Spirit of Greco
Should aspiring chess players study the games of players who have been dead for more than a century? In an interview conducted while he was World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik answered in the affirmative.
I think that if a player wants to achieve much, he should live through the entire history of chess in his thoughts. I can't explain it from a purely logical standpoint, but in my opinion, you have to experience the entire history.
Vladimir Kramnik, 2004*
The interviewer probed further, asking whether it was useful to go back as far as Gioachino Greco. Kramnik did not think Greco was necessary because Greco's games are only the basics of chess, but he thought aspiring players should know the games of Philidor, Anderssen, and Morphy.
Max Euwe expressed a similar view of the importance of chess history. He asserted in The Development of Chess Style (1966) that an individual player's development and chess history follow parallel courses. The longest and most difficult is the first stage, which Euwe characterizes as "excursions with the pieces" (1). Players succeed when they take advantage of the opportunities presented by opponents, opportunities, "such as winning a piece" (1). Greco embodies this first stage, he suggests.