At age 83 Donald Rumsfeld, who twice served as Pentagon chief, has created an app named “Churchill Solitaire,” which he says is based on a version of the game former British Prime Winston Churchill played during the second world war. “After 172 builds — thousands of lines of code each — we have arrived. I am now officially in the app business,” Rumsfeld exclaimed on the website, medium.com
— Donald Rumsfeld (@RumsfeldOffice) January 24, 2016
The game uses two decks of cards and 10 rows instead of 7, as in the traditional Solitaire version. Rumsfeld says that the game, which he learned four decades ago in Brussels, is “probably the most challenging and strategic game…I’ve ever played.” The former defense secretary, who readily admitted that he doesn’t know how to code, used a dictaphone to record memos for his programmers. According to Rumsfeld, he wanted to ensure the game was about strategy. “There is no question,” he said, “it is a game that requires you to be strategic, to look around corners, to think ahead, and to never give in—which is the phrase Churchill would have used.”
In an article he wrote for medium.com, Rumsfeld says he’s not sure whether or not this is the only app he’ll develop, “after all, I’m only 83,” he jokes. But he says it’s safe to say that “Mark Zuckerberg has nothing to worry about.”
An advertisement for the game on YouTube explains it as “the most diabolical version of solitaire ever devised has been brought to life for a new generation,” and uses the hashtag, #NeverGiveIn.The game is free in the app store but the hints and undos need to be purchased. All profits from the game will be donated to charity.
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