Grandmaster Van der Sterren (b. 1956) started his chess life in the Limburg of the early seventies and played in the national and international youth tournaments of the time. In 1979 he achieved the International Master title and ten years onwards the Grandmaster title. In the eighties and nineties he was one of the best players of the Netherlands. He won many tournaments and was national champion twice, in 1985 and 1993. With his result in the Interzonal tournament in Biel 1993 he qualified for the candidates matches in which he was defeated in the quarter finals by Gata Kamsky. From 1982 to 2000 Van der Sterren played eight times for the Dutch Olympic team. He had been a professional chess player from 1976 until 2000 when he ended his career at the age of 45. In the following years he wrote the three volume series The World of the Chess Opening, which he translated into English as Fundamental Chess Openings (Gambit 2009). Recently, he published his autobiography on 15th October with New in Chess entitled: Over Zwart op Wit.
In 2010 Van der Sterren cautiously started to play chess again with chess club Caissa in Amsterdam. The Max Euwe Tournament will be his first tournament since 2001.