Sidcup’s David Gilbert was joint winner of the London Classic Weekday event at Olympia for players with an ECF grade under-135. David finished with four points out of five, tied with Hugh Tassell, another Kent player. In the photograph both are playing with Black pieces in the final round of the event.
David won his first two games relatively comfortably, then faced a stiff task against his Sidcup teammate, Bob Mitchell, in the third round. Bob had the better of the game which went for 60 moves, but David defended stoutly and held out for a draw. He was even more fortunate in the fourth round where he came up against Oxford mathematics student Sam Bentham. David found himself a piece down for two pawns, but managed to create counter-play with two passed pawns. The threat was too much for Sam who gave back the piece for two pawns and the game petered out to a draw.
David was now running in a tie for second and faced the leader Peter Rawcliffe in the final round needing a win to finish top. Peter is a seasoned performer at this level and won his section at the Berks and Bucks congress earlier in the year with a convincing 5.5/6.