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Former Defense Secretary releases iPhone game

By Ann Marie Awad   |   Jan. 23, 2016 at 10:32 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, 83, released an iPhone game modeled after a card game played by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

The game, called "Churchill Solitaire" was released Friday. "There is no question," Rumsfeld told The Wall Street Journal, "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."

Rumsfeld -- who doesn't even use a computer himself -- recorded memos via Dictaphone to guide his app developers in building the game for him.

The game, billed as "the most diabolical version of solitaire ever devised," emulates Churchill's unique brand of two-deck solitaire. BuzzFeed reported as one levels up in the game, levels are named after stages of Churchill's career. When one becomes Prime Minister, the game is won.

Rumsfeld learned to play the card game in 1973, during his brief time as the U.S. ambassador to NATO in Brussels. André de Staercke, the Belgian ambassador to NATO, befriended Rumsfeld and taught him the game. De Staercke learned the game from Churchill himself, when he served in the Belgian government in exile in London. Churchill played the game, in part, because he suffered from insomnia.

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