The 2015 United States Bridge Championship (USBC) Open Teams will be played from May 8th to 17th on Schaumburg, Illinois, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The town is next to Chicago; its first colonists came from Germany, from Lower Saxony, and the name itself is that of the German district they emigrated from in the nineteenth century; most inhabitants speak German.
The 2015 USBC will select the team which will represent the United States as USA2 in the next Bermuda Bowl (Chennai, India, from Sept 26th to October 10th). The 2014 edition, which selected USA1, was won by Nickell: Nick Nickell, Ralph Katz, Bobby Levin, Steve Weinstein, Jeff Meckstroth, Erich Rodwell; Coach Eric Kokish. In final they defeated Diamond.
In this championship entered twenty-one teams; they have been listed according to their strength in Position Points and Seeding Points (PPs and SPs). The former are the points earned in the last “cycle” of American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) and the same USBC, that is the 2014’s Spingold, Reisinger and USBC, and 2015’s Vanderbilt; the latter are the PPs plus individual masterpoints of the players. PPs determine whether a team should have the bye to an advanced stage of the tourney; SPs determine the seeding of each team in the knock-out stage: the higher the value in SPs the lower the seeding number, and the pairing will be in the format first vs last, second vs next to last, etc.
The exact ruling is more complex and can be seen in the USBC site, namely in General Condition of Contest (General CoC) and 2015CocFinal. Here it just needs to add that the points earned in ACBL events are “diluited” (diminished) if they were earned lining up foreign players or anyway not eligible ones. Several teams are in this situation, as Fleisher (which employed Sabine Auken, German), Cayne (Lorenzo Lauria and Giuseppe Versace, Italians), and others.
There are three teams that have enough PPs to have the bye to Round of 16; the other eighteen have to play a qualification round robin which will promote thirteen of them to R16.
The first three teams, with the bye to R16, are:
1) Diamond: John Diamond, Captain; Brian Platnik, Eric Greco, Geoff Hampson, Justin Lall, Kevin Bathurst.
2) Hamman: Robert Hamman, Capt; Roger Lee, Rosso Grabel, Howard Weinstein, Ron Rubin, Peter Weichsel
3) Fleisher: Jan Martel, not playing Captain; Martin Fleisher, Chip Martel, Brad Moss, Ismael Delmonte, Michael Rosenberg, Chris Willenken.
The other eighteen are, in order of SPs:
4) Cayne: Jimmy Cayne, Capt; Michael Seamon, Curtis Cheek, Joe Grue, Michael Kamil, Zia Mahmood.
5) Gordon: Mark Gordon, Capt; Pratap Rajadhyaksha, Alan Sontag, David Berkowitz, Jacek Pszczola, Kevin Dwyer.
6) Bramley: Bart Bramley, Capt; Lew Stansby, Kit Woolsey, Fred Stewart, Matthew Granovetter, Roger Bates
7) Mahaffey: Jim Mahaffey, Capt, Sam Lev, Gary Cohler, Billy Cohen, Mike Passell, Brian Glubok.
8) Harris: Martin Harris, Capt, Jacob Morgan, Neil Chambers, John Schermer
9) Gupta: Vinita Gupta, Capt; Billy Miller, Steve Garner, Ron Smith, Adam Kaplan.
10) Fireman: Paul Fireman, Capt; Gavin Wolpert, John Kranyak, Vincent Demuy, John Hurd, Joel Woolridge.
11) Borker: Jay Borker, Doug Doubs, Larry Robins, Adam Wildvasky.
12) Milner: Reese Milner, Capt; Hemant Lall, Mark Lair, Ira Chorush, David Grainger.
13) Lo: Ai-Tai Lo, Capt; David Caprera, Jeffrey Miller, Steve Beatty, George Jacobs, Claude Vogel.
14) Rigal: Barry Rigal, Capt; Jeff Aker, Allan Falk, John Lusky.
15) Cappelli: Robert Cappelli, Capt; Frank Treiber III, Robert Bitterman, Jerry Helms, Joe Harris, Leon Lowe.
16) Ivatury: Uday Ivatury, Capt; Christal Henner, John Sorkin, Lapt Chan.
17) Denison: Daniel Denison, Capt; Richard Unger, Jason Feldman, Greg Hinze
18) Ware: Peggy Ware, Capt; Spencer Jones, Greg Humphreys, Adam Parrish.
19) Ganzer: Craig Ganzer, Capt; Robert Brady, Franco Baseggio, Brady Richter, Howard Liu.
20) Dinkin: Sam Dinking, Capt; Cenk Tunçok, Adam and Zachary Grossack.
21) Becker: Drew Becker, Capt; Jason Rosenfeld, Kenneth Zuckerberg, Daniel Wilderman
As it can be seen, several teams have less than the duly six players allowed in Bermuda Bowl. In case they qualify, it will be applied the “Augmentation” procedure, which may be by “Team Nomination”, that is the captain of the team proposes players, or, if the Credential Committee refused the proposal, by “Normal Procedure”, in which the same Committee would select the players.
Recapping: There are twenty-one registered teams; three have bye to R16 and will be set in the knock-out bracket with their original number: 1st Diamond, 2nd Hamman, 3rd Fleisher. The other eighteen will play a six board match round robin which will qualify thirteen of them to R16. In order to set these thirteen in the bracket, the teams placed first to fourth will earn some other seeding points; the remaining nine will be set according to their original seeding points, no matter how well they placed from 5th to 13th in the RR.
The knock-out stage will start on Sunday 10th and will last until Sunday 17th; these matches will be by 120 boards.
Paolo Enrico Garrisi