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Friday, Oct. 8, 2004


Monopoly champs play for '04 title

Thirty-nine international champions of the best-selling board game Monopoly will converge on Roppongi Hills in Tokyo on Oct. 8 to vie for the title of world champion and $15,140 in cash.

Defending his title this year will be Japan's own Yutaka Okada, a senior economist with Mizuho Research Institute Ltd., who won in 2000.

Monopoly expert Phil Orbanes will serve as the chief judge of this year's tournament, while the game's bankers will be provided by Standard Chartered Bank.

The private tournament will start at 8 a.m. at Academy Hills, high above Tokyo on the 40th floor of Mori Tower, where three rounds lasting 90 minutes each will be played. The four who survive will face each other at 3 p.m. Saturday in the three-hour championship game on the 49th floor.

The Japan Times is offering readers five VIP passes to the final game. To get a pass, readers must send an e-mail including name, contact details and favorite Monopoly token by 11 p.m. Friday to monopolyinjapan@yahoo.com

The object of Monopoly is to become the wealthiest player by buying up properties and increasing their profitability.

Created in 1934, Monopoly is sold in 80 countries and 26 languages. Toy company Hasbro Inc. estimates more than 500 million people have played the game.

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