The most obvious and important benefit of working on classical games is that such a work significantly broadens your chess horizons. This is what just happened to me since I discovered something new and very important, at least from the historical perspective.
The great Robert James Fischer has introduced many beautiful middle game concepts, but the next one is one of the most fantastic in my opinion. I usually give this position to my students just to guess White's move. Usually it takes at least 5-6 tries before they guess it correctly. How quickly can you, my dear readers, find it?
It is absolutely amazing how quickly Fischer turned the quiet position shown in the diagram (where all the White pieces are almost sleeping on the first three ranks) into a violent and deadly attack! This amazing idea is known as "Fischer's plan," and I already discussed it here:
But take a look at this game played more than 100 years before Fischer produced his gem:
To me this game is very important for many reasons:
1) It proves a well-known fact that Fischer admired Morphy games and studied them diligently.
2) Most people don't know chess history very well! In the Morphy-Anderssen game two of the greatest players of their time both(!!) played the same idea of moving the King, putting a Rook on the 'g' file followed by the 'g' pawn push and yet this brilliant idea is called the "Fischer's plan"? It should've been called "an amazing Morphy plan" or the "Anderssen's tragedy plan" since the victims in both classical games have practically the same last name.
Jokes aside, this is another proof how important it is to know the ideas from classical games.
Here is another example. Please take a look at the next game played by modern chess players:
A very nice game! But now take a look at the next brilliant game played over 100 years before:
I strongly suspect that in the above game, Ninchich-Press, one of the players knew about the great predecessor. But what about Mr. Milan Ninchich? Can we really blame him for not being aware of the game played more than 100 years ago by not very famous players? Under normal circumstances I'd say no. But here White entered an opening line known as the Traxler Counter Attack and in my opinion, the least you can do in order to prepare an opening line is to study the games played by the opening's originator. But since I hope that you read last week's column (http://www.chess.com/article/view/classical-games-everybody-should-know-part-11
), you already know it, right?