Categories: A to Z
However, in an Internet newsgroup devoted to the game, it was later revealed in the following conversation that at least one avid MC player had managed to get hold of a copy, turning myth into reality. The full conversation is here quoted to provide a context in which to set the scene.
"Charles H King" writes:
\** "Malcolm Ross Kinsella Ryan" writes: \** \**\** Also, has anyone noticed that if you disallow double shunting in the \**\** Bakerloo variation (1823) that you effectively create a sudden-death \**\** version of MC? It's quite a thrilling variation, in my experience, as \**\** the players are knocked out one by one, until only the winner remains \**\** to claim MC. You have to use the 1823 rules of course, because in \**\** 1824 the Willesdon Junction Revisionists reformed the BR extended \**\** shunting rules - which offers too many loopholes for sudden death to \**\** work. \**\** \**\** I am thinking of submitting this to the IMCC, I cannot find any \**\** previous reference to it among any of the histories I could lay my \**\** hands on. However, our collection of MC reference material here at \**\** UNSW is sorely limited. \** \** I think it's already there, I seem to recall reading a precis on the issue, \** although I don't seem have anything which mentions it specifically (except for \** a brief reference in the commentaries to the 1823 Palsworth Convention in Bath, \** apparently the winner-to-be observed in one of the early rounds that, because \** (Elmshawe? Danefrith?) someone had violated the Tanning Code for MC En-Passant \** (effectively making double shunting impossible), his victory was "..only a \** matter of time" (he'd won all seven Key Holdings on the Circle Line before the \** incident..))
[Yoram "Yoz" Grahame writes]: I have to agree with Malcolm that removal of the double shunting creates a more atmospheric and suspense-laden game, a factor exploited by Ian Fleming in the now-legendary Golden Nugget scene in "Goldfinger"...
And here, reproduced in full, is the *actual* scene, as posted originally by Yoz G:
Soon, Goldfinger tired of the blackjack and moved over to the Mornington Crescent table. Bond maintained a low profile, playing two more hands before downing the rest of his vodka martini and joining the throngs following the obese but strangely magnetic millionaire. He observed the game for a minute to get a feel for the strategies in play (most quite standard, but one enterprising Egyptian was employing Batcher v. Von Braun to useful effect) before, in one dynamic move calculated to give the greatest impact, he glided through the crowd and calmly placed a $5000 chip on Tooting Bec. The crowd, previously having been applauding and loudly commenting on the play up till now, became suddenly silent. They and the players as one stared at the new challenger.
"West Ruislip," announced Goldfinger with a calm that brought admiration from the spectators.
"Turnpike Lane," replied the Egyptian, and the croupier brought in the Central Line chips and announced that the West Brompton branch was now out of bounds. Bond grinned as Strecher left in disgust.
"Knightsbridge," announced the sultry, coffee-skinned Brazilian in the simple (but no doubt hideously expensive) dinner dress that had captured a good percentage of Bond's attention. She gave him a sly smile, and Bond would have made a mental note to send some good opportunities her way, had she not played such a devastatingly unpredictable move. A cry went up from the Egyptian, and now there were only three.
"Mill Hill East," said Bond, and placed another $5000 on the Bank / Monument changeover. There was a collective gasp from the crowd. This was no longer a game to be taken lightly. "Notting Hill Gate," attempted Goldfinger, his expression failing to conceal a definite lessening of reserve.
"Temple," said the Brazilian.
"Sheep-Flaxing-Scorrelsby is now beige," announced the croupier, "and triple line-shunts are to alternate lines only."
Bond grinned. He was sorry to let the Brazilian go, but this game needed to be won. "Rotherhithe," he announced, and leant forward to place another chip on the beige.
"I'm sorry, sir," said the croupier, "but double-shunting is not allowed at this table." Bond stopped, and mentally cursed himself for lack of foresight. How could he forget that only half of the Vegas casinos allowed that flavour of the Bakerloo variation! Too many months in Monte Carlo, of course, with the Europeans preferring the more relaxed game. The Americans, however, like nothing more than good spectator sport.
"Wapping," he ventured, stunned, and immediately regretted the hasty move.
"Tooting Bec," said the Brazilian, and picked up Bond's $5000. He realised now that most of his strategies had been in vain, and that a completely different tactic was called for. He wished he had Brown & Gordon's "Advanced Sidesweeping and Single Shunting Tactics in Western America" with him now, but, alas, it was in the glove compartment of the Aston Martin.
"Hackney Wick," said Goldfinger, allowing a smile of satisfaction to creep across his bloated features.
Bond started to panic, his mind a blank. Bethnal Green? No, two moves and he'd be little more than a memory. Camden? If only. Blackfriars? Not with the S-F-S heading for amber. Pizza in the Park? Alas, it didn't exist yet. Suddenly a jolt of inspiration took him, and he almost shouted - "Mansion House!"
The smiles disappeared from his oppontents faces as the applause from the crowd became rapturous. "Wimbledon Sou... I mean, South Wimbledon," mumbled the Brazilian. The incredible effect of his move had obviously been noted, and Bond allowed himself a moment of self-congratulation, although he still had work to do.
"Walthamstow Central," said Goldfinger. Now, the gloves were off. Any hopes that Bond might carry this off painlessly went the same way as the beautiful Brazilian, who was carrying her remaining chips, scowling, to the canasta table. He was sorry to see her go, but now he could use his most deadly tactics without hurting innocent bystanders, although, considering some of her moves, she had been far from innocent.
He centred his eyes on Goldfinger's.
"St. John's Wood."
"Porcelain moves now allowed," announced the croupier. Bond steeled himself further.
"Old Street," said Goldfinger. The crowd was breathless with excitement as Bond took a moment to contemplate his next move. If he was to get anywhere within the next few moves (and he didn't have long before his rendezvous with Felix) he needed to take some risks.
"Covent Garden." Bond felt an inner surge of elation, as he realised Goldfinger had fallen for the bait. He played his next move the same way that he fulfilled Her Majesty's orders; swiftly, cleanly, and with deadly efficiency.
A gasp went up from the crowd as the more attentive members of the audience realised what was going on; Goldfinger seemed to literally deflate, and made a last-ditch attempt to save the game.
"Regent's Park." Bond decided to relish the moment.
"Very clever, Mr. Goldfinger, but not quite clever enough. Mornington Crescent." A roar went up from the crowd, and Bond was soon surrounded by people offering their congratulations. "I haven't seen play like that since Claymore retired in '45!" exclaimed one enthusiastic Texan. As Bond collected his winnings, he noted the stare that the gold tycoon gave him before turning to his bowler-hatted servant, and Bond knew that their paths would soon cross again...