Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

August 28, 2013

A Tale Begins (solution)

Martin Tompa

“It’s true that you have the only trump, Peti,” Jancsi agrees. “And your spades are higher than mine. But pay close attention now. I am going to cash both of my aces.”

Peti replies, “Apu always says, ‘Kolko túzy, tolko štychy’: it’s not a good idea to lead out all your aces, because they will provide that many tricks and no more.”

“Just watch and learn, Peti” Jancsi says. He leads his A and then his ♣A, pulling Peti’s queens. This leaves Jancsi still on lead from this position:

Peti: (25 points)
AK

♣ —
Q

Jancsi: (61 points)
TJ

♣ K

“Now I will lead my ♣K and you will have to trump, Peti. And then what will happen?”

Peti thinks for a while and then his eyes open wide. “No matter which spade I lead, you will be able to win your T. That’s very clever, Jancsi!”

“It’s called an elimination play,” Jancsi explains. “By cashing my two aces, I eliminated all of your safe exit cards, so that when you win your trump you’re stuck with only spades to lead. And you don’t want to be the one to lead spades first, do you?”

© 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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