Walking around Toa Payoh, I came across an area where groups of old men apparently gather to play checkers quite regularly, drawing audiences. I suppose it’s the local equivalent of playing chess in a park.
I talked to one of the regulars who, as far as my limited Mandarin suggests, told me that they were playing for several hundred dollars a game, and wagers used to run as high as $1000 in the old days. I didn’t see any piles of money by the board, so there’s no way of knowing if he was just kidding me.
These two men had the largest crowd of spectators, and continued playing long after the others had packed up for the day.
A couple more photos from earlier that day:
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