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It's your move, and you've spotted the winning coup. But then a thrum of humanity strikes you, a warmth of pity for your fellow man, a comradeship for a brother woodpusher. It doesn't have to end like this.
You look up at your opponent and smile. There is an implied question in your tilted eyebrows. Would you like to resign now or do I have to show you? It's the unwritten alternative to the draw offer - the resignation offer.
He doesn't return the smile. His eyes are fixed on the position with a grim almost dwarven determination. You can see that he is looking over the queenside. Poor deluded fool! He thinks that you are going to retreat the bishop, say with 24. Bb3. He hasn't seen the brace of sacs on h5. It's the adult toy that Ann Summers doesn't sell - the rampant reloader.
But which to play? Either one seems like unnecessary showboating. A bit brash, not British. Cruel.
So you play 24. Rg7+ and smile again. Your general demeanour, the twinkle in your eyes are all trying to drop an enormous hint ... you can save face by resigning now. Go to the light, the light, the light...
He stares even more intently, his furrowed monobrow pointing determinedly at the black kingside. With nicotine stained and nail-bitten fingers he shuffles his king to h8 and presses his clock. A much chewed plastic ballpoint pen inscribes K-KR1 on his scoresheet, the tip of his tongue poking out of his mouth in concentration.
For one last chance, you pause and look at him, pleading, beseeching, offering. Don't do this to yourself. Don't rage rage against the dying of the light, go gently to that good night ... aye, there's the rub, at least while there is still time to go to the pub.
His head is still down, staring, willing the board to offer up some glimmering of hope. So you pick up your queen and ever so carefully, lovingly, you place her on the f6 square, lifting the black knight to your side of the table.
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Your hand hovers over the chess clock. I don't to press this, do I? You're going to resign, surely? Let's shake clammy paws and try to work out where it all went wrong.
For the first time in the game he looks up and meets your eyes.
"I don't suppose you'd like a draw, would you?" he asks.