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Sivosten webZine :: Solitaire: The Game of the Kings
Solitaire: The Game of the Kings

Author: T. Hristov, Wednesday, 21 May 2008.

In Articles :: Games

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What\'s the common thing between Napoleon and Marie Antoinette? Well, they\'ve both seen the glory of France and they have both made history, despite their different life course and it\'s not very pleasant completion. But there\'s one more thing, something else that connects their lives in an unusual and surprising way - the playing cards.

Napoleon used to play a game of patience while watching the cold waves of the South Atlantic slowly eat the coast of his prison island, washing away the memories of glorious triumphs. And Marie Antoinette, terminally ill and a widow, counted her last hours prior to the guillotine trying to convince the deck of cards to arrange in the only successful and correct way.

Solitaire is the American name of the whole family of such card games. But thanks to the favorite operating system of all software pirates on the both sides of the Atlantic, the Windows OS, it had become the designation of one of the most interesting time-wasters: the Klondike-type patience. It comes in a lot of variants, some even called after Napoleon himself, though it\'s not very clear if he devised them during his exile on the St. Helena island, or he just loved to play them.

Actually, the first written rules of the game of patience date back to the XIX century and the solitaires are mentioned as favorite entertainment for some characters in the books of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Maugham or Steinbeck.

Generally, the Klondike solitaire is played with 52 cards without the Jokers and its goal is by the means of combinative thinking and appreciable amount of luck to collect all cards by suits. And the final animation in Windows when you manage to complete it is most enjoyable, but not because of the bright idea of spilling all the cards on the screen like a waterfall, than the satisfaction of overcoming such a difficult challenge.

And that\'s it, in addition to the simplicity of the game itself, requiring nothing more than concentration, vigilant eye and a smile from lady Luck. So you don\'t have to be Napoleon to play a game of patience, but you may actually feel like him for a while, if you succeed in beating the cards.

Commentary topic: http://www.sivosten.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=203611#203611

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