The Diplomacy Academy

Dan Shoham


Hello Again.

Chopin was one of my favorite games. It was certainly the game where my life depended on the most outrageous string of luck. In the opening I survived an attack which I had later calculated had a probability of over 99% of eliminating me. Later on, when my position was secure, I risked everything for a shot at victory. Once again, I needed -- and got -- an incredible deal of luck.

Chopin was a Crowded variant game. The Crowded variant plays on the standard map (except that the Ruhr is promoted to a supply center) but 4 new powers are formed out of the previously neutral supply centers: Norway, Spain, Balkan, and Lowland. With 11 players, and no neutral centers, the game is bound to be intense from the start. I played Austria. Like nearly all games I played, Chopin was anonymous.

Still, the most interesting aspect of the game, from my standpoint, was the final position, one turn before the last. I have heard, on more than one occasion, players say that there is only so much to Diplomacy tactical play and that, once mastered, there is nothing left to learn. The final position of game Chopin is my answer to this claim. I challenge anyone who thinks they have mastered tactics to the point of knowing all there is to know about them to solve the position presented below. This is not a theoretical exercise or an after-the-fact musing. It is a real position, from a real game, which was solved by the real player (myself) in real time.

The Chopin Tactical Challenge

EOG's for the game "Chopin"

Dan Shoham
([email protected])

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