Life So Short, the Craft So Long to Learn

Schnapsen Log Archives

Columns for September, 2012

Tenuous Control

Martin Tompa
September 1, 2012

You’ve been at the Café Abeles long enough now that a new order of coffee and cake has arrived. This time the cake is Pfirsichkuchen, with juicy peach halves peeking out the tops of the generous pieces. Yum. The game against Lore continues between bites….

Taking the Initiative

Martin Tompa
September 14, 2012

You are really enjoying this battle against Lore at the Café Abeles. Under ordinary circumstances you are outmatched by her, but today you are focused and maybe also just a little lucky. That combination has put you ahead of her in both game points and trick points….

Only Minds Infer

Martin Tompa
September 21, 2012

It’s Thursday evening and, to no one’s surprise, you can be found at your card club, The Black Eagle, playing Schnapsen with the locals. Right now you are facing the flamboyant and clever milliner Katharina, sporting another of her outlandish creations. Feathers sprout all over it, in colors and patterns that were never seen on any tropical bird. Between sneezes and surpressed laughter, you get to the following position….

X-ray Vision

Martin Tompa
September 26, 2012

At the Black Eagle club, this evening’s game against the befeathered Katharina continues….

What Else Can Be Inferred?

Martin Tompa
September 29, 2012

You are doing well so far in this match against the flamboyant Katharina at the Black Eagle club. Let’s see what the next deal brings….

About the Author

Martin Tompa

Martin Tompa (

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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Recent Columns

Sidestep a Few Landmines, Sep 2
Two Last-Trick Problems, Jun 27
More Extremes of Luck, May 21
Grasping at Straws, Apr 4
A New Scheme for Remembering Cards, Mar 23
As Luck Would Have It, Sep 9