Blog Post #120: Prepare Your Heart β™₯

Dear Friends,

Have you ever loved someone so much that you could feel your heart overflowing, and have you wished for someone special to love you as much as that? The joyful truth is that we are all loved infinitely more than any of us can really imagine fully.

God Loves All of Us

We are loved completely, totally and perfectly by God. That is by far the most happy and important thing that I know, for sure. Indeed, I am glad to declare honestly that I am more sure about God’s love for us than I am about anything else, including everything regarding Chess, Mathematics and other subjects that I have studied practically every day for decades.

My biggest Christmas wish is for as many people as possible–everyone, really–to live the rest of their lives joyfully knowing that God loves them, and that He has prepared a magnificent home for us in His Kingdom.

I could have stopped just above, for the most important things have been said…

…but I would like to also offer some personal thoughts for several dear friends.

Firstly, for two distinguished gentlemen who are brothers and whose father is ill, I am thinking of your whole family with kindest thoughts and prayers. I would also still like to most sincerely wish the older brother a happy birthday coming in five days from now, five days before Christmas.

A super-bright ray of sunshine comes to mind as I think of some other lovely friends who are now back living in a country for which the six-letter name can be made using all the letters of RAY NOW 😊.

Congratulations for getting NORWAY 😊.

A nice photo from my friends’ town of Kolbotn
A lovely lake view at Kolbotn
Easy Mindreading Puzzle: Rearrange the letters of OWNS
to get the cool word that I’m thinking of…😊

In Norway, they of course have lots of SNOW even when it’s not Christmas!!

Could this old photo of Kolbotn be from the year A*(100-A) nearly 100 years ago?

OK, you’re quite possibly asking, “What do you mean by A*(100-A)?”

Well, Ask-Johannes (the boy beside his sister in the photo below) sent me a note of his favourite whole number (let’s call it A), and A*(100-A) gives a year as early as possible in the 20th century (but not 1900 or 1901, for example, because we couldn’t get those results from A*(100-A)…

Happy memories of enjoying Maths puzzles with Vilja, Ask-Johannes and Sigurd August in Waterloo, Belgium, several years ago 😊

Really well done if you have already figured out Ask-Johannes’ favourite whole number, A.

In case you might be pondering the matter a little more, you can see that smiling Sigurd August wants to offer a helping hand! So, let’s now introduce his own favourite whole number, S…

Given what has already been told, if I also tell you that S*(A+1) = 300, then you could now know the precise values of A and of S.

Have you got ’em?!

OK, let’s bring ourselves right up to date by revealing that A=74 and S=4.

Check: 74*(100-74)=1924, quite early in the 20th century, and 4*(74+1)=300, as required.

Princess Vilja is so kind that she’ll surely forgive me for keeping her waiting a wee bit by not using the good rule of ‘ladies before gentlemen’ on this occasion. I do use it almost every day when queueing for lunch at the beautiful Musica Mundi School; I like for ladies and girls to go before me in the line, even if the ‘queue’ is mostly pretty short.

Today, though, already knowing Vilja’s brothers’ favourite numbers (4 and 74) will enable you to easily figure out Princess Vilja’s favourite number in a moment…That’s because not only does Vilja’s favourite whole number, V, equal the total of her mum’s two favourite whole numbers, Y1 and Y2, but also A + S + V + Y1 + Y2 = 100 exactly!

Congratulations for realising that, since V = Y1 + Y2, the value of V must be (100 – 4 – 74) Γ· 2 = 11 😊

Now we also know that the sum of Y1 and Y2 is 11 because V=11, but what exactly are Yngvild’s favourite two numbers, Y1 and Y2?

I will simply announce directly that Y1=3 and Y2=8, because we still have a special, quite remarkable, surprise in store for the lovely Norwegian friends…

As this is Blog Post #120, let’s make a set of four numbers 1, 3, 8 and 120 for my 1st friends in Kolbotn. I’m going to say, “Pick any two different numbers from 1, 3, 8 and 120. Multiply the two numbers together. Now add 1, because you’re all #1 in God’s eyes.”

