In the middlegame or endgame it is often wise to think beyond turning over cards and building in-suit. What would you do in this position?
Note: This isn’t part of our on-going game but I wanted to discuss an interesting concept in the middlegame.
We have one empty column and are about to lose it. We can obtain a new turnover in column j or f, but as usual it is good strategy to look beyond the obvious.
An experienced player might well consider turning over a card in column d. One advantage is if we get this “difficult task” out of the way first then columns j and f will be easier in the future. Alas, we soon hit a snag: there is a double Seven in the first eight cards (T-9-8-7-7-6-5-4). We don’t even get to shift the Ten of Clubs onto the Jack of Spades.
An experienced player would also know too often that the 7-6 offsuit in column e is a problem. On the next row of ten cards, an Eight will appear and it is impossible to recover an empty column precisely because the 7-6 is off-suit. So it may be feasible to compromise by not turning over a new card. For instance we can play (eb) and deal another row, hoping to win back the empty column later. Not terribly exciting but perhaps we can improve it by <eb,ce> getting a run of hearts from Seven to Ace.
Further analysis shows we can in fact do better still with <hb,eh,ce> obtaining two in-suit builds in the red suits. This not only yields good chances to recover a hole in column b or e, but it also gets to work on column h. If the cards fall well, we might be able to turn over a number of face-down cards in that column. There is also a strong possibility of obtaining a run of hearts from Jack to Ace in the future. The basic principle is we suffer a small loss, in exchange for (hopefully) a large gain in the future.
Of course, all this is possible only because the stock is not empty. If the stock were empty then we would have to go all-in, turning over at least one card and saying 70,85,67,75 73,84 even if it entails trashing our position in every way possible. There are no consolation points for a “pretty loss” – a loss is a loss is a loss is a loss.
I in fact chose the plan <hb,eh,ce> in the game and managed to win. Fiddling with rot13(haqb) – after obtaining a clearly winning position😊 – suggests that turning over a card in column j or f would probably have resulted in a loss.