Blog Post #111: Lovely To Meet You

Dear Readers,

One of the most precious gifts that we have received is time. Recognising that well, I endeavour to do good things now in the present, rather than waiting (unless ‘now’ might sometimes be too soon). So, I want to say a most sincere “THANK YOU” for yet another truly wonderful concert at Musica Mundi School last night. The beautiful concert can be enjoyed again via this link:

Just like myself, my wife, Jenny, loved every moment, and afterwards she thoroughly enjoyed meeting the school’s musical accompanist, Li Xie, who is also Chinese. While Jenny and Li chatted in Mandarin, I followed quite a lot of their conversation (really honestly, though Maths or Chess would still be considerably easier for me!!), and then suddenly I saw another lovely lady to whom I had been introduced quickly, at the start of the evening, just before the concert. Then, Rita had told me that she is German, and that she came to Belgium 65 years ago, in 1956.

It was really lovely to meet you, Rita
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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
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Blog Post #109: Happy Birthday Magic Maths for Hagit and Leonid!!

Dear Readers,

This article is to wish very happy birthdays to Hagit and Leonid Kerbel, the lovely couple who (several years ago) founded Musica Mundi School, where I have the pleasure of working as the Mathematics Teacher. It’s Leonid’s birthday tomorrow, just one week after Hagit’s birthday.

For Hagit and Leonid
Hagit and Leonid Kerbel, co-founders of Musica Mundi School
Beautiful Musica Mundi School
Continue reading “Blog Post #109: Happy Birthday Magic Maths for Hagit and Leonid!!”

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:-

Timothée, 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
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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”

Blog Post #105: Great Chess in Geraardsbergen!

Dear Readers,

A superb team of dedicated, hardworking organizers led by Dirk Flamée really did extremely well to run the 36th International Open Chess Tournament of Geraardsbergen across five locations from August 8-12 to cater for 214 players who were happy and grateful for getting to take part in a wonderful over-the-board, in-person competition, overcoming the many extra challenges of managing this in these difficult Corona times.

For very many people, this highly memorable event was their first return to chess after a necessarily long time-gap due to the global situation.

Lots of keen and talented young players performed magnificently, and special congratulations must go to Dutch FIDE Master Onno Elgersma who, though still only a teenager, won the tournament impressively with 6 wins, 3 draws and no losses, thereby amassing a score of 7.5/9.

Among the older players (like myself!), Dutch International Master Herman Grooten did particularly well to equal Onno’s score of 7.5 points and finish 2nd on tie-break. (Though I don’t personally know Herman’s son, Tommy Grooten, I would still like to add sincere congratulations to young Tommy on scoring five points and winning a prize for being a high-achieving youth-player.)

Continue reading “Blog Post #105: Great Chess in Geraardsbergen!”

Blog Post #104: What A Wonderful School!

Dear Readers,

Within the past few days, lots of people from numerous countries were captivated yet again by wonderful concerts seen live inside the Bach Concert Hall at Musica Mundi School, Waterloo, Belgium, or enjoyed online via top-quality broadcasts. My personal appreciation of the beauty of music, and its profound power to touch and heal, continues to grow.

Vibrations, Heart, Joy & Life
4 of the key words expressed most frequently by patients and other people
helped by renowned cello teacher Claire Oppert, author of ‘Le Pansement Schubert’

I am especially grateful to Leonid Kerbel and Hagit Hassid-Kerbel, Musica Mundi School’s founders, who hired me three years ago to be the Mathematics teacher in their magical environment.

Leonid Kerbel & Hagit Hassid-Kerbel
Continue reading “Blog Post #104: What A Wonderful School!”

Blog Post #103: Early Happy Birthday Wishes for Max…and for me!!

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, I said to Max, “Have a wonderful, happy birthday in a week’s time!”, and tomorrow Max could say exactly the same to me!

Max, a great student at my previous school.

OK, so you already know that Max and I both have June birthdays, with Max’s on the 11th, and mine on the 13th. Let’s enjoy a wee dose of fun with those numbers and more…

Continue reading “Blog Post #103: Early Happy Birthday Wishes for Max…and for me!!”

Blog Post #102: Happy Birthday Wishes Amplified for Romy H., with thanks also to Tessa VG.

Dear Readers,

I am very grateful for still being able to hear pretty well, thanks to having wonderful hearing aids from Amplifon.

Grateful for Hearing

Living in Belgium, I have already received lots of excellent, expert care from former/current Amplifon employees including Anais, Elena L., Romy H. and Tessa VG.

Amplifon experts Romy H. & Tessa VG.

Let’s wish Romy a super happy birthday today,

Scrumptious level Amplified!

and we can all enjoy an original puzzle involving Romy’s favourite one-digit number together with Tessa VG’s different favourite single-digit number. Let’s denote the favourite numbers by R and T respectively.

In the spirit of good fun, the ladies have allowed me to tell you a bit more…! The two-digit number RT (meaning not R x T, but rather the two-digit number with digits R and T in normal base ten) is equivalent to 111 in base T.

One possibility might have been 13 (in normal base ten) equals 111 in base 3, because 1113=1+3+32=13ten. However, the true solution for the ladies’ RT is not 13, but something else…

Your fun challenge is to now figure out the precise values of R and T. Then calculate R2 to discover Romy’s new age today!

The puzzle answers will be given in just a few M😊ments…

First, something I left until right here, here are a couple of classic ear jokes to hear!!

What three ears did Captain Kirk have?

His left ear, his right ear, and the final frontier!

How much does it cost a pirate to pierce his ears? – A buccaneer!!

Oh, wait…Captain Kirk just told me a third one…!

What did the left ear say to the right ear…?

Between us, something smells…

…goodness knows, goodness nose what!

How tricky is it to eat chocolate gateaux?!…

…It’s ‘a piece of cake’!

Here’s wishing Romy 100% joy. She’s turning 100 today…but only in number base R !! 😊😊
Continue reading “Blog Post #102: Happy Birthday Wishes Amplified for Romy H., with thanks also to Tessa VG.”