Happy New Game – Round 5 Summary – VICTORY!!!!!!

Move can be found here.

Following a disastrous round 4, the first task was to “get started” after dealing the last 10 cards. It seemed hopeless (or at least that’s what Monkey said), but with careful thought an opening was found. The Jack in column 5 happened to be of the “correct suit” and as so often happens it’s the little details that separate victory from defeat.

Once we found the two empty columns, we had more than a fighting chance. The Diamond suit was already removed and Hearts followed soon after. Bart was more than happy to spend a large number of moves rearranging the suits, looking for the smallest of edges – incidentally this is the right approach when you are only concerned with winning the game – but the unseen cards continued to resist with four face-down queens among the last 13 cards. Only after we found two dream cards in column 3, could we breathe a sigh of relief. With victory practically certain, we decided to let Monkey finish the business – perhaps unwisely as it turned out. If the Ace of Diamonds turned up at the worst moment everyone would have ended up with egg on their faces, but fortunately the Card Gods decided we had earned our victory.

A fascinating hand – overall a very well-played game by Bart. Unfortunately, Bug was unable to contribute to a number of critical decisions through no fault of his own. But the team definitely earned their victory. Despite two very poor rounds with no turnovers, we found enough resources to scrape home with the win. Meanwhile, I might need a word or several thousand with the Monkey after, shall we say, a few interesting decisions.

A detailed post-mortem for individual positions will follow in due course.

Final Position of Round 5

7 thoughts on “Happy New Game – Round 5 Summary – VICTORY!!!!!!

  1. Thanks again for hosting the game! I could swear you were stacking the deck there towards the end and giving us bad cards to keep things… exciting? depressing? But just my imagination, I’m sure. The two good cards were very good. When Bug can really stand on his own six legs, I’ll have to learn to share again.

    I kinda like the idea of puzzles… Pose some situation and ask what you would do in it? You stopped to teach us about that “king in the space” situation, which was great. One way it could work is you would start a game yourself and just play until you thought there was an interesting situation and pose it to us as a puzzle. Puzzles probably aren’t your thing, but I thought I’d mention it.


  2. Nicely done, Esteemed Scholar Bart, this is the type win that keeps us coming back, relentless pursuit of the smallest of gains, culminating in ‘Da Big “W”. Remember that I am thinking of a YouTube channel? This was to be my main point, make things a little better, again and again. It’s OK for Master Chi-Yuen to see 30 moves into the future, but us mortals must live with shorter visions.

    This seems like a good point to jump in with a personal post. Bottom line is I probably won’t be returning to who I was.

    Too Long, Don’t Read

    I am still not back to where I was before the Catastrophic Chair Collapse, and at this point I don’t think I will ever regain everything. This is not necessarily a bad thing, life is what life is, and at 75 years young I certainly don’t need to be sharp like a tack any more. My lifestyle now more fits the mode of: “If you do things slow and often you will enjoy them more”. It’s not like I am dragging one leg behind myself and drooling or anything, just mostly my attention span has been shortened………..see, I just lost my train of thought, I have no idea what I was going to say. I am quite sure it was something brilliant. And now it is lost forever.

    We are here for 4SSS SansZKey so let me pause and consider my time with Master Chi-Yuen and Esteemed Scholar Bart. It was almost a year and a half ago when Esteemed Scholar Bart and my long legged self began to comment. At that point in time I was quite sure that playing this game at this level without UNDO was sort of for people who liked to lose a lot of hands. I was playing the version of Spider which was included in “Win7 Games for Win10”. If that is a bootleg type no-no you can rest easy as I am sure my IT guy accidentally downloaded it onto my ‘puter. Anyway, at 4 Suit No Go-Back I was winning just under 1 game in 10. Not good or fun. I was going to give it up. Then I began to correspond with Master Chi-Yuen and subsequently joined in this Forum. A few months ago I decided to do a 100 game run and see if things is better. I won 26 of those 100 games and that included a 14 game loosing streak right after my head bash.

    I have continued binge playing and am currently at 7 wins and 15 losses. I understand my new cerebral weaknesses and I have learned to play just a bit, then put it away and come back for a bit more, you know, do the Treebeard thing, “Don’t be Hasty”. If I don’t see a solution, I wait a few hours or until tomorrow.