The above sequence of steps could have given you any of these six possible results:

1 x 3 + 1 = 4

1 x 8 + 1 = 9

1 x 120 + 1 = 121

3 x 8 + 1 = 25

3 x 120 + 1 = 361

8 x 120 + 1 = 961.

The remarkable thing is that every single one of those results is a perfect square number!

4=2 squared; 9=3 squared; 121=11 squared; 25=5 squared; 361=19 squared; 961=31 squared 😊

I think there might be at least four smiles that big in Norway tonight!
Merry Christmas, dear friends! β™₯

Since Vilja, Ask-Johannes and Sigurd August all enjoy chess, let’s conclude with a position in which it’s White to play and force checkmate in just 3 moves.

For Vilja, Ask-Johannes, Sigurd August and all keen chess fans:
It’s White to play and force checkmate in only 3 moves 😊😊😊

I wish everyone a very happy Christmas and New Year coming soon.

With love and kindest wishes,

Paul M😊twani xxx

There are many reasons for why 3 is my favourite number
Have a Blessed Christmas

P.S. Well done for finding the chess solution 1 Nf6+! Kf8 (or 1…Kh8 2 g7# or 1…Bxf6 2 Re8#) 2 g7+ Kf7 3 g8=Q#, checkmate!

P.P.S. I also want to most sincerely wish a happy birthday tomorrow to another Norwegian friend whom I am often thinking of, too β™₯

Blog Post #117: Love Like A Child πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

A friend of mine once asked me if I had an absolute favourite word. Though I was not expecting her question, I could answer almost immediately with “Love” because God is Love and, when people are kind and loving to each other, God’s love spreads in infinitely many good ways to touch more hearts.

Two of my favourite short Bible passages are:

“Be imitators of God, as beloved children.”—Ephesians 5:1

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”—Proverbs 22:6.

Dad with me at age 003 😊

Of the many thousands of people whom I know, and billions whom I don’t yet know, everyone should matter to everyone. They should all be SP_ _ _ _ _ .

Please know that YOU ARE SP; y😊u’re truly SPECIAL.

Early this morning via Facebook, I wished very happy birthdays to Danielle and to Stevie, two of my friends there. Today is of course also the birthday of lots and lots of other people, including World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. Everyone is wished a wonderful day, and for Magnus a great game #4 in his current World Championship match with Ian Nepomniachtchi in Dubai.

Maybe your birthday is coming during the month of December…and if so, let’s say that your Big Birthday is on day number B (e.g. B=either 1, 2, 3,…, 30 or 31) in December…then TODAY is the only day in the whole year when I or anyone can actually wish you a super-happy birthday exactly B days early before December B 😊.

Whenever your birthday is, I want right now to wish a lovely HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR YOU. Good reasons for doing it today, without delay, are that I’m here and able to do it now, and also (I couldn’t resist this one…) HAPPY BIRTHDAY (13 letters) x FOR (3 letters) x YOU (3 letters) is nice because 13 x 3 x 3 = 117 here in Blog Post #117 😊.

I will round off with a wee selection of beautiful ‘happy memory’ photos. Each one is, in its own way, a good reminder to me of ‘Love Like A Child’.

With an unforgettable class of 2012-2013 😊
A super-fun Magic Math Assembly with hundreds of happy children on 23.9.2015 😊
A charity chess fundraising event at St. Columba’s High School in Perth, Scotland,
in the early 1990s 😊
With Mum and her mother and my little brother in 1966 😊
With my dear little brother and my loving grandpa long ago, but never forgotten xxx

With love and kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani xxx

Jesus said, β€œLet the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

Blog Post #116: 003 Birthday Fun for a Great Friend πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

Once in the theatre within my last school, I asked the audience jokingly, “Does anyone here, anyone at all, know Mr. Mo’s favourite number?” Something like 300 hands shot up instantly as every student knew that 3 had long been my absolute favourite number 😊😊😊.

