The Schnapsen Log
Who Laughs Last
You are drawn once again to your club, the Black Eagle, holding its weekly tournament. Sitting across from you is your archrival Itell Reding, who mocks you relentlessly. The situation you find yourself facing illustrates a common struggle in Schnapsen:
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Itell 4, You 1
Trick points: Itell 26, You 5
On lead: Itell
You have probably noticed a pattern in the deals we’ve considered so far: they all begin at the point when two cards remain in the stock. This is not a coincidence. This trick is very often the key point in the deal, when it pays to visualize your opponent’s cards, plan ahead, and search for the best line of play.
You are at this critical juncture in the displayed position and unfortunately haven’t had an opportunity to declare your 40-point royal marriage since drawing it. Itell stares you in the eye as he leads ♠T. This time you don’t have to plan the whole play yet. Just decide what you want to do on this trick. When you have figured that out, you can compare it to my decision, and from there I will present you with a further puzzle.
© 2012 Martin Tompa. All rights reserved.