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Member since Nov-24-03 · Last seen Sep-16-14
<<< 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知 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値l leave it all to chance
Another Spanish, another failed advance
On and on!
Does anybody know what we are drawing for?
I guess I知 learning
I must be calmer now
I値l soon be playing French and Dragon now
On the board the pawn is crying
But inside the db I知 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値l face it with a pin
I知 never giving in
On with the pawn!

I値l play the mill,
I値l 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 3504 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Aug-02-14 King's Gambit Accepted (C34) (replies)
Catfriend: <john barleycorn> In that case I embarrassed myself in vain :) But are you sure? 31.3 is just a day too early for that.
   Aug-01-14 Chess Olympiad (2014) (replies)
Catfriend: In Russian it's "Slon" (elephant).
   Jul-27-14 Annie Kappel (replies)
Catfriend: Strikingly originally, I'll wish you a happy birthday!
   Jul-23-14 The World vs Naiditsch, 2014 (replies)
   Jun-17-14 Garry Kasparov (replies)
Catfriend: <Absentee> If you're not discussing the politics of it but the humanitarian POV - what two real sides are to gassing children? Or is it all too just propaganda? It's true that many political factions involved, from more than two sides, are as bad as Assad's regime, and that ...
   Jun-17-14 Analysis Forum chessforum (replies)
   Jun-10-14 Carlsen vs Grischuk, 2014 (replies)
Catfriend: No, <Nimzo> hates dogmas and automatic application of textbook truths. Bd3 allows potential Bf3 pins, gives a bit more time for plans like Rd8,Re8,e5 and in general - achieves nothing. Qa4 is part of a natural plan - putting rooks on the b and c files (how many and on what ...
   Jun-09-14 Topalov vs Kramnik, 2014 (replies)
Catfriend: <11 e4 accepts the challenge saying <Let us see you punish me for my greediness>> How so? Black still takes on d5 with crushing pressure.
   Jun-08-14 Kramnik vs Caruana, 2014 (replies)
Catfriend: 16..Nxa2 strikes as a bit imprecise. Now after Nb6, White will enjoy a couple of bishops. If Bc8 escaped, Nd5 will ensure his peer's demise. So while my misgivings about Kramnik's initial choice remain, <Whiteshark>'s description is more and more accurate.
   Jun-06-14 A Giri vs Kramnik, 2014 (replies)
Catfriend: <csmath> The "point" of some of the more obscure maneuvers by Kramnik (like Kg6-Kh7) was, by his own admission, "to survive till the time control". He was indeed rather pressed for time.
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