A nice photo from l😊😊😊ng ago!

In my current school, the beautiful Musica Mundi School, I am agent 003 to some colleagues who bear bravely with my sense of humour!

Early this morning, I sent a double dose of birthday fun jokes and puzzles to a dear friend who turns 67 today, but of course it had to become a triple…and so here we are in ‘003 Birthday Fun for a Great Friend’!

Remove the digit 6 from 67.

Replace it with 93. My joke/reasoning is: “What’s the difference? 9-3 is still 6.” 😊!

Now my weary 937-year-old friend is invited to figure out 0.03 x 937.

In reality, it’s a piece of cake that should light up his eyes because the result of 28.11 is to wish him a most happy birthday today (28 November), and is definitely to wish all of you a lovely Sunday now, t😊😊.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ‘BIG BR😊THER’!

As my friend is a keen and good chess player, let’s round off with a freshly- baked homemade puzzle in which it’s either White to move and force checkmate in 003 moves OR Black to move and force checkmate in 007-003=004 moves!!

It’s either White to move and force checkmate in 003 moves
OR Black to move and force checkmate in 007-003=004 moves!! 😊

Congratulations, dear friends, for finding 1 Qd8+ Kh7 (or 1…Bf8 2 Qxf8+ Kh7 3 Bd3#) 2 Bd3+ Kh6 3 Qh4# for White or 1…Qb2+ 2 Kd3 Qd4+ 3 Kc2 Qc3+ 4 Kb1 Qb2#, checkmate for Black!

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani xxx

P.S.

What happy message can you get if you start with the word EVOLUTION, remove a TON of letters, and rearrange the remaining ones?

My favourite true answer is: I LOVE U 😊

P.P.S.

In a joke that a friend posted a few days ago, a man tells his wife not to worry about her mistakes, but rather to embrace them. So, she immediately gives him a really big hug!

Blog Post #115: Happy Birthday Surprises for TimothΓ©e πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

This is the perfect day to post nice surprises for TimothΓ©e (a brilliant young pianist at Musica Mundi School) because it’s his birthday, he’s a keen chess fan, and today marks the start of the World Chess Championship between Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, the reigning champion, and his Russian challenger, Ian Nepomniachtchi. I can confirm that the first game (in progress right now) is already very exciting!

Where is the championship being held? I’ll answer that in the form of a wee puzzle/joke ! 😊

_ _ _ _ _ YOUR TICKETS TO _ _ _ _ _ !

The five ‘blanks’ at the end are for the name of the place, while the two + three ‘blanks’ at the start together sound practically the same as the place name, and we’ll get a proper six-word sentence!

Knowing where the Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi really is being held, my answer is: DO BUY YOUR TICKETS TO DUBAI ! 😊

Timothée and I always enjoy discussing a good game of chess 😊
Continue reading “Blog Post #115: Happy Birthday Surprises for TimothΓ©e πŸ˜Š”

Blog Post #114: For My Friend M.E. and for Mandy πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

What name can you think of involving just M and Y? This was a fun, quick, wee warm-up puzzle because M AND Y makes MANDY, in honour of a lovely friend of mine 😊.

Now get ready to solve for X !

Lots of Math problems say ‘Find X.’ Here, you can’t miss it!! 😊

Punny thoughts for a sunny day: Learn your trig. facts ‘n formulas at the beach!!
It’s all for a good cos., you’ll get a free tan…
and soon the teacher smiling at your work will be a bright sine! 😊
P.S. Congratulations for figuring out that the island is approximately 17.1 metres from the beach.
Continue reading “Blog Post #114: For My Friend M.E. and for Mandy πŸ˜Š”

Blog Post #112: Happy Holy Days πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

The word ‘Holidays’ originally comes from an Old English word meaning ‘Holy Days’. So, it’s very fitting that many countries recognise today, All Saints’ Day, as a holiday to be celebrated.

