Matrix Games

  • Alan Washburn
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 201)


In the spirit of consulting the masters, we open this chapter with an example taken from von Neumann and Morgenstern (1944), who in turn got it from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Final Solution:

Sherlock Holmes desires to proceed from London to Dover and hence to the Continent in order to escape from Professor Moriarty who pursues him. Having boarded the train he observes, as the train pulls out, the appearance of Professor Moriarty on the platform. Sherlock Holmes takes it for granted—and in this he is assumed to be fully justified—that his adversary, who has seen him, might secure a special train and overtake him. Sherlock Holmes is faced with the alternative of going to Dover or of leaving the train at Canterbury, the only intermediate station. His adversary—whose intelligence is assumed to be fully adequate to visualize these possibilities—has the same choice. Both opponents must choose the place of their detrainment in ignorance of the other’s corresponding decision. If, as a result of these measures, they should find themselves, in fine, on the same platform, Sherlock Holmes may with certainty expect to be killed by Moriarty. If Sherlock Holmes reaches Dover unharmed he can make good his escape.


Normal Form Saddle Point Mixed Strategy Extensive Form Payoff Matrix 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Washburn
    • 1
  1. 1.Operations Research DepartmentNaval Postgraduate SchoolMontereyUSA

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