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Member since Nov-24-03 · Last seen Jan-30-19
<<< Who am I ? >>>

I am a graduate student. My current areas are combinatorics and knot theory, particularly finite-type invariants. I'm also a part-time algorithmist, working on image processing, computer vision and data mining.

<<< Anything else besides? >>>

I enjoy hiking and reading. In addition, I'm good at wasting some of the precious time we've been allotted at this valley of tears playing computer games :)

Obviously, I like cats.

I like my humor intelligent, quirky and language-related. For instance, I admire Fry and Laurie and recommend them heartily.

I'm an avid follower of,, and a few others.

A fancy, nay, an obsession of mine is writing parody songs. One of those, the most chess-related one, can be found further below.

<<< Are you any good ? >>>

My strength varies in the 2050-2100 area. My highest chess achievement is a photo with Vishy Anand (both words are now marked as spelling errors, but then, so is "") back in the 90s when I was a little kid.

<<< Who am I as a chess-player? >>>

In the last few years, my style was heavily biased towards the positional, technical side. I play against pawn-weaknesses, I like rook-endgames and bishop pairs. I try to keep my pawns on the right color, just like they used to do, damn it!

Of late, however, I'm working on becoming more universal and on risk-taking. I have weaknesses in sharp, irrational positions, and would like to employ more varied tools to apply pressure. In particular, I have much to learn about positional sacrifices.

For the rest - read the next section and my page!

<<< Why should you read this page? >>>

Oh no you shouldn't! Really, don't. Go away! You too! AAA they're all around me! ... gulp... yeah, aaaanyway.

Many of the kibitzes focus on a few openings I enjoy analyzing, for now mainly the Larsen variation in the Philidor defense.

I also post analyzed games I deem worthy enough.

<<< Why do I frequent >>>

There are three main reasons:

The people - <Annie K.>, to name the worst of them :)

The Guess-The-Move feature is, in my eyes, the best way to improve beyond 1800 I've met online.

Finally, I follow (and sometimes participate in) the challenge. The team, armed with incredible calculating power as well as the ideas of a dozen strong analysts, might well be the strongest chess entity ever.

<<< The promised song >>>

"Black queen" - Pawn must go on

Empty squares - what we are playing for?
Abandoned chairs - I guess we know the score..
On and on!
Does anybody know what piece I’m looking for?

Another bishop - another mindless sac
Behind the pawn-line, in the wild attack
Hold the f-line!
Does anybody want to queen it anymore?

The pawn must go on!
The pawn must go on!
Inside my king is hiding
The tactics may be blinding
But my knight still stays on..

Whatever happens, I’ll leave it all to chance
Another Spanish, another failed advance
On and on!
Does anybody know what we are drawing for?
I guess I’m learning
I must be calmer now
I’ll soon be playing French and Dragon now
On the board the pawn is crying
But inside the db I’m dying for h3..

The pawn must go on!
The pawn must go on!
Inside my king is hiding
The tactics may be blinding
But my knight still stays on..

My board is painted like the wings of dragonflies Losing games of yesterday, will draw but never die! I can play, my friends!

The pawn must go on!
The pawn must go on!
I’ll face it with a pin
I’m never giving in
On with the pawn!

I’ll play the mill,
I’ll overkill!
I have to find the will to carry on!
On with the,
On with the pawn

The pawn must go on…

>> Click here to see Catfriend's game collections.

   Catfriend has kibitzed 3721 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Nov-20-16 Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship Match (2016) (replies)
Catfriend: <Eyal> I loved the part where Svidler quoted Kasparov about games interesting to strong players being identifiable by amateurs calling them boring, to which Gustafsson replied that boring games were identifiable like that as well. <Most complainers> Sure. Boring games.
   Nov-10-16 Catfriend chessforum (replies)
Catfriend: Rest in Peace, Leonard Cohen.
   Nov-07-16 European Club Cup (2016) (replies)
Catfriend: <Annie K.> Hey! 2700chess removed him from the list, and has Syberia without Board 1, so I wasn't sure. I suppose you're right as usual and those lists will be updated.
   Oct-31-16 M Karlsson vs T Magnusson, 2015
Catfriend: 11. Re1 is far from the best decision for White - both 11. Bxa8 Qxa8 12. f3 Bxf1 13. Kxf1 and 11. Bg2 Bxg2 12. Kxg2 are better. Unfortunately, Black misplayed the next few moves, skewing the DB score. 12..Qb6 looks natural, attacking Bc6 and hinting at an f2 weakness. However, ...
   Jul-09-16 Dortmund Sparkassen (2016) (replies)
Catfriend: No live on, only commentary is in Spanish - apparently Dortmund is quite a bit less prestigious than it used to be. With #2,3,4 playing and average rating 2732, it's a strong event. MVL's chances of joining the 2800 club add excitement.
   Jun-06-16 Viktor Korchnoi (replies)
Catfriend: R.I.P.!
   Jun-01-16 Alan Turing (replies)
Catfriend: <HMM> You're talking about the Bomba: (cryptography) This was indeed built in Poland - but it wasn't a computer. It was a special-purpose machine, as opposed to the programmable Colossus.
   May-31-16 Gashimov Memorial (2016) (replies)
Catfriend: <brahianv: <Catfriend> you are simple overthinking these things because caruana dont do the strongest continuation it dont mean that he nervous, be serious man this human chess not a computer. It simple as that> Please read what was said rather than the strawman you're
   May-30-16 Fabiano Caruana (replies)
Catfriend: Once in a while, Caruana transforms into The Hulk and goes on a bloody rampage.
   May-04-16 Grischuk vs Kamsky, 2016 (replies)
Catfriend: <ajile> 4. Nc3 might be better, but it is quite sharp. Scary to play against a well-prepared opponent.
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