Blog Post #130: British Senior (Over 50) Chess Champions and Unforgettable Friends ♥☺♥

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to have won the British Senior (Over 50) Chess Championship jointly with Chris Duncan and Philip Crocker at the Riviera International Centre in Torquay.

Philip Crocker and me, joint winners of the British Senior (Over 50) Chess Championship (with Chris Duncan who had to leave a bit earlier). Afterwards, Philip and I had a happy interview with WIM Natasha Regan and GM Matthew Sadler, friends of mine from long ago. This British Championship was a very precious event, not only for getting to enjoy good chess, but also for seeing dear old friends again and making many new ones. I would like to thank all the organisers, arbiters, players and Chessable (the principal sponsor) for a most memorable event ♥☺♥.
Continue reading “Blog Post #130: British Senior (Over 50) Chess Champions and Unforgettable Friends ♥☺♥”

Blog Post #129: Happy Rainbows ♥😊😊♥

Dear Readers,

Thinking back more than 40 years to my high-school days in Dundee, Scotland, one of my jolly friends there was nicknamed ‘Happy’, and that’s exactly how he has always been to me and, I believe, to everyone who knows him. I received a very kind message from ‘Happy’ last month when I turned 60, and he sent another lovely message to wish Jenny and myself a happy 27th wedding anniversary yesterday ♥😊😊♥

Jenny & Paul’s Wedding Day, 27 years ago ♥😊😊♥

One of my favourite, beautiful word facts is that I was born makes rainbows, and now I like to think of S.M.I.L.E.S. as standing for Sixty May I Love Everyone Sincerely. A couple of my favourite sayings are, “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours” and “Your smile is a signature of God on your face.”

Photo of Paul taken by Jenny yesterday evening inside our favourite Kinepolis cinema!😊

Smiles could be seen everywhere at Musica Mundi School last week, as the leaders, teachers, staff, students, parents and many other dedicated supporters helped the school to complete its fourth wonderful year, so far.

I have a fresh puzzle for you, inspired by the nice photo below…

Paul with two great colleagues and a super student at Musica Mundi School 😊😊😊😊

Imagine that the four of us in the photo are thinking of positive whole numbers with the following special properties:-

The two ladies are thinking of the same number as each other;

the student is thinking of the largest number of any of us;

my number is the exact average (or ‘arithmetic mean’) of all of our numbers;

and now the most revealing, key fact: the sum obtained by adding up the four numbers exactly equals the product obtained by multiplying the four numbers together!

Your fun challenge is to figure out exactly what numbers each of the four of us must be thinking of to fit the wee ‘Maths st😊ry’.

The magical photo below by Erika Sziva encourages good, deep thinking…

A magical moment captured beautifully in this photo by Erika Sziva ♥😊♥

In between my 60th birthday and 27th wedding anniversary, Jenny and I went for a weekend to celebrate with friends living in a Dutch village with the perfect name: it’s called Best! Our dear friends there are literally NEAR, as their names are Nico, Erika, Alex & Robert 😊😊😊😊

Nico gave me a T-shirt with some amazingly creative mathematical expressions printed on it!

60th birthday T-shirt to Paul from Nico ♥😊♥

Erika and Robert now have two terrific chess sites. Their first one is http://www.debestezet.nl

and, since February 2022, they’re also running http://www.raindroptime.com.

Robert and Erika’s sites are a treasure trove for chess boards, pieces, books, computers, software and delightful gift items such as chess socks, T-shirts, ties, cufflinks, pin badges, bracelets, keyrings and USB storage in the form of a chess king. You’ll also find some goodies relating to the game of draughts. Robert (an IT expert) & Erika (a WGM=Woman Chess Grandmaster) are renowned for their very fast, efficient and friendly service.

Let’s round off this article with a lovely chess puzzle.

Place an invisible white knight somewhere on the board so that it will
then be White to play and force checkmate in four moves ♥😊😊♥

The most important thing I have learned in my life is that God loves us all.

I wish you a very happy day now.

Paul M😊twani ♥ xxx

P.S. = Puzzle Solutions

In the number puzzle, 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 = 8 = 1 x 1 x 2 x 4.

The ladies thought of 1; the student thought of 4; I thought of 2.

