From the introduction by John S. Hilbert:
"Few lovers of chess today remember Philip Richardson (1841-I920). The neglect is understandable, although unfortunate. After all, the man lived a quiet life as a photographer, recording the impressions of other lives while leaving himself out of the picture.
By all accounts, Richardson was a gentle man, in the fullest sense of both words: dedicated, focused, modest, intelligent, considerate of others and unassuming. Hardly the stuff of which great chess reputations, for better or worse, are often made.
More than that, one will search largely in vain for his name among the tournament or match lists. Check the largest of the commercial databases, and you won't find more than a dozen of his games-and not all of those correctly identified or attributed to him.
Nor is Richardson remembered today as a problemist, although he did publish some interesting pieces, a selection of which appear in this book. But during his lifetime, Richardson was considered one of the strongest players in the United States.
According to published sources, George H. Mackenzie, the Scottish player who came to these shores in 1863 and who stood ahead of all other active players in the nation for nearly three decades, claimed Richardson was the most formidable opponent he met in this country.
It was, in fact, Mackenzie who gave Richardson his nickname as "the Stormy Petrel", a reference not to the bird, of course, but to the image of one who brings trouble with him-in short, for purposes of chess, a dangerous player (..) "