Game on (2 May 2021)

This is the position from last week

This is actually an excellent deal. We get back our empty column and have no less than four guaranteed turnovers (Well done to Bart for spotting this). But before we get too excited, let us think in terms of our old friend: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Wants:

We have no problem with turnovers and legal moves. We have one empty column, and a decent chance of another if the last face-down card in column 7 is favourable. We only have to remember to clear column 6 before turning over the last card in column 7, otherwise any bad card would be rather embarrassing!

We don’t have a lot of in-suit builds – but at least we can easily obtain a number of in-suit builds in addition to those we already have. We should also check whether it’s possible to remove a complete suit. With so many face-down cards remaining we expect to hear the bzzzzzzt sound – and sure enough none of the four possible suits are close.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Wants tells us we should be looking at getting more in-suit builds and empty columns. However (as I alluded to earlier), we should not be focusing entirely on a single layer – our main thoughts are getting more in-suit builds but bearing in mind other layers e.g. (1) making sure we do get at least four turnovers (2) increase flexibility by playing non-reversible moves at the last possible moment etc.

We get the Queen of Spades. This gives us a second column but counterfeits the possible turnover in column 1 since we no longer have a spare King to access the Eight of Clubs in column 10.

We could turnover Column 2 without losing an empty column but costs a lot of flexibility since we commit to Jack-on-Queen, Six-on-Seven, Eight-on-Nine and finally Ace-on-Two. Instead I chose to turnover column 1, giving up the second empty column. Note that we should dump the 7-6-5 straight into the empty column since we can always shift the Queen of Diamonds in column 10 into the other empty column and expose the Eight, winning back an empty column. The advantage becomes apparent if we reveal an Eight of any suit. In fact we very nearly get an Eight – alas I can only count Seven pips in Spades.

We next turnover column 2, taking care to dump the Ace into the empty column. We can always get it back with the Deuce of Spades in column 5. We get the Jack of Diamonds.

We could take another immediate turn-over in column 2, but then we would lose the opportunity to exchange the 7-6-5 of Clubs and Queen of Diamonds in columns 7 and 10. Therefore we get back our empty column and exchange cards in columns 7 and 10 as described above. This is not likely to cost since there are two Sevens in columns 1 and 7.

The next card is the Queen of Clubs.

We only managed to increase our four guaranteed turnovers to a measly five. But at least we’ve managed to gain some in-suit builds as predicted. It’s time to bid adios to our empty column, assuming the next card also rot13(fhpxf). This means any last-minute tidying up that we tried to delay (to increase flexibility) must therefore be done now.

How would you continue?

BONUS QUESTION: With 20-20 hindsight, I think the Noble Spider GM has goofed. But let us pretend for a moment the Grand Master deliberately goofed to give the student an opportunity to test his or her critical thinking skills. Why do I say the Noble Spider GM has goofed?

2 thoughts on “Game on (2 May 2021)

  1. This has gotten to a point where I can think even less clearly than usual, so this is based more on impressions than analysis.

    It is obviously tempting to put the queen in the space (bf), as we are only one card away from getting a space in column b, but I would resist that. There is only one king left unseen, so having two queens side by side in spaces is not good. That single king would let us get a space back, but even assuming good cards and more work, only one of the queens is movable, not two. I also argue that if a king comes up, we’re as good as dead anyway, so better to hope for better luck with other ranks. I would do df,ad, moving the 7 from column 1 into the space (but in-suiting a little via column d). There are 3 8s in the deck that will allow retrieving that space. Column a will not yield a space any time soon, but the turnovers might be good.

    As for clean-up. What we would LIKE to do is a dj swap from the 8 down — but column d doesn’t allow it. Clubs is suddenly looking very promising, and we are very close to making queen to 3 in column b. But we can’t do it as long as column d is frozen up. Both kings of clubs are on the table (though I have to look carefully at their hats to tell them from the spade kings), as well as both 2s, and the ace in column 3 is minable with the addition of just one three somewhere.

    When moving the 8 of diamonds out of column 5, there are two 9s it could go on, d or i, and it was natural to put it on i because that’s in-suit, but an uber-GM might have forseen the club build lurking and seen it was more important to have the 7-8 in column d be in-suit, so we’d put that 8-7 of diamonds in d instead. Or maybe there was some other point where we lost irrevocably the ability to make the 7-8 in column d in-suit. Whenever it was, that might qualify as the master’s goof — I mean the point where the master set in motion the teaching exercise.


  2. Master T and Esteemed Scholar B, can I jump in here late??

    This is an interestingly while seeming impossible situation which nonetheless should be played out with vigor and hope. Without our human spirit trying to overcome these challenges in cards or sports or life we would never witness “The Amazing Comeback”. Winning this hand would be the absolute definition of such.

    I would like to see how my ideas stack up against the younger quicker minds.

    We need turnovers and more turnovers. Therefore I am going to avoid moving the Queen in C2. Even if the card under Her plays, we have only kicked the can one step down the road. If the card under Her doesn’t play we are twice banking on moving a Queen to gain a void and there is only one King outstanding and only one King uncovered (which is buried under yet another King) so moving one of the two Queens to achieve a void seems unlikely.

    So for me, moving the diamond 7 into the void then gaining a turnover in C1 seems like the way to go.

    But wait. We really need that “And right about here a miracle occurs…” thing to happen. More than half our missing cards are trapped in Col’s 3, 4, 5, 9, &10. To work through C3 you need to play the old – “Trip Acey, Dos Ducy” game, surely not for the feint of heart, but doable. I wish to defer uncovering the Aces until later. Col’s 3, 9, &10 are double guarded by Kings. So we would need two voids minimum before even considering a frontal attack there.

    So I am looking at C5. I would give the miracle a shorter route by moving the Spade 5 to C1, then the spade 4 et al to C10, thereby considerably weakening the defenses in C5. Then do the Seven Shift to get the turnover in C1 and Roll-um !! On to Victory !!

    Might be a good idea or a bad idea but it is what is in my head.

    One thing is for certain, I took a lot of words to say very little.


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