I’m almost finished with Veltman’s Сердце и думка [Heart and head] (see this LH post), and I think I see why the young Dostoevsky liked it so much; not only does it show considerable psychological penetration, but this must have appealed to him: “из одного человека можно больше сделать, нежели из мильона голов; один в мильон раз лучше мильона” [you can do more with a single person than with a million; one person is a million times better than a million]. Of course, that is said by a demon to a witch, but that’s Veltman for you. At any rate, he refers a couple of times to тинтере [tintere], a card game apparently equivalent to кончинка [konchinka], and (according to that Wikipedia article) also spelled тинтерей [tinterei] and тинтерет [tinteret]. I presume it’s of French origin, given those spellings, and the stress is presumably therefore on the final syllable, but I’ve had no luck finding any mention of such a game outside of Russia. Anybody know what the origin might be?
Addendum. Franco Pratesi in Russian Card Games and Their Literature (pdf) describes the exiguous literature on the subject and gives a brief account of tenteret (as he spells it), beginning: “It is said to have an old French origin, to have been very much played at home, but to be at present almost forgotten. I could find no trace in French sources of this seemingly French name, nor of the game itself.” Pratesi also describes “babochka” and “konchinka,” if anyone needs to know about those games.