and I hope you enjoyed your trip – you’ve always been a good friend to the club and a popular visitor. I hope to meet up with you at some point in the future.
    best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Bill,
      Thank you for your really nice message. I thoroughly enjoyed my recent visit back to Edinburgh Chess Club, and I hope that we may get to meet there or elsewhere on some future occasion. In the meantime, I wish you the very best-possible recovery and good health.
      With thanks again and kindest wishes as always,


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