Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

August 4, 2013

Who Is Endplayed?

Martin Tompa

What started as a leisurely Sunday afternoon race against your sister Emmi has turned into a marathon. Uncle Hans continues to kibitz, and a few other relatives begin gathering around to watch. The game point score is tied when you find yourself on lead in this position:

Emmi: (20 points)

AK
♣ TK
J

You: (47 points)
Q
TQ
♣ Q
Q

Trump:
Stock: Exhausted
Game points: Emmi 2, You 2
On lead: You

You certainly don’t want to open up that heart suit, so you lead ♣Q, won by Emmi’s ♣T. Emmi likewise doesn’t want to open up the hearts, but now sees her opportunity to gain control of the trumps by forcing you with her last club. This puts you back on lead in this position:

Emmi: (33 points)

AK
♣ —
J

You: (54 points)
Q
TQ
♣ —

Emmi has fallen into your trap. You force her back by leading Q, and she has no choice but to open up the heart suit and let you win your T and the game point.

“Did you see that throw-in, Hans?” you ask eagerly.

“I did, my dear. It was very nicely done,” Hans replies with a small smile to you. He hesitates for a moment but, being Hans, cannot remain silent when he has knowledge to impart. “I should tell you, though, that you each made a mistake in the endgame.”

Do you see both mistakes? When you think you do, you are welcome to read my analysis.

© 2013 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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