    So let’s say I can currently win 25+% of the games, which is up from less that 10%. Winning one hand in 4 of 4SSS SansZkey is, to me, very acceptable. It’s fun to play.

    So with the guidance of my two Valued Mentors I have done what I set out to do, learn to play what I consider the hardest (damn near impossible) solitaire game at a level which makes it fun. I would not have believed it possible, but here I is. And I had lots and lots and lots of fun learning and being silly. My favorite story is Erwin, Al E & me.

    Are you still reading? I suggest you get a life, mine is already taken.

    May I point out what I believe are the two most important lessons?

    Firstly, Esteemed Scholar Bart’s observation that, especially on the deal, “Tens (or whatever) is cheap”. This was also stated by Master Chi-Yuen in several instances, but never with these words. “Tens is Cheap” would mean that we have two or more tens and one nine. Moving the 9 is sort of a free move as you can always place it on the other ten. Early in the game I have used this again and again, placing higher priority on gaining a card than doing an in suit build.

    I am quite sure that I did not communicate that very well.

    Secondly, I have demoted the importance of in suit builds. This current hand shows how Esteemed Scholar Bart used this idea again and again. To me turnovers early and Atomics late are becoming more important.

    I am not sure what I can contribute going forward. Speed is the problem. I use to need lots of time to compose my prose and now need even more time to fashion a lessor product. I wish to not become a burden to this blog. Even at my best I was a half world behind Esteemed Scholar Bart. If you look at most of our past comment sequences, I would just be getting what is possible straight in my head and Esteemed Scholar Bart had already posted a brilliant assessment of the situation. I hopped along two to three days tardy. It seems that this blog has correctly picked up speed. Perhaps it is time I mostly lurked or just made comments without giving an actual sequence.

    Or perhaps it is time to go on a permanent catfishing vacation.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to give us a fuller account of what’s going on in your life. I certainly know what it’s like to be losing sharpness, even if I’m a decade behind you at 67. You also sell yourself short. There were a couple times in the past hands where I was astonished at what you had come up with and it was much better than my plan.

      I could be more sensitive in terms of making very rapid replies. I’m a Myers-Briggs “ISTJ”, and the “J” means I like to wrap things up and have them done. So if a new post in this blog comes in, I’m motivated to get right on it and reply so it’s not something to do later. But I surely could delay a day or two. I could write less. I could leave certain decisions to you entirely and not make a suggestion about them at all.

      Staying the course on a plan to play 100 Spider games is an impressive feat of persistence, and if you’re anywhere near 25% after a head injury, I would say you haven’t lost much.

      A blog community of 3 feels much more like one than a blog community of 2. I know I would miss your commentary on subjects beyond the narrow one of “which moves should we make next?” We’ve always thought another member or two would be great, but so far we hear nothing but silence. I’m delighted to go on with the master as my private tutor, but sometimes such things also run their course and it’s time to go on to the next in the list of life’s adventures.

      I went through 8-odd years when I was very much into Cryptic Crosswords. At one point I was a key test solver/co-editor for Roger Wolff, who makes themed cryptic crosswords, for instance https://www.amazon.com/Roger-Wolff-Cryptic-All-Stars-Ring-bound/dp/B00RWRB0XA. A cut above your ordinary cryptic in terms of challenge and fun. But I’ve tapered off, in part because I just don’t make those “out of the box” connections as well as I used to.

      One way or another, the very best to you!


    2. Many thanks for your feedback. Testimonials saying “how I improved form X win rate to Y win rate” is one of the best dopamine rushes a teacher can receive when reading the comments 😀 Well done.


      1. I would like to report a less happy result of my rapt attention to the problems we work out in this blog. I play less Spider on my own. I think one big reason is that I know that in many situations, if I really took the time to think through all the possibilities, I likely would have a better move. But I don’t have the energy to do that — and there may be a dozen or more such key points in any given game. I know I’m not playing my best.

        That’s one reason I retain my interest in heuristics. Rules that are right most of the time, even if more careful thinking would suggest something different. “Market value” is one. GM has noted how it’s not as valuable as you might think when you are going to be faced with 10 new cards in the next deal. But there is no clear alternative to just further, deeper thinking.

        On the whole I am happy, though. I am having more fun thinking deeply about one game than muddling my way through a bunch of them on my own.


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