Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

July 29, 2012

Trump Entries

Martin Tompa

Peter has taken Lore’s seat to play against you at the Café Abeles. Lore looks on, when she is not too busy surreptitiously nibbling at Peter’s last piece of Linzertorte. You sip your coffee and contemplate your situation.

Peter: (19 points)
AK
TK
♣ Q

You: (39 points)
TQ
A
♣ —
KJ

Trump:
Stock: Exhausted
Game points: Peter 3, You 5
On lead: You

You picture the cards that Peter holds in his hand: AK, two trumps, and a club. Because he has more trumps than you do, you want to begin forcing him with a diamond. But you also have your eye on the situation in spades. You won’t be able to win unless you can capture Peter’s K with your T. And Peter won’t willingly open up the spade suit, so he will have to be thrown in and compelled to do it. You think to yourself, “He trumps a diamond, I trump a club, he trumps a diamond,” and see that the timing will work out perfectly.

So you lead J, which Peter trumps with T. He realizes that he can gain trump control by forcing you back, so leads ♣Q, which you trump with A. This puts you back on lead in this position:

Peter: (31 points)
AK
K
♣ —

You: (53 points)
TQ

♣ —
K

You lead K and proudly announce, “This endplays you,” showing him your hand. “The best you can do is cash your A for 53 points, but then you will have to concede.”

“Very nicely done,” Peter says admiringly.

Lore looks up from the Linzertorte to glance at your hand. “Yes, very nice,” she says. “But each of you made a mistake.”

What mistakes did you each make, and how could each of you have played better? When you think you know, you are welcome to read my analysis.

© 2012 Martin Tompa. All rights reserved.


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About the Author

Martin Tompa

Martin Tompa (tompa@psellos.com)

I am a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where I teach discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, design and analysis of algorithms, and other related courses. I have always loved playing games. Games are great tools for learning to think logically and are a wonderful component of happy family or social life.

Read about Winning Schnapsen, the very first and definitive book on the winning strategy for this fascinating game.

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