Ex-Defense Secretary, White House Chief of Staff and pharmaceutical boss Donald Rumsfeld has entered the world of mobile app game development. He has been working with a team of developers in the design of a card game called Churchill Solitaire. It turns out it is a rather challenging version played by one of the 20th century’s greatest statesman, Winston Churchill. You will find it available on the app store for free, although do watch out for those in-app purchases.
Churchill Solitaire is based on wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s variation of the the game. It uses two decks of cards and ten columns instead of the more traditional one deck and seven columns. The game claims to reflect Churchill’s personality and leadership qualities: making sacrifices to achieve a greater goal, thinking several steps ahead, relying on cunning, guile and intense concentration and taking advantage of luck and opportunity in the quest for overall victory.
For those ho have forgotten their history, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was born in 1874 into the family of the Dukes of Marlborough in the English county of Wiltshire. His father was a politician and his mother was an American socialite. He served as an officer in the army in the Boer War and went on to become a war correspondent writing about his experiences. He was First Lord of the Admiralty before the First World War and saw active service on the Western Front when he became commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
During the 1930’s he was on the political sidelines but returned to parliament when the Second World War broke out. When Neville Chamberlain resigned in May 1940, he became Prime Minister. His inspirational radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance during the those dark times. He remained in charge until victory was secured in 1945.
During the Nixon administration in 1973, when Rumsfeld was US ambassador to NATO, he met a Belgian diplomat called André de Staercke who had been friends with Churchill during World War II. De Staercke had been taught the rules of his solitaire by the British prime minister. De Staercke then went on to teach Rumsfeld.
After de Staercke and Churchill died, Rumsfeld wanted to make sure that the game would survive to see another generation.
The game’s challenge comes from a devil’s six set of cards that need to be liberated without moving them onto the main game table. It takes place on a 1940’s style desk and after completing levels the player is given a higher rank that represents Churchill’s path from the military academy at Sandhurst all the way up to Downing Street.
This is a card game that can frustrate the most skillful player because a one wrong move can make or break thegame. Just lLike classic solitaire, a number of hands are simply unwinnable. But the most steadfast of players will soldier on and find their way to victory.