A desire to become more holy is a great and happy goal to be honoured and respected. It is possible for you, for me, and for all people who will turn to God and, with the free will that He still grants us now, ask Him to guide us ever closer to Heaven.

Shared on Facebook today by Father Jim Walls, a wonderful Scottish priest

Though we all still stumble on, or sometimes stray away from, the path meant for us, it’s really comforting to know that God forgives our faults if we ask Him sincerely and believe in Him faithfully. Today is a perfect day to ‘turn over a new leaf’ and, through prayer, seek God’s help to live a more holy life.

It’s the perfect time to ‘turn over a new leaf’ in our lives
Continue reading “Blog Post #112: Happy Holy Days πŸ˜Š”

Blog Post #110: Colors of Love with U

Dear Readers,

It doesn’t really matter whether ‘colors’ includes a ‘u’ or not, but the unique colors and all the love that you personally can add to the world by being you, yes, that always matters to someone; you can be happy and sure about that.

The caption with a photo that I saw a few days ago was ‘Everyone smiles in the same language’, and so let’s add some more lovely smiles in our lives to further brighten them for others, too.

Smiles add joy and color to anything black and white!
Sincere special thanks to Paul Fitzpatrick
for many gems of advice about chess, teaching, love and life.
Smiles all round!
Leave time to smile 😊
Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.–Chinese Proverb
Continue reading “Blog Post #110: Colors of Love with U”

Blog Post #108: Thinking of You

Dear Readers,

On every day when I’m at Musica Mundi School, I get to see dozens of lovely people there and, whether everyone knows it or not, God is always thinking about all of them, and indeed about you, me and every person whom He created.

Today, I would like to wish a really happy birthday to Anthony, the son of Tim who was one of my closest chess friends. I think of Tim very often, and yet I got a surprising memory of Tim a few days ago when, in a game of chess at lunchtime, Wout Callens (one of the youngest students at Musica Mundi School) played the rare Ponziani Opening 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 c3, which was a great favourite with Tim throughout most of his life.

A couple of nice photos follow here:-

TimothΓ©e, Steven and Wout, three young and super-keen chess enthusiasts!
Wout and Paul during one of their fun chess games!
Continue reading “Blog Post #108: Thinking of You”

Blog Post #107: Always a Teacher and a Student too

Dear Readers,

Around 35 years ago, I had the great honour and pleasure of doing some chess with Ally, a daughter of Mrs. Mo Brodie who was then a very dear Mathematics teacher colleague of mine in Scotland. Mo was surprised when I said to her one day that I learned from the chess games with her young daughter; but I really meant it! I am a teacher, yet a life-long student too.

Grandmaster Glenn Flear expressed it well, for he said that he had the feeling that, because I don’t actually play many games of chess, each game that I do play becomes like a ‘Cup Final’, a special event to remember and to learn from, as much as possible.

At the wonderful Musica Mundi School where I work as the Maths Teacher in Waterloo, Belgium, I sometimes get the chance to enjoy a ‘friendly game’ with colleagues and students during our lunch break. Yesterday, it was a lovely treat for me to play 12-year-old Wout Callens, who is extremely gifted in Music and Mathematics as well as having a passionate interest in the royal game of Chess.

Big thanks to Christophe Gillain for the following photos.

Wout and Paul enjoying their first game of chess together on Thursday 16 September 2021
Continue reading “Blog Post #107: Always a Teacher and a Student too”

Blog Post #106: Forever with my King

Dear Readers,

I am writing to you now tonight from Frankfurt, where I am delighted to have won the Adolf Anderssen Seniors Memorial Chess Tournament with 6.5 points from 7 games. I am also really happy and grateful for having made many new friends here in Germany.

1st Prize on 6.5/7 at the 2021 Adolf Anderssen Seniors Memorial Chess Tournament in Frankfurt, Germany.
1st Prize Trophy
Continue reading “Blog Post #106: Forever with my King”