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 First or second? (Posted on 2017-05-23)
Two players alternatively erase some 9 numbers from the sequence 1,2,...,101 until only two remain. The player that starts wins x−54 dollars from the player that plays second, x being the absolute value of the difference between the remaining two numbers.

Would you rather be the first or the second player?
Explain your decision by providing your strategy.

 See The Solution Submitted by Ady TZIDON Rating: 3.0000 (1 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
 re: Typo? | Comment 3 of 6 |
(In reply to Typo? by hoodat)

I obviously defer to Ady, but I don't think it is a typo.  If the players take turns erasing 9 numbers each, then player 1 erases 54 numbers.  I don't think it is a coincidence that the payoff function is x - 54.  If they took turns erasing 1 number each, then player 1 would erases 50 numbers and the payoff function would have been x - 50, which means that Player 1 could still guarantee a win with perfect play.
 Posted by Steve Herman on 2017-05-24 11:07:43

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