Monopoly tournament beckons


Baltimore chiropractor Murray Rosenfeld wants the Monopoly world to know he's back.

Four years ago, Rosenfeld, 49, was one of the last four contestants playing in the National Monopoly Championship. Tomorrow, the Pikesville resident will be one of 48 American players in Chicago for the 2003 Championship, sponsored by the popular board game's maker, Parker Brothers.

This year's tournament boasts a new perk. The top player will walk away with a "Community Chest" of $15,140 and an invitation to represent the United States at the 2004 World Monopoly Championship. The top three runners-up will also receive cash prizes.

There's another wrinkle as well: The tournament's preliminary rounds will take place on board an Amtrak train headed to the East Coast. Contestants will ride a special "Reading Railroad" train from Chicago's Union Station to Atlantic City, N.J., the city that gives the board game the names of the properties players compete for.

Rosenfeld, a chiropractor whose practice is on East Monument Street, modestly attributes some of his success as an amateur monopolist to luck. Still, he has been honing his game tactics by playing an average of three hours a night over the past few weeks.

The preliminary rounds of the competition span the next two days, with the finals scheduled for Saturday at Harrah's Showboat and Casino in Atlantic City. The players will each compete in three games, with finalists determined by their total performance over that stretch.

As a veteran player, Rosenfeld has learned what all good Monopoly players do: You can never count on Free Parking, but there is always a Chance you can win it all. And this time, it could happen right on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

While not predicting a victory, the tournament-tested Rosenfeld did say he is "geared to making the finals."

"I did it in '99," he said. "I don't see why I can't do it again."

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