Gardner digs deep to retain Club Championship

James Gardner knew he needed just a draw from his final game against county champion Mike Botteley to retain his Bedford Club Championship at least on tiebreak from Steve Ledger. He dominated the opening and won a pawn but Mike, in typical style, launched a blistering counter attack. It seemed that James was defending successfully, with Mike facing awkward back rank threats which hampered his breakthrough. However, when both clocks were approaching zero the position was still unclear and tactical. Every move could spell disaster as each ten-second increment ebbed away. Spectators and players were not sure who was winning until James finally established a clearcut path to victory and Mike resigned. Congratulations to James on his final score of 7.5 points from 8 games.