Putnam US Symmetry PuzzleAndLogicalProblem

Intermediate

2008

Problem - 2803

Alan and Barbara play a game in which they take turns filling entries of an initially empty $1024$ by $1024$ array. Alan plays first. At each turn, a player chooses a real number and places it in a vacant entry. The game ends when all the entries are filled. Alan wins if the determinant of the resulting matrix is nonzero; Barbara wins if it is zero. Which player has a winning strategy?