Schnizel perceives things in a different dimension than Lelouch does. In terms of the actual game they were evenly matched, they were going to go into a threefold repetition.
But while the game was all that Lelouch was focused on, Schnizel knew that he was matched and instead searched for a way to get something out of it rather than simply leave with nothing. Schnizel thought outside of the game and came up with a way where he could gain valuable information on his enemy while simultaneously losing nothing of great import.
Lelouch was too blind to see it, but he ended pulling the exact same trick on Schnizel during the battle that followed. Schizel was content with his plan, and focused on the "game" and the imminent destruction of the Black Knights. Lelouch, however, thought outside the "game" and won the hearts of minds of the Chinese people, thereby causing Schnizel to withdraw from a position that had him winning.
I still maintain that they are equals, and will soon be rivals as Schnizel turns against the Emperor in a bid for power. Schnizel just seems the type to do that.