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Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

March 24, 2014

A Ragged Endplay

Martin Tompa

We are going to take a break from our ongoing story for today’s column. I was delighted last week when two students from my course on Probability and Statistics sent me a very interesting endgame position. Rather than studying for the final examination, they had been playing Schnapsen together for fun. Today’s column features their endgame.

You are once again playing against the Maestro when you find yourself in the following position:

Unseen cards:
TQ
TJ
♣ A
A

Your cards:
KJ
Q
♣ Q
T

Trump: K
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Maestro 1, You 2
Trick points: Maestro 7, You 40
On lead: Maestro

You are far ahead in trick points, but to make up for it you are holding a ragged collection of losers and the Maestro needs only 1 more game point to win the whole game. The Maestro leads ♣A. Plan your play. When you think you have come up with a good plan, you are welcome to read my analysis.

© 2014 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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Homework on Expected Values, Apr 26
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Thoughtful Actions, Mar 25
Noble Sacrifice, Mar 4
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