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MatPlus.Net Forum General The origins of the $100 theme
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(1) Posted by Michael McDowell [Sunday, Nov 3, 2019 22:50]

The origins of the $100 theme

From the “Larry Evans on Chess” column in Chess Life and Review, May 1975:

P.L. Rothenberg:

"In answer to Mr. Finney's query in Dec/73, p. 732, regarding the $100 prize for the "first sound composition demonstrating the Double Excelsior with the Knight . . . a Helpmate in exactly 5 moves" offered in my Complete Book of Chess p.105, not only does the prize stand - I being solely responsible for it - but it is being increased to $250. Inflation, you know, but principally an In Memoriam dedication to my co-author, the late I. A. Horowitz. Since it has not been proved that it cannot be done - unless we so interpret many experts' vain efforts - there is a modicum of hope left.
Some 20 years ago, when the Excelsior began to plague me (and still does from time to time) Horowitz and a chess friend of his, a highly personable chap named Mac Kleinman, undertook the challenge, quite in the spirit of "there appears to be.nothing to it." They demanded a reward for a successful position, and I offered $50 (or some such amount). It is to be noted that I had invested much useless effort, and that my younger ego was involved. Well, the daily "claim" of the prize followed, for positions which were invariably unsound. It got to a point where I was beginning to claim some compensation for the labor involved in examining their idiotic settings. As I faintly recall, Horowitz and Kleinman (most reluctantly) agreed to pay me a nickel for each unsound submission. I, in turn, volunteered to double the prize for each successive effort of theirs. When the reward reached a figure of some $20,000, they gave up. And be it known that not a single nickel had been paid to me.
I grieve that it is now an In Memoriam prize, subject to the identical conditions stated in the book some 12 years ago, and bringing back memories of the amusing interlude a decade earlier."

I wonder what the inflation-adjusted figure would be today.
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(2) Posted by Olaf Jenkner [Monday, Nov 4, 2019 17:49]

The best setting so far has two promoted pieces which are not allowed:
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(3) Posted by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: James Malcom) [Monday, Nov 4, 2019 18:10]; edited by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: James Malcom) [19-11-04]

Here is another two piece one but with a promoted piece per side. It is only slighty heavier:

It’s probably the best under that condition.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General The origins of the $100 theme