IM Herman Grooten has over 40 years of experience as a professional chess trainer. Countless of his pupils became strong chess players. The best known of these are the grandmasters Loek van Wely, Robin Swinkels, Wouter Spoelman, Dennis de Vreugt, Jan Werle, Twan Burg and Benjamin Bok.
In the field of journalism, he earned his spurs with chess columns in the newspapers Trouw and Het Eindhovens Dagblad. Since 2020 he has been co-owner of the popular Schaaksite.nl for which he has been writing articles for over ten years. As an author, he wrote several books of which the 2009 publication "Chess Strategy for Club Players" was awarded "Book of the Year" on Chesscafe.com.
Meanwhile, in his series "Understand before Moving " he has published several volumes that were received with great enthusiasm, both in Dutch and English.
This is the first volume of the new series "Key Concepts of Chess". The idea is to deal with middlegames in which a certain structure or essential theme becomes central. The idea of starting this series is in line with the "Understand before Moving" series because the aim, is to improve the understanding of club chess players. According to the author, playing an opening should be 'hung up' on stereotypical ideas and concepts belonging to this structure. The thorough exploration of middlegame structures is beyond the scope of opening books, hence it makes more sense to expose it in this complementary series.
In this first volume, the "Hedgehog System" is discussed in detail. Apart from being part of the author's repertoire, this typical set-up deserves to be widely highlighted. Although in the second part of the trilogy on the Sicilian, the Hedgehog has already made its appearance, in this book the seemingly fragile, but oh so treacherous creature can reconsider its spines in an extensive way.