In the chess puzzle, white’s invisible knight is NOT on c5, because then checkmate could be forced too quickly with 1 Qe6+ Ke8 2 Qg8#;

rather, the invisible knight is on g7, which leads to

The forced checkmate in 4 moves is 1 Qe6+ Kf8 2 Nh5+ Ke8 3 Nf6+ Kd8 4 Qg8# ♥

Blog Post #126: For Rooney, Claire, Sheila, Cansu, Jonathan, Erika, Robert, Andrée & other dear friends: may you all have very happy memories, birthdays or anniversaries this May ♥😊♥

Dear Readers,

I would like to begin by offering, with most sincere sympathy, kind thoughts and prayers for Rooney, a friend whose sister, Gina, passed on a couple of days ago. I know (from similar personal experiences involving loved ones) that God can grant us gentle comfort through positive, happy memories of the precious times shared with people so close to us. I also believe that we will meet again later in a perfect place that God has prepared for us.

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels,
and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
Matthew 16:27

Knowing the lovely tradition of dedicating the month of May to Our Lady, Mary, this is a perfect time to recall the following prayer:

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.

Holy Mary Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death

Amen.
Our Lady Mary’s beautiful month of May ♥
Continue reading “Blog Post #126: For Rooney, Claire, Sheila, Cansu, Jonathan, Erika, Robert, Andrée & other dear friends: may you all have very happy memories, birthdays or anniversaries this May ♥😊♥”

Blog Post #83: Magical Duets!

Dear Readers,

My house number, 11, is a palindrome; so is 101 or 11 x 11 =121, but what about 11 x 101 x 11? The result 12221 is clearly palindromic, and it’s intended to let you know a very nice date for your diary: exactly three weeks from today, on 12.2.21, you’ll be able to enjoy on YouTube (at 19:30 Central European Time via http://www.musicamundischool.org and clicking on the banner there) a feast of fabulous, musical solo performances featuring many young talents of Musica Mundi School.

I have the pleasure of getting to teach Mathematics to every student who studies the subject at the school, and right now I have some delightful surprises starring Julija and Hoi Yuet.

Continue reading “Blog Post #83: Magical Duets!”

Blog Post #81: Top of the Class, Nice Niklas!!

Dear Readers,

It is with great pleasure that I thank everyone who participated in the ‘Good Lives Global Prize Competition’ (see Blog Post #80).

Andy H. from Scotland was the very first person to reply with all the mathematical puzzles completely correct. Andy loves challenge puzzles so much that he simply wanted to enjoy them without being given a prize. So, in recognition of his excellent attitude, we have a bonus puzzle in Andy’s honour, down below.

Before then, I want to congratulate Quintijn van Heek (an A-Level Maths student of mine) and Krissy Teng (another great student at the beautiful Musica Mundi School in Waterloo, Belgium) for also solving all the mathematical puzzles. Well done, Quintijn and Krissy!

Continue reading “Blog Post #81: Top of the Class, Nice Niklas!!”

Blog Post #72: Appreciation of Beauty

Dear Readers,

I love to see, and appreciate with an attitude of gratitude, so much beauty in the natural world God created, as well as in the kind faces, words and actions of people who reflect God’s love through the way they live.

A recent father and son photo.

Continue reading “Blog Post #72: Appreciation of Beauty”

Blog Post #70: Back to the 70’s!

Dear Readers,

Today, my family has been busily and happily congratulating my son’s lovely girlfriend on turning 22. My personal message included the following sneaky fun surprise…

  • Pick any three-digit whole number which has three different digits from 1 to 9 (e.g. 236)
  • Write down all the two-digit whole numbers that can be made from your chosen three-digit number without repeating digits in the same number (e.g. 23, 26, 32, 36, 62, 63)
  • Add up all your two-digit numbers (e.g. 23+26+32+36+62+63=242)
  • Divide your total by the total of the digits in your chosen three-digit number (e.g. 242/(2+3+6)=242/11=22 for the birthday celebration today!)

Continue reading “Blog Post #70: Back to the 70’s!”

Blog Post #48: Maths Enrichment and Fun from Cambridge

Dear Readers,

I am currently enjoying preparing a “Magic Maths” show packed with super-fun puzzles for my colleagues and students at Musica Mundi School, Waterloo. For inspirational sources of material, I use lots of good things from what is still beautiful in the world around us. Also, I reflect on all that I have read and learned from very fine books linked to the Cambridge Maths courses that my students are following. Continue reading “Blog Post #48: Maths Enrichment and Fun from Cambridge”

Blog Post #46: Chess Gems Galore from Thinkers Publishing!

Dear Readers,

The rapidly-growing collection of high-quality chess books from Thinkers Publishing (thinkerspublishing.com) includes very new works by International Grandmasters Alexey Dreev, Romain Edouard, Ivan Salgado Lopez, Daniel Fernandez and others, writing about diverse topics such as middlegame play, calculation training, gambit openings, and the combative yet solid and trustworthy Caro-Kann Defence. Continue reading “Blog Post #46: Chess Gems Galore from Thinkers Publishing!”