Once: I think the time has come to dim the lights, put some Barry White on the CD player, go upstairs to slip into something uncomfortable, put a tea towel over the gerbil's cage, and ... let's talk about lurve.
Or more precisely, let's talk about how we choose that special one, the wife, the husband, the civil partner, the one I want to grow old with.
Now you might think that this is an easy thing to do. It certainly seems to be in Hollywood. As soon as the special one walks into the scene, you just know that you are fated to be together forever. Birds tweet, heavenly choirs sing, little cherubic children frolic and gamble. Okay, so you might be in the middle of a car chase or a gunfight with the henchmen of Dr Evil at the time, but the rules are clear - you know when the Special One appears.
Summer lovin' had me a blast
Summer lovin' happened so fast
I met a girl crazy for me
Met a boy cute as can be
Summer days driftin' away,
to uh-oh those summer nights
But in real life, it's not so easy. There are 6.8 billion examples of homo sapiens on this planet. Take away the ones that are too young, too old and of the gender you are not interested in, and you've still got ... well over a million to choose from. And of these you are going to meet, say a few dozen, maybe a hundred before you make your choice.
And there's another thing. You need to know if your prospective partner has ... issues. She may scrub up well and be enthusiastic in the bedroom, but all of this counts for nought if she's a closet axe murderer. A good cook is one thing, a bunny boiler is entirely another.
My friends, a word of advice from one who has got it wrong in the past. You've just go to check these things before you sign on the dotted line. Read the small print. Show your beloved a selection of sharp garden implements and see if her eyes light up when you get to the woodcutting section. Check out whether she puts woodland creatures into a hutch or into the pot.
I speak as one who married an ice queen, then followed it up with a bunny boiler before finding the paragon of wonderfulness that is the Mem.
And it's the same with chess. Every move we play is a decision, a choice between competing options. And we need to be sure that we are making a good choice.
In today's position, we have a fairly obvious plan and an equally clear danger. Our plan, surely, is to lure the black king away from the defence of the Qf8. The danger we need to avoid is that black mates us with a bishop check on the long diagonal. Or snaffles our en prise rook. Or both.
So we need a check and 43. Bf7 catches our eye. From across a crowded room, our eyes meet. A crackle of electricity as our fingers touch. Insert other romantic clichees to taste.
Now we need to check Bf7+ for axe-murderer tendencies. Is there a flaw in our thinking? Can black wriggle out of the tactic with advantage? And for that you have to do the hard graft and check out every variation. After all, with Bf7 we have left our rook with no protection and offered the possibility of Bxc6#. Ouch, very ouch, baby.
And for those variations, may I refer you to m'learned colleagues?
I got chills
And I'm losing control
Cause the power you're supplying