A few days ago, I received a nice surprise message from International Chess Master Rini Kuijf, an old friend and former Dutch Champion. In my reply, I mentioned that I have been having fun tackling numerous chess problems. Rini then sent me a neat pair of puzzles (given below) with White to play and win by force in both cases. The two positions are so similar that they could be considered to form a ‘dual’. To me, such puzzles with beautiful solutions are gems or jewels!
Let’s also wish “Happy birthday, Jules!” to English Grandmaster Julian Hodgson who’s 57 today. I celebrated by turning the clock back some years and playing through lots of his really impressive victories from before. As a bonus, I will feature two lovely, crisp finishes: one from 1992 with Julian (as White) to play and win in an endgame, and the other (from 1995) in which GM Stuart Conquest found a very ‘Hodgson-like’ speedy win for White.
Continue reading “Blog Post #71: Dual Jewels and Jules!”
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!”
I consider myself to be a much more natural Maths teacher than chess player, and since I also believe that teaching is a more important part of my vocation, nowadays I invest a lot of time working to do the best job I can to help the Maths students at a beautiful music school where I have been for almost two years, so far. Still, it’s really nice to witness some of the students enjoying playing a bit of chess, during part of their lunch break for instance. One or two colleagues have been joining in the good fun, too, and hopefully more will follow soon! In the meantime, thanks to Christophe Gillain for the photo below with the giant pieces!
Continue reading “Blog Post #69: Enjoying Chess!”
I am dedicating this blog post #68 to my lovely wife, Jenny, who was born in the summer of ’68. I have had the honour of knowing Jenny for slightly more than half of her life, so far, as it’s now 26 years to-the-day since I saw her for the very first time on 27 May 1994.
Continue reading “Blog Post #68: For Jenny”
The photo just below is one of the most beautiful that I have seen in a long time! It was posted on Facebook earlier this month by the mother (pictured on the left) of the lovely Spanish girl (a former student of mine) who turned 16 on that day. Continue reading “Blog Post #67: For Princess Pilu & Super-Boy Steven!”
Dear Readers & Friends,
Though the current Corona virus pandemic severely reduces people’s opportunities for meeting, we are still free to think of and pray for each other. Whether we have already met or not, I truly believe that one day we will meet, in a perfect place with no more death, illness or suffering of any kind. Continue reading “Blog Post #66: Thinking of You”
This post is specially dedicated to two dear colleagues: Kate, whose birthday is coming on 29 February in less than two days’ time, and James, whose 50th birthday is coming in less than two weeks’ time on 11.3.2020. Continue reading “Blog Post #65: For Dear Colleagues Kate and James”
Happy Haley, a talented student at my school, recently surprised me with a lovely painting that she made as a New Year’s gift.
Continue reading “Blog Post #64: For Haley, Myriam, My Little Sister, Peter The Great AND a school pussy cat!”
I’m just slightly early with this…, but I wanted to wish everyone a very happy New Year 2020 coming soon!
As most of my students enjoy brainteasers involving Maths and/or Chess, and one of the youngest recently told me, “I love puzzles more than my own heart!”, I offer you a couple of nice, quick, fresh puzzles to round off this year. Solutions will be published at the time of the next blog post.
Pictured- Young Mateo Maisky: “I love puzzles more than my own heart!”
Continue reading “Blog Post #63: Wishing Everyone A Very Happy New Year 2020 !”
I very much hope that you will all enjoy this article, which includes a delightful, fun surprise for EVERYONE! It’s also particularly dedicated to Ruth, Diana, Micky, Phoebe and Charlie: five friends with whom I enjoyed a lovely chat and dinner yesterday. Continue reading “Blog Post #62: For Ruth, Diana, Micky, Phoebe, Charlie &…EVERYONE!”