A casino in Monte Carlo had more than its usual international flavour this week (24 and 25 October) when players from 19 different countries exchanged millions of 'dollars' on the throw of a dice.
GV INTERIOR: competitors seated at tables.
SV: Canadian competitor Gregory R Heinkel counting squares during round 1, and handing over money.
SV: Japanese competitor Keisuke Kabashima placing dice into cup and throwing onto board then making his move.
SV: girls with marker boards and UK girl moving to new positions.
SV: players seated for final round, with West Germany (Klaus Armbruster) throwing dice and moving marker, followed by Italy (Antonio de Luca) throwing dice and moving marker followed by eventual winner (Singapore) Chong Seng Kwa moving marker.
TV: Singapore girl moving marker on master board.
SV: UK girl moving marker as UK is knocked out of game.
SV: German competitor shaking hands with UK's Frederick Brown (fourth place)
SV: spectators looking on.
SV: West German player being knocked out and placed third, shaking hands with winner Kwa Chong Seng of Singapore and other players.
CU: Chong Seng Kwa being announced winner and shaking hands with former world champion Ireland's John Mair (placed second)
SV: spectators and cameramen
SV: Ranny Barton of game sponsors presenting winning trophy to Chong Seng
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A casino in Monte Carlo had more than its usual international flavour this week (24 and 25 October) when players from 19 different countries exchanged millions of 'dollars' on the throw of a dice. For once, the contestants at the gaming tables weren't playing with chips. But with money. But the money wasn't really worth the paper it was printed on, for the game being played was Monopoly.
SYNOPSIS: It was in fact the 1977 World Championships - and hundreds of spectators gathered to watch the final games after a series of preliminary competitions all over he world. Monopoly is marketed in 27 countries, in 15 different language versions. But in Monte Carlo, the contestants played on the original American board, buying and selling properties in Atlantic City, the resort town in New Jersey where the games inventor had taken his holidays way back in the twenties.
But it was no holiday in Monte Carlo. The West German champion, Klaus Armbruster had to ge special permission from the West German navy, having been called up after beating all his home grown opposition. He was drawn in the final round against the Italian champion, Antonio de Luca, a 29-year-old bookkeeper and against the eventual winner, Chong Seng Kwa of Singapore.
All the competitors played in four preliminary rounds against three others, and the five people who amassed the most points played each other in a final. So keen was the competition that he organisers felt they had to have special sets of Monopoly money printed, with serial numbers to prevent cheating. Cheating might have been difficult, though, with the watchful spectators, and the closed circuit television cameras. At the end, the 31-year-old Mr. Kwa had bankrupted his four last opponents.
One of the first to congratulate him was he previous World Champion, John Mair of the Irish Republic, who in real life is a merchant banker. The final game indeed he whole tournament had lasted rather less time than longest game in Monopoly's history. That went on for a staggering 49 days. But players here were after a different prize - a five-thousand-dollar silver salver, and the title-World Champion Monopoly Player.