Churchill Solitaire is the game hard enough for Defense Secretaries and Prime Ministers

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Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has co-designed a solitaire app. Churchill Solitaire is based on a variant of the popular solo card game that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill played and passed on to his wartime acquaintances. As the Wall Street Journal explains, Donald Rumsfeld learned of Churchill’s hobby while serving as the U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1973. During his NATO tenure, Rumsfeld was taught the game by Andre de Staercke, the Belgian NATO representative, who had been taught by Churchill himself. Keith Urbahn, the CEO of political consulting firm Javelin DC, created the Churchill Solitaire app with design help from his former boss Donald Rumsfeld who had input on everything from the rules of the game to the presentation of the play board.

Why is Churchill Solitaire a favorite of deep thinkers and political strategists? It’s played with two decks of cards, a “Devil’s Row” of six cards that must be cleared, and a timer making it one of the most difficult variants of solitaire. An early mistake can result in a hopelessly futile game.

“There is no question,” Mr. Rumsfeld 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.”

Churchill Solitaire is free to download from Apple iTunes for iOS devices.