Here is the position from last time:
It turns out we cannot turn over a card without losing the empty column. We can “yank” the J-T in column One onto the Queen (or better still, shift the J-T-9 of Hearts in column Ten onto the Queen of Hearts first, but we cannot shift the off-suit 7-6-5 onto an Eight. As a general rule, one hole is not enough to shift a sequence of three cards if they are all off-suit. Well done to Bart for spotting this.
Note that we exposed the “wrong” Five last week. If it were the Five of Hearts instead of Clubs then we can turnover column 1 without losing the empty column (yank the J-T, swap the Five of Diamonds with the Five of Hearts and then we are good to go).
Bart gives four possible plans:
- Turn over a card in column h, putting an Eight into the empty column.
- Move the queen of Hearts directly onto the empty column
- Move the 5-4 of Diamonds onto the empty column, then dump the Queen of Hearts onto the King
- Dump the 6-5 of Clubs onto the empty column then build in-suit with 2-A of Diamonds.
There are many variations possible but any reasonable sequence of moves boils down to one of the above four plans. Another key decision is: do we yank the J-T from column One?
Bart prefers the third option, with the Boolean yank_JT flag set to TRUE. His exact move sequence is:
I have a few things to say about this:
- The move jg is illegal! We should perform jg before af. As so often happens in delicate situations: move order matters!
- The first move should be fe not fb. This retains an extra in-suit build for no cost.
- It will be necessary to break an in-suit build in Hearts if we are to turnover column Seven. The last move gd is therefore also illegal.
Still I think Bart has done extremely well to spot both the correct plan and value of yank_JT: even though we can’t turnover column 1 yet, we might be in a good position to do so after the next deal.
It is true that dumping the Queen directly into the empty column has an advantage over dumping the 5-4: we regain the empty column if the next card is a King or a Six. The downside is if nothing good happens then the Queen will be blocking Column 6 with only three Kings unseen. This could be unpleasant, especially with at least three face-down cards in every other column.
You may be wondering why I chose to tidy up column One now when I had an earlier opportunity to do so. The reason boils down to the following knowledge bomb from Edifying Thoughts of a Spider Solitaire Addict:
An empty column will never contain face-down cards for the remainder of the game.
Why is this important? Since column 6 will never contain face-down cards for the remainder of the game our chances of recovering an empty column are decent. It is so much easier to win back an empty column if there are no face-down cards to worry about. And once we get the empty column back, we have a reasonable chance to shift the off-suit 7-6-5 onto an Eight.
In summary, my move sequence would be “fe,de,jg,af,aj,fa,gj,de,gd”
We expose a Two of Diamonds and are forced to deal another row.
As usual, we have an interesting decision to make immediately dealing a new row of cards. How would you continue here? Are there any tesuji possibilities, borrowing a term from the game of Go (a.k.a. Baduk)? Or should we simply ask ourselves What Would Captain Obvious Do?