This week's title is inspired by two things. First, one of my favorite films of all-time is The Man Who Laughs (1928) starring Conrad Veidt and Mary Philbin, based on the novel by Victor Hugo. You can watch Part 1 of 11 here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsLQcOV2YeU
, and by following the links, you could then watch the remaining ten parts. A primary part of the plot is the Comprachicos (child-buyers), who carved the grotesque grin on the face of the title character. Ayn Rand wrote an essay, The Comprachicos, which showed how the modern day Comprachicos, the advocates of progressive education, do the same thing to the consciousness of a developing child, http://www.scribd.com/doc/51894820/Ayn-Rand-The-Comprachicos
. The second reason for the titles is that Sam Loyd had a set of problems with that title, although in French, L'homme qui rit, and they were submitted for the Paris Tourney of 1878. "In connection with the Paris Congress held in the summer of 1878, a problem tourney was organized in which Loyd hastened to compete. This was noteworthy, because Loyd entered no other foreign tourney between the publication of Chess Nuts
and the Strategie
Tourney of 1908, in which he decided to be represented as a tribute to the memory of his old friend Preti. I think he had two reasons for his eagerness to take part in the tournament of 1878. He had many pleasant memories of Paris, and the friends he had made ten years before were still the prime movers in French chess; and more particularly he wanted his revenge on Conrad Bayer. "Of course, I shall try one more shy at Conrad Bayer. I have been unfortunate in my encounters with him, and am anxious to try my luck once more." (Loyd to E.B. Cook, August 12th, 1876). The result was satisfactory, in that he defeated Bayer, but he only won the Third Prize. First Prize went to J. Berger. Second to F. af Geyerstam, and Bayer was Fourth."
Sam Loyd Set: "L'homme qui rit" Third Prize Paris Tourney 1878 #5
"The experimental style of problem solving is the slow but sure method. When pursued systematically, it is the most useful, for the reason that it is the only way to test our own compositions for duals and faults that require weeding out. An analysis of this kind must be exhaustive. It is a sheer waste of time to look only at the plausible lines of attack, for the reason that composers try to build their solution upon the most improbable moves. Take the pieces in rotation. First examine the moves of the King; then the Queen, Rooks, Bishops, Knights and Pawns. By writing them out and marking off such key-moves as you have demonstrated to be impracticable, you will be surprised to find in how short a time you can master the most difficult problems or prove the soundness of one you are testing to enter in a tournament."
Sam Loyd Set: "L'homme qui rit" Third Prize Paris Tourney 1878 #4
Sam Loyd Set: "L'homme qui rit" Third Prize Paris Tourney 1878 #2
Sam Loyd Set: "L'homme qui rit" Third Prize Paris Tourney 1878 #3
14 points for sending me a complete variation to all four problems, at email@example.com
, by next Wednesday.