Greenwell's Chess Exemplified marked a revolution in the historical process of accessing chess knowledge. In the past cumbersome notation systems, absence of diagrams and even inconsistency in white or black playing first, had often made the business of playing over master games a chore and almost a hindrance to learning. Here Greenwell collects the best games of the Nineteeth century, sets them out clearly, furnishes them with diagrams at key moments and - as a finishing touch - adds notes culled from the masters themselves to explain what is going on. In this sense Greenwell is the forerunner of what became the dominant source of chess information in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, the chess informator. He can also be seen as an early pioneer of the electronic databases which have become the norm in the Twenty-first century. Greenwell, himself a Barrister, was an enthusiastic amateur, but not so modest a player that he found himself incapable of the occasional challenge to the master notes he had amassed. It was in the sphere of information dissemination that Greenwell was to make his mark, rather than in the arena of competitive play.
It is a testimony to the accuracy of his taste that many of his choices have stood the test of time and are still regarded as classics to this day.