No, there is no famous player or opening system that I’m aware of, known as “The Cat.” Yes, there was an article in the October 2006 issue of Chess Life about “The Cat in the Hat” – an incident involving alleged cheating via wireless transmission of computer moves to a receiver inside a player’s hat (beware of players wearing hats or leaving the board for frequent, extended “bathroom” breaks – especially if you can’t find them in the bathroom but you can find them emerging from the hotel elevator). And, yes, there is a Snake Benoni, an Elephant Gambit, of course the venerable Orangutan, the Hedgehog and a host of other openings named after animals. Well, I too am an animal. And some of the guys at work, during a lunchtime blitz game, would sometimes kibitz “the cat … strikes!” As good as that was, I might have been even more proud if they had said, man, what an animal!
What an Animal!
But too me, “The Cat … Strikes” reminds me more than anything of the Queens’ Gambit Declined, Exchange Variation (QGDX). How many times has this “Cat” struck? The following 1994 game by then World Champion Garry Kasparov is both instructive and highly creative. Enjoy!