It's becoming accepted wisdom in old school circles that what we think of as an "adventure module" says more about the exigencies of tournament play than the way referees constructed scenarios for use in their home campaigns at that time. That is, the module format is largely artificial and gives a somewhat false impression about early adventure design. There's definitely a lot of truth to this perspective, but we should all bear in mind that a great many TSR modules were in fact clearly identified as having their origins in tournament play and indeed made no effort to disguise this fact.
1980's The Ghost Tower of Inverness is a good example of a tournament adventure turned into a published module. Written by Allan Hammack, it's a very difficult adventure, one that my players came to loathe when I ran it back in the day. That's because it's filled with a wide variety of ingenious -- and deadly -- tricks and traps, in addition to more than a few monsters. But it's the tricks and traps that really stand out nearly 30 years later. There's the chess room, the reverse gravity area, the temporal stasis room, and many more. And of course the module's MacGuffin, the Soul Gem, is itself a death trap for the unwary -- a classic move that many players of a certain vintage will remember all too well.
The Ghost Tower itself is something of a "funhouse" dungeon. There's very little rhyme or reason to the way the place is constructed except that the challenges it presents were deemed "fun." I have to admit that they are fun. The Ghost Tower is a big puzzle, a brain teaser that tests the quick thinking and logic of the players. As I noted yesterday, this style of play appeals to me a great deal more now than it did when I was younger, although, even then, my qualms about it had more to do with my own mental inadequacies than with any absolute dislike of the format. Indeed, I always felt that dungeons should include lots of really fiendish traps; I simply wished I was better at overcoming them myself!
The Ghost Tower of Inverness might be fun to run as a tournament-style module someday, since it includes both pregenerated characters but also a scoring sheet. Never having participated in tournaments back in the day -- and, even now, the whole concept of it strikes me as odd -- I will admit to some curiosity about the entire undertaking. I will also admit to some trepidation, since, much as I love the very focused approach these modules possess, it's probably a lot more focused than my games ever were (or are). Still, as a historical exercise, it might be worth a try. If I take this up at some point, I'll be sure to make some posts about it.